Emmaline Irene Belcourt was born July 8, 1931 on a farm in Stillwater, Minnesota to Fred and Irene Leslie. She was one of 11 children and the first in her family to graduate from high school. After graduation she worked for a finance company in downtown Minneapolis doing clerical work. It was during this time that she met the love of her life, Frank Belcourt, on a blind date set up by her boarding house friends. Frank was enlisted in the US Air Force and stationed temporarily at Fort Snelling. After meeting and realizing their love for each other, Frank was transferred to serve at a base in the southern United States, the beginning of their long-distance relationship. On leave, Frank returned to Minneapolis and proposed to Emmy and their journey together began. They were married April 7, 1951. Their union produced four children, Deb, Craig, Dale and Gail and lots of great memories as a family. Emmy was very instrumental in Frank attending college and obtaining a BS Degree at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. She worked and managed three children while he worked at getting his degree. That degree was essential for Frank’s chosen profession as an engineer that would more than adequately provide for their growing family.
After marriage, Emmy followed Frank to Hawaii to be with him as he did his AIr Force tour. There, she taught herself to crochet as she sat alone waiting for Frank to come home at night. From that skill came many doilies and Christmas ornaments she freely gave to all her family. Emmy found that she loved to sew and do crafts. Throughout her many years, her children and grandchildren became the recipients of many of her creative works; dresses for granddaughters, quilted pillows and comforters, crocheted picture frames and her famous dishcloths. She did this until her hands wouldn’t physically cooperate. She then enjoyed her time watching old reruns of The Andy Griffith Show, Bonanza, Little House on The Prairie and of course Gunsmoke. We cannot leave out the many game shows she enjoyed, where she freely let the contestants know that they were “idiots” when they did not get the correct answer.
Emmy is preceded in death by her husband Frank Belcourt, parents Fred and Irene Leslie; brothers Dale, Johnny, Ned and Jimmy; sisters Jessie, Margaret; and grandson Luke Belcourt.
Emmy is survived by her brother Bruce and sisters, Mary June, Helen and Judy; sons Craig (Laura) Belcourt, Dale (Sandra) Belcourt, daughters, Deb (Gerald) Balgaard and Gail (Thomas) Harmeling; grandchildren Brian (Delicia) Balgaard, Kris (Kristin) Balgaard, Annie (Stephen) Johnston, Tim (Steph) Balgaard, Valerie (Matt) Swenson, Monica (Bryan) Garcia, Samantha (Lisa) Belcourt, Sarah Belcourt, Mark (Abby) Belcourt, James (Emma) Belcourt, Dena (Adam) Tremaine, Andrew (Tia) Harmeling. Great grandchildren Maiken, Silas & Maren Balgaard; Brady, Tayson & Max Balgaard; Bennett & Ariana Balgaard; Norah, Nolan & Dakota Johnston; Abigail, Eve & Samuel Swenson; Elijah & Noah Garcia; Preston Belcourt; Charlotte & Sierra Belcourt; Kaylee Ashmore, Alexis & Brody Harmeling.
Emmy’s greatest joy in life was being involved in her children and grandchildren’s lives. She loved to hear all about the details of what was taking place and if she could, she would participate with them in it. In her early years she was always getting everyone together for holidays and cooking large meals to please. She so loved receiving phone calls and hearing of all the adventures. She would stay on the phone as long as you wanted to talk, laughing and enjoying every story.
Emmy traveled with Frank all over the world. From Ireland to Hawaii, to the shores of Long Lake in Minnesota. They adventured through this world together, loving each other and enjoying all the wonderful gifts our Heavenly Father had given them. She was heard saying not long ago, that “Frank and I had a full and enjoyable life. I could not have asked for anything more.”
When Emmy was able, she enjoyed worshiping at Christ’s Church Free Will Baptist in San Tan Valley. She always enjoyed the fellowship and what she would call the “wonderful, sweet ladies” of Christ’s Church as they greeted her. Several of these ladies traveled over 35 minutes to visit and encourage her. She loved her time of bible reading and study. She was always inquisitive and would diligently seek answers to life’s many questions.
Memorial services will be held on August 18 at 1:00 pm at Christ’s Church Free Will Baptist, 431 W. Ocotillo Rd, San Tan Valley, Arizona. The family requests that any memorial gifts be made to Christ’s Church FWB or St. Jude Children’s Hospital.