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Obituary for Cecil James Belch, Jr.
Cecil James (C.J.) Belch, Jr., 91, of Mackeys, passed away on January 31, 2022.
C.J. was born in Bertie County April 18,1930. He was the son of the late Cecil James Belch, Sr. and Clarine Powell Belch. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Daisy Pilgreen Belch. He is survived by his second wife, Sarah Sivills Ellis Belch. He is preceded in death by a brother, William Powell Belch. Surviving are his sisters; Betty Lou Belch Watters and Pat Belch Terry. He is survived also by his children Laura Belch Brown and husband Beau Brown of Jacksonville, NC; Jennifer Belch Hooper and husband Wayne Hooper of Lake Toxaway, NC. In addition, he is survived by his step-son, Michael Ellis, Sr. of Greer, SC and step-daughter, Audrey Elizabeth Ellis Pyon and her husband Dr. Sammy Pyon of Redondo Beach, CA. Also surviving are grandchildren; Michael Ellis, Jr. and wife Jennifer and their daughters; Sarah, Emily and Charlotte. Sara Galloway Holbrook and husband Travis Holbrook; Larry Ellis; Nicholas Evans; Joshua Galloway and daughter Ember; Morgan Evans Howell and husband Howard Howell; David James Clubb and wife Haley Clubb; Jeremiah Hooper; Luke Hooper; Sarah Soon Pyon.
The Belch family moved to Mackeys, NC in 1948 where they owned a commercial fishing business; Welaka Fish and Produce Company. He graduated from Roper High School in 1949 and attended Campbell College, Chowan College and NC State for short periods of time. He was a Sergeant in the NC National Guard from 1950-1960 and during that time he served in the military police in Germany for one year. After his military service, he returned to Mackeys.
In 1960 he became a Nationwide Insurance Agent in Plymouth. He was also a real estate broker. He retired in 1995. Before retirement, he was acting on several boards and commissions. He was President of the Washington County Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of Washington County Citizens for Better Health, Chairman of Washington County Hospital Board of Trustees, Lt. Governor of Ruritan National, Chairman of Plymouth Planters, Centura Bank Board of Directors (Chairman of the Plymouth Branch), Sgt. in the US Army/NC National Guard, Flotilla Commander and SAR Pilot of the US Coast Guard Auxiliary, Commissioner on the NC Wildlife Commission, Commissioner on the NC Marine Fisheries. He was also a Scottish Rite Mason. He was a member of the Mackeys UMC and taught Sunday School there for many years.
C.J. enjoyed deer hunting, fishing, boat building, carving and reading history. He loved his God, his family and Mackeys. And in the words of C.J.: "Thank you Ocracoke for 35 wonderful years at 31 Pintail Drive with my family."
C.J., in the eyes of his family, was and will always be a legend. He was the example of faith, love, ingenuity, sacrifice and hard work. He led with his heart and knew that his mind was the tool for his heart's expression. He was a connoisseur of nature, a story teller, a leader, a creator and an example of what it means to be a God loving man. He freely gave of himself and sought to create the win for everyone concerned. He loved wide open, he saw the best in people and went the extra mile. In his presence, we felt heard, respected and deeply cared for. His love, wisdom and joy will live on in our hearts. He did what God would have him do and he spread the word of God through all he said, did and was. C.J., we will carry your memory in our hearts. We are your legacy and we are eternally grateful that you existed and sang your own song.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Mackeys United Methodist Church, c/o Vonnie Furlough, 211 General Pettigrew Drive, Plymouth, NC 27962.
C. J.'s Celebration of Life will be Saturday, April 16th at 1:00 p.m. at Mackeys Ferry Marina in Mackeys, NC. Please bring a covered dish to share like a homecoming celebration.
Arrangements are by Maitland Funeral Home, Plymouth.