James (Jim) Evard Belcher, Sr. 93, of Crestwood Village, Frederick, MD passed from this life, on March 8, 2017. He was born in Rocky Gap, VA the son of the late James Robert and Mary Viola Belcher on July 6, 1923.
As a youngster he was known as Evard. He went to work at the age of 8 delivering local newspapers, and the hand bills from local movie theaters. By the age of 10 he was working at his uncle’s restaurant, Camp Comfort. He grew up living in both Princeton, WVA. and Christiansburg, VA. He graduated from Christiansburg High School playing his trombone and singing with the school band. As a teen he worked at the local airport helping wash planes in exchange for flying lessons. Jim enrolled in premed studies, however when WWII broke out he joined the Army Air Corps. He served in the ill-fated 492nd Bomb Group as a gunner. They lost so many planes that the group was broken up and he was transferred to the 466th Bomb Group. He received many medals, and badges, including the Purple Heart, the Air Medal with 5 Oak Leaf Clusters, and the European Campaign Medal with 3 Bronze Stars, the Bronze Arrowhead and the World War II Victory Medal. He was honorably discharged and returned home after he flew 25 missions over Germany, Northern France, and Normandy. He remained a devoted and proud member of the 8th Army Air Corps and a true patriot, throughout his life.
Upon returning home he returned to college and graduated with a degree in accounting. He was offered and accepted a job as Accountant and Office Manager for the Capitol Frito Co. (now the Frito, Lay Co,) He moved to Bethesda, MD and shared an apartment with Les Hart. Les and his wife, Caren introduced Jim to his wife, the former Mary Rapillo. They were married on February 20, 1954. They lived in Silver Spring, MD for 9 years and raised 3 children. The family moved to Damascus, where they lived for 37 years. Jim went to work for the Montgomery County Government as an Accountant in the Finance Department. He retired from that position and then worked part time for King Floor Co in Damascus, MD. Jim joined the Damascus Lions Club and was very active in the club serving on many committees, as Treasurer and President. He received many honors from the club including Lion of the Year, Lion of the Years, and the prestigious Melvin Jones Award. He is currently a life member and serving as Permanent Director. He became involved in the Lions District 22-C serving as Treasurer and became District Governor in 1994. He is also a life member of the American Legion and the VFW.
In 1997 he and Mary moved to Crestwood Village where Jim served on Committees and the Board of Trustees as a member and president. He is a member of the Episcopal Church of Transfiguration in Braddock Heights, MD.
Jim is survived by Mary, his wife of 63 years, and his children, James Evard Belcher, Jr. of Mt. Airy, MD; Dorothy (Dottie) Moss of Frederick, MD; and Janet Dermott and husband Dale of Lamar, MO. In addition he is survived by four grandchildren: Daniel Moss and wife Kathleen of Salisbury, MD; Michael Moss and wife Megan of Frederick, MD; Kristin La Rocca and husband Alessandro of Norfolk, VA; Elizabeth O’Hara and husband Edward of Frederick, MD. He is also survived by six great-grandchildren and many nieces & nephews.
He was predeceased by his parents, his three sisters, Estelle Castor, Evelyn Miles, and Nancy Walker all from Christiansburg, VA, as well as his son-in-law, Mark L. Moss of Frederick, MD. Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, March 13 from the Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration, 6909 Maryland Avenue, Braddock Heights, MD. Family will receive friends at the Church from 9:00 a.m. until time of the service at 11:00 a.m. Rev. Dr. Gordon De La Vars will officiate. Entombment will be made in Resthaven Memorial Gardens, Frederick. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the National Museum of the Mighty 8th Air Force, 175 Bourne Ave. Pooler, GA 31322 or the Damascus Lions Club, P.O. Box 267 Damascus, MD 20872. Donald B. Thompson Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements and guestbook is available at dbthompsonfuneralhome.com.
Charitable donations may be made in James 's memory to the following organizations:
Damascus Lions Club
P.O. Box 267, Damascus, MD 20872
National Museum of the Mighty 8th Air Force
175 Bourne Ave. Pooler, GA 31322