Cover photo for George "Del" Belcher, Jr.'s Obituary
George "Del" Belcher, Jr. Profile Photo
1933 George 2023

George "Del" Belcher, Jr.

January 5, 1933 — April 19, 2023

Scotts

George Delbert Belcher Jr., age 90, went to be home with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Wednesday, April 19, 2023. Del was born January 5, 1933, to George D. and Virgie Belcher in St.
Joseph, Missouri. Del graduated from Clayton High School in 1951 where as a junior he was a member of their undefeated football team and then as a senior he served as the co-captain of the team. He was also vice president of the student body, and he was the Pepper King for the school’s fall homecoming event. Upon graduation from high school, he attended Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. He graduated in 1955 with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. The same week of his graduation he married the love of his life Julia D. Wilson. In college, Del had participated in the ROTC program and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the US Army upon graduation. He spent six months on active duty at Fort Bliss, Texas, in the surface to air missile school. He was trained to command Nike missile batteries which were designed to eliminate enemy aircraft. He served for seven and a half years in the active reserve as an artillery battery commander with the rank of captain. He was honorably discharged in 1964.

Del began work at Caterpillar Tractor Company in Peoria, Illinois, in 1955 as a research engineer. He became the supervising engineer and then manager of the newly constructed diesel engine
and gas turbine development laboratory in Mossville, Illinois, where he personally designed the 72 engine test cells, many of which are still in use to this day. He then became manager of the
vehicle structure division doing stress analysis and fatigue testing of tractor structures. He then became manager of the track vehicle development division at the Peoria proving ground and
later the director of product and service quality at Caterpillar World Headquarters. He retired in 1990 after 35 years of service. During this time, Del attended Grace Presbyterian Church in Peoria, Illinois, a large conservative evangelical church, where he taught adult Sunday school for over 30 years and served as the music director and a marriage and premarital biblical counselor. He served as an elder for 25 years and was given elder emeritus status when he moved to Michigan in 2003. In Michigan, Del became a member and served at Cherry Creek Community Church in Portage as an elder. In 2020, he became a member of Oakwood Bible Church in Kalamazoo. Del was a committed follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. Del had written, “My life has been successful far beyond my expectations and beyond what I deserved: ‘For the Lord is good, for His mercy endures forever’ (Jeremiah 33:11).”

Del was a lifelong learner and enjoyed sailing, golf, walking, reading, studying theology, running, weightlifting, and attending his children’s games and events. He loved anything sung by Perry
Como and the Lettermen. He survived a brain tumor and a quintuple heart bypass operation with no long-term ill effects.

Del is survived by Julia, his wife of nearly 68 years; his four children, George D. (Nancy) Belcher III, Paul C. (Barbara) Belcher, Elizabeth B. (Robinson) Rider, and Bradley S. (Kathleen) Belcher; 15 grandchildren; and 22 great-grandchildren; a sister Joan (Robert) Teachout; several nieces and nephews. Del is predeceased by his parents; brother Richard P. (Maryann) Belcher Sr.; and grandson Clark Rider.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, April 29, at 11:00 am at Oakwood Bible Church, 4100 Oakland Drive, Kalamazoo, Michigan, with visitation before the service from 9-11:00 am. There will be a committal service at Portage South Cemetery, and a luncheon immediately following the committal back at the church.

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Saturday, April 29, 2023

9:00 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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Celebration of Life Service

Saturday, April 29, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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Graveside Service

Saturday, April 29, 2023

12:30 - 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Luncheon

Saturday, April 29, 2023

Starts at 1:30 pm (Eastern time)

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