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Rebecca Clardy Belsey died on July 12, 2013 in San Antonio, Texas. She was born in Brownsville, Texas on July 21, 1921, to Emily and Louis K. Clardy. Rebecca was raised in Comfort, Texas, received her undergraduate degree from the University of Houston, and her masters in nursing from Emory University. For most of her nursing career Rebecca worked for the Veterans Administration, attaining the position of Chief Nurse in Kansas City. She was preceded in death by her husband, John Belsey; sister, Lois Clardy; brothers, Lou Clardy and Joe Clardy. She is survived by her daughter, Martha B. Tanner, and son-in-law, Joseph Dunwoody; sister-in-law, Winnie Clardy; and numerous nieces and nephews. Rebecca Belsey was affectionately called "Mom" by many. When her daughter was campaigning for Judge of the 166th Judicial District Court of Bexar County, Rebecca was her greatest fan, and would attend as many functions as she could-during election season as many as three and four a week. On her name tag she would not write out her name, she would put "Marty's Mom". The dozens of friends she made on the campaign trail started calling her "Mom". Rebecca would frequently attend one function while Marty was at another. Well into her 80's she would drive herself to functions. She especially enjoyed the functions at the nutrition centers, passing out campaign cards and making friends. Anyone who new Rebecca had to admire her love of life. Her will to live was unequaled. In many ways, she retained the zest of adolescence. When Rebecca was no longer able to drive, she was discouraged. But this lasted only a few weeks. She reinvented herself and started painting again. A hobby she had enjoyed years before, she took lessons to catch up on her skills. For the past five years Rebecca produces numerous paintings and entered competitions. Rebecca was an avid reader and loved to work crossword puzzles. During the past year, Rebecca suffered macular degeneration. Fearful of losing her eyesight, she began extensive research into various treatments. Rebecca had the wonderful gift of taking what life has to offer and making the very most of it. To the end, her mind was as sharp as a tack.
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Published in Express-News on July 21, 2013