Betty Blair Bellis (10-4-15) service 10-7-15

Betty Lou Blair entered this world by way of Lawndale, California, arriving on Dec. 7, 1924, welcomed by her parents Parker and Viola Brown Blair.
She eventually crossed paths with John William “Bill” Bellis, marrying him on Feb. 27, 1943. Their union lasted 71 years until his death on April 3, 2014.
For a time they lived in Grand Prairie, Texas before making their way to Savannah, where they owned and operated Bellis Botel, an establishment located in the Pickwick area, known for its fried catfish and wonderful hushpuppies. Betty’s homemade pies were also in demand there and the mile-high meringue they featured just made them that much more delicious. Together Betty and Bill operated the restaurant for 43 years before selling it, much to the dismay of their customers.
Betty’s talents were many, encompassing far more than cooking and baking. She loved to recite poetry and was often called upon to entertain folks with one of the many she could readily recall. When asked, she never said no. She also excelled at “bobber kicking” a feat that required balance, flexibility and speed (since it was performed while wearing a dress, as was the custom in the 1950s). The pull chains for the restaurant lights featured fishing bobbers tied to the ends; Betty could stand flat-footed and kick the bobber without ever revealing anything.
As Bill and Betty aged they continued traveling, driving to Alaska each year to go salmon fishing. Betty was a free spirit, a truly happy person with a zest for life and a quick wit and mischievous nature that kept her family constantly amused. Her faith manifested itself through her membership at Hopewell Baptist Church and through her work with the Savannah Chapter of the Gideons Auxiliary International. She also supported the Jackie Gean Shelter for Women, mentoring the young women who passed through those doors, and volunteered at one of the local nursing homes. Betty loved many things in this world, from fishing and traveling, to flowers and friends, but her greatest love was reserved for her God and her family.
Betty’s final days were not easy ones, but she did not complain or question why. She was always asking about someone else, inquiring about their health or an event in their lives. Her pleasant attitude, her constant smile and her cooperative spirit made her a wonderful patient. Her suffering ended on Sunday, Oct. 4, at the age of 90 years, 9 months and 27 days.
She leaves to rejoice in her life, and mourn her passing, her three children, Rita Bellis Abrams Chancy and her husband Jerry of Savannah, Donna Bellis Sinclair and her husband Sam of Martin, Tennessee, and Johnny Bellis and his wife Diane of Savannah, as well as her grandchildren, Diana Abrams Barker and her husband Jay, Lindy Abrams Alexander, Melanie Abrams Burkholder and her husband Shawn, Samuel Louis Sinclair Jr. and his wife Chris, Melissa Sinclair Blackwell Scates and her husband Cory, John Thomas Sinclair and his wife Amanda, Benjamin Bellis Sinclair and his wife Leslie, Stephanie Bellis Warner and her husband Charles, William Hunter Bellis, and Caden Tucker Bellis. Betty also leaves her great-grandchildren, Christen Barker, Ashley Barker Davis, Nicholas Barker, Mark Alexander, Miles Alexander, Bellis Alexander May, Cache Burkholder, Cheney Burkholder, Cailee Sinclair, Carson Sinclair, Savannah Blackwell, Jamison Blackwell, MollyBeth Blackwell, Alexander Sinclair, Emily Grace Sinclair, Kaitlyn Sinclair, Annie Sinclair, Abigail Sinclair, Lincoln Sinclair, Lily Beth Sinclair, Mary Kate Sinclair, Grant Sinclair, twins John Grady Sinclair and Caroline Sinclair, McKinley Warner, Meredith Warner, and Madden Warner, and five great-great-grandchildren.
In addition to her parents and husband, Betty was preceded in death by a daughter, Jean Lillian Bellis who was Johnny’s twin who only lived for 36 hours; a grandson, Keith Abrams; a great-grandchild, Owen Riley Sinclair; a great-great grandchild, Erin Cabler; and her two brothers and two sisters.
Services were held on Wednesday, Oct. 7, at 1 p.m., at Hopewell Baptist Church in Savannah with Rev. Randy Isbell officiating. Burial followed in Memory Gardens at Savannah.

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