Martha Elizabeth Belk

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Martha Elizabeth Belk

January 23, 1924 - January 16, 2019

Martha Elizabeth Belk It is with both sorrow and joy we report the passing of Martha Elizabeth Belk, Wednesday, January 16, 2019.
As a devoted wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, Martha unconditionally loved and protected her husband, daughter, son and their families. She was a post-war mother, a stay-at-home mom. Her life revolved around her family. It was her single focus. She was a role model to all by demonstrating her faith in God and her perseverance as she negotiated life's ups and downs.
Martha Elizabeth Madden was born on January 23, 1924. She was the daughter of Harry and Bertha Madden. Her hometown was the rich lead and zinc mining community of Carterville, Missouri. She was raised in a very small house with a large family of seven brothers and sisters. Martha was a proud graduate of Carterville High School.
She was blessed by living a long and healthy life, although living to the age of 94 did have some disadvantages. She outlived all of her brothers and sisters, and lived longer than the love of her life Howard Belk. They were married on October 2, 1948. The marriage would last an amazing 64 years until his passing. Last year she lost her dearest friend, Bonnie Berry. But through it all, she understood the circle of life and had faith in the reward that follows.
Martha was a member of the World War II generation. Growing up during the Great Depression they knew the value of a nickel, and during the war they prayed each night that their loved ones would come home alive.
A woman of strong convictions, there was never any doubt where she stood. She taught us to be well dressed and do an honest day of work. The cardinal rule was to always be on time, which simply meant that nothing was more disrespectful than being late.
Martha also gave us a most special lifelong lesson, to love and care for our four-legged friends. At first her home was filled with dogs but later cats became the goodwill ambassadors. The last resident cat got as large and mean as a bulky rhinoceros.
She was a fabulous cook and made the best cream pies on the planet. Her Christmas fudge and cheese-balls were seasonal treats.
Martha adamantly followed her favorite sports teams - the KC Chiefs and her beloved MIZZOU football and basketball teams. No matter the game's outcome, she always felt the men did their best even when they played poorly.
After her children were grown, Martha worked at the Trophy House. For a few years she and Howard owned and operated the Peppermill restaurant.
She was never quite the same after losing her nest of fifty years during a storm, when one of the largest oak trees in South Joplin fell and flattened her house in the middle of the night. She awoke to a giant hole in the roof above their bedroom and to falling rain from the sky. Stunned and alarmed, while Howard was next to her snoring away, she excitedly exclaimed, "Get up Howard, there is a huge hole in our roof and it is raining on us!"
Remaining members of Martha's immediate family are daughter, Bonnie Lynn Keithly and her husband, Stephen; a son, Brad Belk and his wife, Belinda; two beloved grandchildren, Derek Galyon and Darian Acord, and her husband Mike. Martha was blessed to spend time with three precious great-grandchildren - Dani Lynn Galyon, Carson Howard Davis and Cameron Stephen Davis. She was also extremely fortunate to have a fabulous group of nieces and nephews that she loved dearly.
Martha had a deep devotion to God and love of her church at 20th and Virginia. Bethany Presbyterian Church was her spiritual home, where she got married, and both children were baptized.
She was always there for us and that continues today. No amount of time, space or death can separate us from her. We are forever blessed, grateful and fortunate to have had her as our mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. Martha has reached the Promised Land. She is now with her Lord and Savior, Howard, and singing alto in Heaven's choir.
We greatly appreciate and thank all the very special people that lovingly cared for Martha at National Healthcare and Hospice Compassus. The staff's compassion and personal care was exceptional on every level. They are truly angels doing God's work.
In lieu of flowers, should anyone be inclined, Martha's favorite causes were the American Cancer Society, Joplin Historical Society and Bethany Presbyterian Church.
A private service will be held at a later date.
Published on January 20, 2019
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2 posts

Joyce Southard
Jan 27, 2019
I just found out that Martha passed away. We went to see her today and was told what happened. She became a friend and we visited often. She was so special to me and I enjoyed our visits so much. She always had a smile and lively conversation. She was a precious lady and she will always be in my heart.
Cherie Baker
Jan 20, 2019
Brad so sorry to hear of the passing of your mother but what a wonder and fulfilling life she had experienced. I am sure she was proud of you and the rest of her family. Prayers for your difficult time. Cherie