Regina (Dolly) Belbas
We announce the passing of a great mother, grandmother, aunt and friend, Regina (Dolly) Belbas, on Monday, August 15, 2022. She was born almost 92 years ago to Maria and Giacomo Piccolo in West Fort William, Thunder Bay, Ontario, on October 1, 1930, the feast day of St. Thérèse of Lisieux.
Throughout her life, Dolly shared many stories about growing up in Westfort. She loved her education at St. Martin’s School and the one Nun in particular, a Teacher and Choir Director, who was noted for bringing out the best in all of her students. The choir, we were told, was one that everyone in Westfort came to listen to on Christmas Eve. Along with her faith, music was a big part of Dolly's life and many of her family members would sing and harmonize together on many a cold winter night.
Dolly's education continued on with her nursing training at St. Joseph’s Hospital. She secured employment there and then went on to work at McKellar Hospital. She loved her career as a nurse and shared many stories, some serious, some very comical and some miraculous. One of Dolly's fondest sayings was “nothing is as it seems” with a bit of a twinkle in her eye.
From her nursing career, to her travels and working in the USA, to happily marrying Michael Belbas, we were told how lucky she always felt to have had such a good life with him.
With her three sisters Mary, Lillie and Verna and her two brothers Aldo and Louis, she cherished her memories with all of them. Coffee at her sister Mary’s house, lunches and shopping at Eaton’s and Sears with her sisters, and of course her dear friend Eleanor, Saturday visits with Lillie, and the Surprise Lake camp visits. The fond memories of neighbourly chats over the fence with the Paajanen’s, the visits with Mrs. Rantala, the simple conversations with the Luck’s, Guzzell’s and Caron’s all brought a smile to her face when she looked back.
Every time Dolly watched the Lawrence Welk Show …she would get a twinkle in her eye with the memories of dancing at the many New Year’s Eve diners at the DaVinci Centre with Lillie and Aldo and all of the polkas and waltzes at family weddings. All of the card games played together with Dave and Marlene and Lillie and Aldo in the later years highlighted many Saturday evenings. Dolly enjoyed her children and grandchildren, and spent time with them throughout their lives sharing her talents with arts and crafts, knitting and sewing (fashionable dresses, coats etc.) cross-stitch, baking, singing and gardening.
She will be greatly missed by her son, Brian Belbas (Lori and dog Kula) and his children Nicole (dog Mylo), Kayla, Bradley (and friend Stacie) and by her daughter Leanne. Also left to remember Dolly are her brother Louis Piccolo and many nieces and nephews.
Dolly was predeceased by her husband Michael Belbas in 2012; her daughter-in-law Rita (nee Mottin) Belbas; her parents, Giacomo and Maria Piccolo; her close sisters, Mary Belluz, Verna Todd, Lillie Buset, and brothers William Piccolo, Sergio Piccolo and Aldo Piccolo; Brothers in-law Art Belluz, Norman Todd, Aldo Buset and sisters in-law Marlene Piccolo and June Piccolo, as well as cousins and other relatives in Canada and abroad.
A special thank you to all of the doctors, nurses and paramedics for the compassion, kindness, and care that you provided to our mom throughout her aging process. For all of the support from relatives, family friends, neighbours and workplaces, we thank you.
The Celebratory Mass will be held on Wednesday August 24, 2022 at 10:00am in Corpus Christi Church, celebrated by Father Victor DeGagne. A private interment in St. Andrew’s Cemetery will follow. Arrangements have been entrusted to the EVEREST FUNERAL CHAPEL, 299 Waverley Street at Algoma.
In lieu of flowers, meat trays etc., if friends so desire, memorial donations to St. Joseph’s Foundation and the St. Vincent De Paul Society would be greatly appreciated.