PEORIA - Vida R. Belardi, age 87, of Peoria, formerly of Owatonna, Minn., passed away peacefully Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, at 10:48 a.m., at Independence Village in Peoria, where she was a resident since October 2008.
She was born April 2, 1925, in Dodge Center, Minn., to Elmer and Irene (Budahn) Smith. They preceded her in death along with one brother, Hugo Smith; and two sisters, Melba Benson and Maida Lloyd Milford.
Survivors include three children, Kathryn (David) Storlie of Princeville, Ill., Steven (MaryAnn) Smith of Owatonna, Minn., Mary (Jon) Erickson of Kerkhoven, Minn.; six grandchildren, Ara, Risa, Tanya, Tammy, Justin, Joseph; and six great-grandchildren.
Vida graduated from West Concord High School in 1943 (salutatorian of her class). In 1948, she received a Liberal Arts degree from Roberts Wesleyan Junior College in North Chili, N.Y. She graduated magna cum laude from Seattle Pacific University, Seattle, Wash., in 1950, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English (minor in history), and from the University of Minnesota in 1961, with a Bachelor of Science degree in education. Later she did graduate work at the University of Minnesota from 1975 to 1976, to obtain secondary reading certification.
She taught English and history in Claremont High School (fall 1961 to spring 1966) and English in Owatonna High School (fall 1966 to June 1987) for a total of 26 years in public schools, retiring in June 1987.
She directed class plays and coached declamation in both Claremont and Owatonna and implemented a developmental reading program at the Owatonna High School.
After she retired, she taught for two years at Taiwan Adventist College, Yu chih, Nantou Co., Taiwan (1988-1990) and one year at Maranatha Adventist School in Dodge Center (1990-1991).
Vida worked part time as a copy editor and editorial writer for the Self-Supporting Worker in Dodge Center after her return from Taiwan.
As a Christian woman, she was a student of the Bible. She loved to memorize Scripture, share what she was learning and spend time each day praying for her family and friends. She was an avid and gifted letter writer and enjoyed reading and sharing information. She put helping others and giving ahead of herself.
She was a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, where she taught an adult Sabbath School class, directed plays, was a lay speaker for the church service and a speaker for Women's Prayer Luncheons.
Cremation rites have been accorded. A memorial service will be held Saturday, March 23, 2013, at 2:30 p.m. at the Seventh-day Adventist Church, 4019 N. Knoxville Ave., Peoria, Ill. Visitation will be one hour prior to the services at the church. Davison-Fulton Woolsey-Wilton Funeral Home in Peoria is in charge of arrangements.
Burial will be in Riverside Cemetery, Dodge Center, Minn., at a later date.
Memorials may be made to Adventist Frontier Missions, Answers in Genesis, or Hospice Compassus.
Please view Vida's obituary online at www.Woolsey-Wilton.com.