George Dale Belcher, MD, Colonel USAF (ret) was born on June 10, 1934, to Charles Peter and Ola Sybil (Snow) Belcher, in Kansas City, MO, and died in Coffeyville, KS, on May 9, 2021. His school years were spent in Independence, KS, with his sisters, Mary Lou, Helen, Mona, Virginia, and Norma. During an introductory Bible class at Wheaton College (IL), he met Cora Pauline Fry whom he married on August 25, 1955. George studied chemistry at the University of Kansas, graduating in 1956 and moving on to KU Medical School followed by a general internship in Williamsport, PA. After 2 years in the US Navy, he began family practice in Columbus, KS, in 1963, where he welcomed many newborns into the world and cared for countless patients over 22 years. Dr. Belcher was board certified by the American Academy of Family Practice and earned Flight Surgeon Certification. Concurrently with private practice, he served 8 years in the Navy Reserve before entering active duty with the US Air Force in 1985, serving at Tinker (OK), Incirlik (Turkey), Langley (VA), and Ellsworth (SD) bases before retiring in 1995. Returning home to Independence, KS, allowed him to actively be Grandpa for the three local sets of grandchildren as well as traveling to visit the others. He was active in Men’s Bible study, financial administration, food distribution, choir, and Sunday School at the First United Methodist Church. George’s community involvement also included the SEK Iris Club, Habitat for Humanity-Montgomery County, and mentoring at Washington and Jefferson Elementary Schools. He was able to indulge his love for travel with trips to Canada, Scotland, Israel, and Alaska. His love for the natural world was expressed through gardening, nurturing trees, watching birds, and tirelessly recording weather information for Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network. A recognized tree farmer, he spent decades involved in timber stand improvement and developed a family pecan orchard. The Kansas Forest Service selected George for the Kansas State Forestry Stewardship Award in 1998. George freely shared his knowledge with others throughout his life, helping children with 4-H projects like beekeeping and forestry, serving as a preceptor for 4th year medical students, and teaching Bible literacy in various settings.
Dr. Belcher was preceded in death by both parents and three sisters and one daughter-in-law, Mona. He is survived by his wife, Cora, sisters, Virginia (Gerry) Jones and Norma (Jim) Baxter, and children, Dale (Nancy) Belcher, Rita (Merlin) Friesen, Tim (Ruth) Belcher, Mark (Karen) Belcher, Amy (Ted) Ferm, and Tina Ferguson as well as 18 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.
Services will be 10AM Saturday, May 15, 2021, First United Methodist Church, Independence, KS, under the direction of Webb & Rodrick Chapel and Crematory. No visitation. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to FORPAZ. Memorials can be sent in care of Webb and Rodrick Chapel, 306 W. Main St. Independence, KS 67301. To leave the family a special message of condolence, please visit, www.webbrodrickchapel.com.
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