May 20, 1936 - July 14, 2012
STRATTON, Nebraska -- Belva L. Earnest went home to be with her Lord on Saturday, July 14, 2012. She passed away at the Benkelman Hospital at the age of 76.
Belva was born on May 20, 1936 in Sargent, Nebraska to Cloyd Ardell and Lillie Mae (Elder) Sailors. Because her father was a minister, the family lived in several locations throughout Belva's childhood. She graduated from South Sioux City High School, South Sioux City, Nebraska in 1953. She continued her education at North Central Bible College in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Southern Bible College in Costa Mesa, California and Texas Business School.
On July 3, 1957, she was united in marriage to James G. Earnest at McCook. To this union two daughters, Joy and Jeannie were born. They made their home in Indianola before settling in the Stratton community. Belva was a busy mother and homemaker as well as dorm mother for the McCook Southwest Area Training Service and Children's Dorms. She also was employed as a nurse for the Old Dundy County Hospital, McCook St. Catherine's Hospital and Stratton Hospital. Belva served as administrator for 15 years for the Stratton Grandview Retirement Center of which she had an integral part of its creation.
Belva was active in her church and community. She was a member of the Stratton United Methodist Church and United Methodist Women. Her leadership extended into the first appointed woman to serve on the Stratton city council. She was responsible for naming all the streets in Stratton and received an award presented to her by Governor Exon for her involvement with the Community Improvement Program. Other memberships included McCook Eagle's Club and the Federated Women's Club of which she served as an officer on both the District and State Boards.
Belva loved music playing the organ, piano and guitar. She was an active member in her husband's band playing the bass guitar. In her free time she loved to crochet, collect angels and make strawberry and rhubarb jelly, of which she delighted in giving away. She made numerous crocheted baby blankets and gave them to the Open Door Mission in Omaha.
Preceding her in death were her parents, Cloyd and Lillie Sailors; husband, James G. Earnest; son, James C. Earnest; and niece, Kathy McDonald.
Survivors include her daughters, Joy and husband, Bob Funk, and Jeannine Earnest all of Culbertson; two brothers, Doyle and wife, Dr. Eileen Sailors, and LeRoy Sailors all of Sioux City, Iowa; sister, Gloria and husband, Willis Schultz, of Sioux City; seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren; special adopted grandson, Edwardo Olivas and his mom, Viri; numerous nieces, nephews, family and a host of friends.
Memorials may be given in her name and left at the McCook National Bank in Stratton, 403 Bailey Box 367, Stratton, NE 69043 Friends may go online at www.carpenterbreland.com to extend condolences to the family.
Visitation will be Thursday, July 19, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Stratton United Methodist Church. A home coming celebration will follow at 2:00 p.m. at the church with Pastor Sheila Taylor officiating. Burial will follow at the Bird City Cemetery, Bird City, Kansas.
Carpenter Breland Funeral Home of McCook is in charge of the arrangements.