COCOA, Fla. - Carl Nicholas Belvees, 92, of Cocoa, formerly of Melvindale, Mich., left this life Wednesday (April 3, 2013) at home with his family around him, taking his place at the Lord's table among the many family members awaiting his arrival after a brief but courageous battle with pancreatic cancer.
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He was born Dec. 1, 1920, in Olean, N.Y., the ninth of 13 brothers and sisters.
He graduated from Olean High School in 1938 and worked as a machinist for Clark Bros. Inc., which manufactured gas and oil drilling equipment. When World War II broke out, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, following brothers Joe and Milo, who entered the Army. He served as a gunner's mate aboard the heavy cruiser USS Salt Lake City and participated in every major engagement in the Pacific Theater, earning among other awards a Good Conduct Medal, a Letter of Commendation, an Asiatic Pacific Medal with six stars and a Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon for serving during the Philippine Liberation.
After the war, he returned to Olean and Clark Bros. He met and began to write to a lovely young lady from Detroit, and he married Mary Crosetti on April 19, 1947. Their daughter Connie was born Oct. 29, 1948, and three months later they moved to Detroit, seeking better job opportunities. He worked for several years as a certified auto mechanic at two different dealerships in Wyandotte, Mich. Their son David was born Dec. 21, 1955.
In 1956, Carl took the Civil Service exam for the U.S. Postal Service and became a letter carrier in Melvindale, Mich. He endeared himself to many patrons during the Vietnam War because he would deliver any mail from spouses and children in the service to their families before beginning his daily mail route.
Carl became a life member of Cpl. Ian F. Gray Chapter 51 of the Disabled American Veterans, the Dads Club and Nocturnal Adoration Society at St. Mary Magdalen Church. He joined Robert H. Jones Council 3078 Knights of Columbus, where he participated in many activities, including church activities functions, vets' parties, the Tootsie Roll Drive, picnic workers, the MDA telethon, the children's Christmas parties, the Bingo Committee, the Heritage Club, and the food pantry program. He also spent many hours helping with the Corned Beef and Cabbage Dinner and the Alhambra Spaghetti Dinner, which raised money for children with disabilities. He was awarded Knight of the Year in 1988.
When St. Conrad Church was formed from St. Mary's, he was a founding member and was an usher, a teller, a worker on the yearly festival committee, president of the Parish council and a member of the Vicariate.
Carl also played softball twice a week on a St. Mary's team as well as a post office team. Carl moved to a retirement community near family in Cocoa, Fla., in 2003, where everyone knew him as "Uncle Carl." He enjoyed the sun and warm weather and participated in American Legion activities and charitable activities. He worked every month on a veteran's breakfast fundraiser, where he could always be found in the kitchen.
In September 2011, he participated in an honor flight and visited the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C, with 24 other veterans.
Carl is survived by his daughter, Connie Parys; his granddaughter, Kristen (Christophere) Thompson; a great-granddaughter, Adriane Thompson; and a brother-in-law, Robert Crosetti.
He was predeceased by his wife, Mary Crosetti; two sons, David and Robert Parys; his father and mother, Philip and Mary Mele Belvees; and the following brothers and sisters: Elizabeth, Anthony, Milo, Ann, Madeline, Josephine, Concetta, Joseph, Hilda, Mary, Helen and Emily. He also leaves behind many nieces, nephews, and grandnieces and grandnephews, who will miss him dearly.
Visitation was held at April 11 and 12 at Price Funeral Home, 3725 Rochester Road, Troy, Mich., and a funeral Mass was held April 13 at St. Ephrem Catholic Church Sterling Heights, Mich. Entombment was at St. Hedwig Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to
, Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, or Penrickton Center for Blind Children. Share memories with the family at their online guestbook at www.pricefuneralhome.net.
Published in The Olean Times Herald on Apr. 19, 2013