Robert "Bob" Jerry Belk

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Robert "Bob" Jerry Belk, 69, of Show Low, formerly of Payson, died April 26, 2007.

He was born Sept. 8, 1937 in Omaha, Neb. to Charles and Helen Belk. He served in the Air Force as a sergeant from 1956 to 1962, and then moved to Phoenix in 1962, where he worked as a Shamrock distributor, until moving to Payson in 1969.

After moving to Payson, Mr. Belk ran the Whispering Pines General Store, worked at Payson Gas Company, was the manager of Aztec Butane Company, served as a captain of the Payson Volunteer Fire Department, was a deputy with the Gila County Sheriff's Office Reserves and served on the Payson Town Council from 1976 to 1978.

Mr. Belk was instrumental in setting up the EMS system in Payson and the surrounding areas. He took over the ambulance service from Payson Hospital in 1976 and incorporated as Canyon State Ambulance in 1978, which he owned until Sept. 2001.

He was also an instructor at Gila Pueblo College in Payson and Globe, teaching EMTs through paramedics. He retired in 1995, spending winters at his home in Mexico.

He is survived by his wife, Diena Belk of Show Low; sister Jean Robidoux of White Cloud, Kan.; children, Sherri Boss of Phoenix, Robert Belk II of Omaha, Neb.; Matthew Davis of Concho, Ariz., Debbie Benish of Omaha, Neb., Arlene Roberts of Payson, Melanie Benish of Omaha, Neb. and Chuck Belk of Payson; 23 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren.

Mr. Belk was preceded in death by his father, Charles Belk, mother, Helen Belk and his sister, Pat Wheeler.

Graveside services were held at 11 a.m. Friday, May 11, 2007 at Mountain Meadows Memorial Cemetery, Payson. A Celebration of Life gathering immediately followed the service at the Roberts' home, 713 W. Rim View Road, Payson. Anyone wishing to attend is welcome.

The family requests any donations to go to: RTA Hospice, 1789 W. Commerce Dr., Lakeside, AZ 85929.

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