Robert Charles Belfance
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On April 17, 2020, Bob lost his hard-fought battle with cancer and the effects of the chemo used to treat it. He was the only child of Wilbert and Virginia Belfance of Crainsville, N.Y. 85- Year- old Bob started his theater career in upstate New York as a 9 year-old radio actor. After graduation from Ithaca college, he headed to NYC to work and train further as a theater director. After marrying and having their 1st child, a job was offered to him in Ohio to be the 1st resident professional Artistic & Managing Director of the formerly all volunteer Weathervane Community Playhouse. This meant that he would run the business end of the theater, as well as directing 7 shows a season. Ohio sounded like a good place to raise children. He accepted, set to work in Akron, and within 5 years Weathervane was ranked one of the top 3 non-professional theater in Ohio. He promised to build the group a bigger venue. Keeping his promise, the current Weathervane opened in 1970 in Cuyahoga Valley. During this time, a group of dedicated volunteers asked Bob to manage and help save the old Lowes Movie Theater- now the Akron Civic Theater - from the wrecking ball and becoming another downtown parking lot. Thanks to Bob and the group, the beautiful old " movie palace" remains one of Akron's unique gems. Bob has directed over 250 plays and musicals, written and directed award- winning documentaries films for Omnibus Film Productions, of which he was part owner, and owned and operated the Priscilla Beach Summer Theater in MA. He worked with the young Alan Alda and Alan's late father, Robert, Ray Wise, Howard daSilva and other well-know professionals. Bob and Carol also co- produced murder mystery overnights at the old Quaker Square Hilton Hotel in the 1980s. For many years Bob also served on the Ohio Arts Council. Bob and Carol ran the Outback Inn bed & breakfast for 10 years in McConnelsville, OH. Bob leaves his devoted wife of 38 years, Carol; his 3 children, Leslie Belfance of Columbus (Carla), Eve Belfance- Colford of Akron (Christopher) and Mark Belfance of Denver ( Marna). In addition, his step son, Jason Policy ( Colleen) of Stow; grandchildren, Christopher, David and Anna Belfance of Denver, William and Sophia Belfance-Colford of Akron and Katie Belfance of Columbus. Bob Was a talented director who brought so much more to a venue than what appeared in script. Actors who worked with him found their work expanded and beautifully enhanced-his creativity was generous and "catching". Doing a production for Bob was always a delightful learning experience. Whatever was happening, it was always more fun if Bob was involved. So light a candle or raise a glass in honor of Bob. He was a never-ending source of joy. His family wishes to thank Summa Hospice and also the dedicated staff of Ohio Living Rockynol, Gifts in Bob's name to Ohio Living Rockynol would be welcomed.




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Published in Akron Beacon Journal on Apr. 19, 2020.
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MEMORIES & CONDOLENCES
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20 entries
May 22, 2020
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Scott Clarke
April 27, 2020
My condolences to my cousin Bob's family. Though we haven't seen each other for a long time, he's been in my thoughts & prayers.
Edwina Maksym
Family
April 25, 2020
Condolences to Bob's family. I met Bob when I was a high school student doing sound crew at Weathervane. He was an excellent teacher and one that inspired all around him to professional quality work.
Al Eichelberger
April 22, 2020
I met Bob in 1976 and I worked with him on several shows through 1991. I always felt I was in good hands. His direction was sharp, to the point, and detailed. He was also very funny.
He had several dictums he used to get his point across. One concerned overacting that I won't repeat here.
His many virtues: he neither over nor under directed. He didn't play favorites. He followed no "school" and never pontificated. Whenever I needed that extra push it was never personal. If all directors adhered to these principles, the world would be a better place.
Mark Wilt
April 22, 2020
I've enjoyed knowing Bob since I moved to Akron. I was in a production he directed. He paid much attention to detail. He will be missed.
David Ritchey
Friend
April 22, 2020
My sympathies to all the family, Bob was such a talented and kind person.
James Riley
Acquaintance
April 21, 2020
Thanks Bob for you immense kindness, wit and above all GRACE. You will always be a huge event in my little Life!
w.p. dremak
April 21, 2020
Leslie, Eve and Family
I am so sorry for your loss. May your memories comfort you during this difficult time.
Jody Tolley
April 21, 2020
Carol,
So so sorry that Bob was unable to fight this terrible disease. He was a great guy and great husband to you. He will be missed. May he rest in peace........Naomi Gregg
April 21, 2020
Dear Carol, Eve and family,

We are saddened by Bob's passing and know this is especially true for all of you. Somehow, it is almost as if he had died in a performance but would appear for the final bows. We know this is only fantasy, so we to share with you our sincere condolences and our prayers that you will have the strength to endure these lonely days ahead.

Caesar and Lynda Carrino
Caesar Carrino
April 21, 2020
I have so many wonderful memories of working on his shows at Weathervane! My deepest sympathy to Carol and all his family
Mary Ann Hoyt Bell
April 21, 2020
Our condolences to the family.
Carmela and Austin Kettner
April 20, 2020
Bob and Weathervane were synonymous for me and that will never change. As an actor, I learned so much from him, mainly because he always saw more that I could do to flesh out a character. His directing transferred to my own high school directing, so as an actor and director Bob really affected my life. As a person he was TOPS, so very warm, sincere and willing to go the extra mile for everyone he met. Carol, i am sad for you too...what a perfect couple you were, so vibrant and fun. Bless you. You are in my prayers. Love to you.
Suzy Elderkin
April 20, 2020
I first met Bob when I began my career in the Graphic Arts Industry. We worked on many projects together in the 70's - 80's for Weathervane.
Bob was always welcoming, engaging and helpful to me in my career.
Great conversationalist and wonderful friend. Wish we had kept in touch.
He will be sadly missed by the community. Condolences to the family. Rest In Peace my friend.

Larry Okolish
April 19, 2020
Very sad to learn of Bob's passing. He gave me the unwavering support to learn more and more about my craft as a Technical Director and my art as a designer. His good natured encouragement set meon the course for my career as a professional scenic and lighting designer and as a teachers. Warm thoughts and prayers to the family.
Randall Enlow
Friend
April 19, 2020
Im so sorry for your loss. I have so many wonderful memories of Bob from the seventies. I worked with him both as an actor and a stage manager. He impacted a lot of folks with his productions and knowledge.
Barb Wilt
Acquaintance
April 19, 2020
Bob was a huge influence in my mother's (Harriet DeVeto) acting career in Northeast Ohio. She always loved working with him, and felt he made her a better actress when he was at the helm. My personal favorite has always been their collaboration at Weathervane of Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf. We thoroughly enjoyed Bob and his love of theatre...he will be missed by many.

Wynne Gavin, NYC
April 19, 2020
The Akron Community will really miss this very talentedMan.

Deep Condolences to Carol and his Family
Gerald Goldstein,Scottsdale,Az.
April 19, 2020
have heard quite a lot of Bob Belfance since moving to akron in the mid 60's; and, being a Weathervane Theater fan, was surely entertained many times by his works.
never personally met him, but he certainly changed -- for the better -- local theater, which to me is so awesome.
April 19, 2020
Please accept my sincere sympathy at the passing of Bob.
I had the pleasure of working with Bob for many years while working at UA. He was carrying, friendly, very creative, brilliant, and a pleasure to be around.
He will not be forgotten at the LaGuardia home.
Sincerely
John LaGuardia
John LaGuardia
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