Elizabeth Jo Belkonen

November 15, 1954March 26, 2018

Elizabeth Jo Belkonen, 63, of Rogers, Arkansas, died at Circle of Life Hospice in Bentonville, Arkansas on March 26, 2018. Beth’s death resulted from glioblastoma (brain cancer) which was diagnosed two years ago. She was born in November of 1954 to Andrew and Gladys (Salmonson) Belkonen. The youngest of five children, she grew up on the family farm in South Dakota. Beth’s life was filled with education, travel, fulfilling work and making loyal friends. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from South Dakota State University and her MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. Her career in global market research brought her to large international companies including Procter and Gamble, American Express, Terex and PepsiCo. During the 1990’s she worked for AmEx in Tokyo, Hong Kong and London. In more recent years she enjoyed living in CT and NY. Beth was married to Paul Jacob for 10 years. Beth was actively involved in political campaigns for Democrats in several states and worked with the SD legislature and in Senate offices in Washington, DC. She strongly supported women’s issues. Travel worldwide became a passion for Beth. She traveled to all continents and to 140 countries plus all 50 states. In 1996 she helped organize a family trip to Scandinavia. She welcomed year 2000 in Antarctica where the sun first rose on the new millennium. She had a great curiosity and appreciation of different cultures. Even in her final months, Beth was able to revisit nearly half of the United States. She is well known for the many postcards she sent and for her newsy holiday messages. She had a great interest in film, theater, gourmet food and fashion. Survivors include her siblings: Judy (Glenn) Arneson of Hayti, South Dakota, Carolyn (Charles) Childs of Rogers, Arkansas, Annette Belkonen of Rogers, Arkansas and Jim (Vicki) Belkonen of China Grove, North Carolina; cherished nieces and nephews, their families, and friends worldwide. At Beth’s request there will be no service. Arrangements are in the care of Rollins Funeral Home in Rogers, Arkansas. Online condolences can be made at Memorials may be sent to National Public Radio (NPR) or charity of your choice.


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Elizabeth Jo Belkonen

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Vickie Bickenll

April 6, 2018

Our heart goes out to you and your family during this difficult loss. We can not imagine what you are going through. Beth was a very loving person and will be greatly missed.

The Villages of Cross Creek

Kevin Alcott

April 6, 2018

Beth and I worked together in Tokyo and Hong Kong with American Express. I always admired Beth for her spirit of adventure and the most impeccable organization skills that allowed her to travel throughout her life to the over 140 countries (which is not easy). I lived vicariously through her travel adventures and frequent postcards. A great friend, a great person, gone too soon.

Kathy Antonen

April 5, 2018

I remember Beth from the Sunday School and Bible School days at First Lutheran in Lake Norden. What a gal! So sorry for her passing and your loss. She’s off on other grand travels now.
Kathy Antonen

Jo-Ann Daddio

April 2, 2018

My sincerest condolences to everyone on the loss of such a delightful and wonderful woman. I first met Beth in the late 1990's in London when we both worked at American Express and bonded over a shared love of international travel. I remember when my daughter was born in London that Beth's lovely present for Katharine was the first to arrive! As a parent, that's something you never forget and is a simple example of what a thoughtful friend Beth was. Then when we both found ourselves living in Connecticut in the early 2000's, we continued the friendship despite working at different firms. Beth was a guest at our home many times for dinner and we enjoyed trips to NYC for a Broadway show or even simply a great meal. We looked forward to her Christmas letter every year to read about her adventures around the world. Where's Waldo had nothing on Beth! I will miss her wise career counsel, advice on what book to read next, and silly observations on life in general. What an impact she had on so, so many people around the world. Rest in peace dear will certainly be missed! Jo-Ann, Tom and Katharine Larsen

Courtney Trevillion

April 2, 2018

I had the privilege of getting to know Beth through The Buddy Project. Beth shared her story at the beginning of the 12-weeks and I could not believe how consistent she was with showing up to the meetings to support everyone else in the program and her continuous positive attitude. I never once I heard Beth complain and I have so much respect for people going through difficult situations and persevering to enjoy every moment of life they are given! Thank you for sending the beautiful card in memory of Beth. I will make sure it is shared with everyone in the buddy project.

Steve Emslie

April 2, 2018

I met Beth on the cruise ship in Antarctica for the millennium in 1999/2000 and we stayed in touch ever since. I was always impressed by all her travels and looked forward to her annual Christmas letters and updates. She definitely lived life to the fullest and I am so glad to have known her. She will be missed.

Bill and Cathy Zubke

April 2, 2018

To Annette and family. Please accept our heartfelt condolences and sympathies. May your memories provide you comfort and know that you are loved! Bz and cz

Dani Macfarlane

April 2, 2018

Dear Carolyn,
Terry and I are so sorry for the loss of your sister. May your wonderful memories of her sustain you through this sad and difficult time. Love, Dani

Una Creditor

April 1, 2018

I met Beth on a trip through the 5 "Stans" in central Asia. She was one of the brightest, wittiest, intelligent and charming women I have ever met. She was a joy to have as a traveling companion on a strange and exotic adventure. Her quick eye for recognizing the unusual and interesting brought a deeper meaning to our trip. The sun shines a little duller without her.

Doug King

April 1, 2018

I met Beth during a time when we both worked at Pepsi. During the warmer months, we would occasionally walk the Pepsi gardens and talk about life and work. Throughout the year several of us would come together for lunch where, when not talking about current movies or cultural differences from country to country, Beth would share her experiences that could help with the impact of our research.

I am so happy to have known Beth, she will be missed.