October 27, 1923 – March 5, 2020
Ivan Belcher, 96, of Mossyrock, Wash., beloved husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather and great-great-grandfather, passed away March 5, 2020, in West Jordan, Utah. The son of Jerimiah and Minnie (Rider) Belcher, Ivan was born Oct. 27, 1923. He was the youngest of nine children and grew up in Swafford Valley, Wash. At the age of 17, he enlisted in the United States Navy June 13, 1941. Ivan completed recruit training in San Diego, Calif., July of 1941, and was assigned to the USS California, stationed at Pearl Harbor. On Dec 7, 1941, a day that will live in infamy, amongst the chaos of Pearl Harbor, he was listed as among the dead and relatives were notified of his passing. As a matter of fact, he survived and was reassigned to the USS Minneapolis during the battle of Guadalcanal. The ship was torpedoed and once again he was listed among the dead. The notification of death was again sent to relatives and then clarification of surviving was communicated. Ivan, being very much alive continued to serve the Navy. He served on the USS California from July of 1941 to December of 1941, the USS Minneapolis from 1941to 1945, the USS Midway, from 1945 to 1952, USS John Paul Jones from 1955 to 1957, USS Hull from 1957 to 1960, and the USN Reserve from 1960 to 1961. Ivan also served as a naval recruiter in Kalispell, Mont., from 1953 to 1955. He retired from the Navy in Colorado Springs, Colo., July of 1961. During his tenure with the Navy, he married June Anderson, in San Francisco, Calif., June 26, 1943, and they had three children, Mary, Linda and Stephen. He remained in Colorado Springs and worked for the Civil Service at Fort Carson until he retired in 1981. After purchasing June’s mothers small berry farm in 1981, June and Ivan moved back to Mossyrock, Wash. He became a widower Sept. 23, 1998, with the passing of his wife, June. He remarried Pearl Cicelski Jan. 23, 1999, until her passing March 14, 2005. In 2006, for health and age reasons, and through the invitation from his son, Stephen and his wife, Debbie, he sold the farm and moved to Salt Lake City to live with them. He was cared for by his daughter-in-law, Debbie. Ivan enjoyed what we called “tinkering”. Where everything that could be made better was modified to fit his needs. There is a letter of recommendation from the commanding officer of the USS Hull to the commanding officer, of the US Naval Reserve Center in Colorado springs, stating “CPO Belcher would be a credit to any command as in several cases he has assembled apparatus of his own design to improve calibration” (tinkering). Wood working was also one of the many things he enjoyed. Ivan is survived by son, Stephen (Debbie) Belcher of West Jordan, Utah; one daughter, Linda (Norm) Moore of Spokane, Wash.; stepson, Steven (Lynn) Cicelski of Seabeck, Wash.; stepdaughters, Caroline (Bruce) Hamilton of Hidden Lake, Calif., and Janie (Dr. Charles) Plante; 10 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild. He was preceded in death by his spouses, June (Anderson) Belcher and Pearl (Cicelski) Belcher; daughter, Mary Belcher; parents; and eight siblings. A special thank you to Debbie Belcher, as she was the main care taker of Ivan for 14 years. She took initiative to make sure that he stayed healthy and comfortable. Without her care and effort, his longevity would not have been possible. Through all his stubbornness, she was enduring and considerate to the end. We invite you to share your thoughts and fond memories with our family through these sites: www.brownmortuary.com, www.serenityfhs.com. At this time services are being postponed.
- Graveside Service
March 14, 2020
I am a step-grandson of Ivan, though I've always seen him as my grandpa. In 2014 I was passing through Salt Lake City on a road trip and decided to get Papa Ivan's details so I could pay him a visit. My friend and I were welcomed by his son and daughter in law, then spent a couple hours with him. He told us stories about Pearl Harbor, I was so fascinated by his bravery and the ability to recount these details so many years later. Now that my memory faults me just 6 years later (at my young age of 28) I wish I had written down everything he said or recorded the conversation, but there is one piece I took away. As we wrapped up our conversation he wanted to take a photo of the two of us on his digital camera, which was probably dated about 10 years or so. We did a couple takes, then he promptly sat at his computer (also dated 10 years or so), plugged in the camera, loaded the photos on to some editing software, cropped the photo just so, and printed it out on some glossy paper. Don't get me wrong, he made lots of mistakes on the way and got confused, he seemed to have a love/hate (mostly hate) relationship to computers, which was very cute and funny, and made it all the more endearing that he would go through the effort to print a photo for me. I'll have to dig up the photo from my parents place next time I'm there and post it up, but with or without it the memory lives on 😊
Miss you and love you forever Papa Ivan!
March 13, 2020
I am Caroline Cicelski Hamilton, eldest of Pearlie's three children. I called Ivan "Popseigh" and he called me "Liz" always. I never called him my stepfather. That seemed cold to me; we were very close and had so much fun together! I have a book full of memories of Popseigh. I will share one of my favorites. I flew home from The Azores to spend a week with him and my dear Mommie. After dinner on a few nights, I would find them dancing together in their kitchen to Stevie Wonder songs! They were so much in love, it was truly precious. Popseigh Ivan is my hero for many reasons. He knew it, too. He called me two days before he went to heaven. We told each other how much we loved each other, as always. What a gift from God!