JAMES DAVID BELTON
October 2, 1926 ˜ July 19, 2019
James David Belton passed away peacefully on July 19, 2019 in Vancouver, WA at the age of 92. He was born an only child in Cleveland, OH on October 2, 1926.
After graduating from the Mary Potter Redstone Albion Academy on May 9, 1943 in Oxford, NC, James joined the Navy where he became a member in the second class of black radiomen produced by the Navy. Eventually, he was assigned to the LST 861 serving as the only radioman aboard the postal ship for the atomic bomb test at Bikini Atoll. James returned to Durham, NC after his discharge from the Navy in 1947 where he attended North Carolina College for 2 years.
When he developed another serious case of wanderlust, he decided to return to the military. James enjoyed his naval tour, but didn’t relish a lifetime of cruising around the Pacific Ocean. He wanted to see Europe, so he chose to enter the Air Force where his dream was realized. Out of 21 years, he had two stateside assignments with the remaining time spent in Europe, Turkey, and Thailand. His travels eventually took him to Edinburgh, Scotland where he met the lady who was to become his wife and the mother of his children, Joan Chalmers. Asking her to marry him was the most intelligent decision he ever made. James has often told her this, but he doesn’t think she every really believed him. Believe him!!
Three children resulted from this union_David, Lesley, and Julie. David and his ex-partner, Jessica Gregg and their daughters, Kathryn and Eleanor, live in Corvallis, OR. Lesley, Julie, her husband Andre and son Jordan live in Vancouver. Jim and Joan are extremely proud of their family. They approach life in a positive manner. May God continue to protect, guide, and bless them.
James retired from the Air Force in 1973 at Wurtsmith AFB, Michigan, where he was assigned to the 524th Bomb Squadron as a clerk. The crew members always asked where he would retire to and he didn’t really know. He didn’t want a hot climate or crowds. Many had been assigned to Washington previously and enjoyed their tour, so they suggested Washington. He read everything the library had on this state, obtained a subscription to The Columbian and a catalog of Clark College. All these resources impressed him, so we came out.
After graduating from Clark College, he found employment at the Vancouver School District as the Employee Assistance Program-Title IX Prohibition-Sexual Harassment Prohibition and Affirmative Action Officer. He really enjoyed the fourteen years he spent in this role.
The family will celebrate Jim’s life at a private ceremony in the near future.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation in his name to the charity of personal choice.
Please sign his guest book @ www.columbian.com/obits