John E. “Jack” Belle of Doylestown passed away at his residence surrounded by his family Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020. He was 87.
Born May 6, 1933, in Syracuse, N.Y., to the late Oscar D. and Jean (DiMarzio) Belle, Jack resided in Syracuse, Waynesboro, Pa., and Dallas, Pa., before moving to Doylestown in 1976.
Jack graduated from Onondaga Valley Academy in 1951 where he played football and was class president. He was a member of the All Syracuse City Band where he played clarinet. He then went on to attend Syracuse University, where he studied business, played on the golf and tennis teams, and was a member of Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity.
He was an exceptional sales professional in the heavy construction equipment industry; District Manager of Austin-Western, Grove Cranes and P&H Harnischfeger Industries, and Vice President of L.B. Smith.
Jack was a member of the George M. Dallas Masonic Lodge, LuLu Shriners, and Scottish Rite Valley of Bloomsburg.
He met his wife, Betty, downhill skiing in the Syracuse area when he was on the ski patrol. During the 1960s and 70s, they took their family skiing in the winter. In the summers, they enjoyed boating, water skiing and fishing, and time together at The Thousand Islands, N.Y., on their boat, River Belle.
In 1985, the Belles opened Rainbow World Day Care School in Chalfont, where hundreds of children attended over 15 years including his oldest two grandsons.
Jack was an avid golfer and played for many years at Lake Shore Country Club in Syracuse, Doylestown Country Club, and Haig Point Country Club in South Carolina. In the 1990s and 2000s, the Belles would spend part of the year at their residence in Hilton Head, S.C., with his best friend and brother, Lee, and his wife, Suzy.
He was an enthusiastic Philly sports fan and loved watching and attending Phillies, Flyers, and Eagles games. He also enjoyed Syracuse University and Penn State football and basketball. Jack loved holidays with family and attending his children’s and grandchildren’s concerts, shows, recitals, and football, baseball, softball, soccer, basketball and lacrosse games.
Jack was very sociable; talking to and making friends with everyone. We will miss sharing meals, conversations filled with laughter, and his good company.
He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Elizabeth (Betty) Belle, and children John L. Belle (Susan) of Marion, MA, Kathleen Maclin (Thomas) of Doylestown, and Lori Shapiro (Matthew) of Doylestown; his grandchildren Russell of NYC, John and Anna Maclin of Doylestown, Scott and Jane Shapiro of Doylestown; his sister Joanne Belle of Syracuse, sister-in-law Suzanne Belle (Lee) of Syracuse, sister-in-law Barbara Vars of Wellesley Island, NY and nieces Cynthia Belle Hynes of Syracuse and Lesley Vars of NYC. He was preceded in death by his brothers Henry M. and Lee L. Belle.