Thursday, February 2, 2012

R.I.P. Steve Belle NPHS Class of 1969

For the past several days, John Cregar, Vicki Blasucci and Maria Mijares have been contacting me about the dire medical condition of our fellow classmate Steve Belle (above).  John emailed me this morning with the sad news that he died today.   John has sent me some photos of Steve that I will be posting in the next few days.  If anyone has othe photos or memories of Steve they want to share, please contact me ( or post a comment on this blog.

From communicating with John, I learned that John, Vicki and Maria helped Steve enormously in the last difficult months of his life.  John has taken the time to write about Steve and he wanted to share his thoughts below:

Steve Belle 1951-2012
By John Cregar

Our friend, Steve Belle passed away precisely at midnight last night (February 2) after a prolonged illness.
Steve worked as a painting contractor for many years. More recently, he was employed as a customer support and service representative in the building and lumber trades. He attended Union College in Barbourville, KY.

As most of you know, Steve loved music and was a proficient drummer performing in several rock bands throughout high school and college. Included among these are The Midnight Hour and Foxrush.  Steve was an avid collector and dealer of antique toys specializing in western memorabilia and vintage cap guns. His home is a virtual paraphernalia museum. Most of his rooms are decorated with glass display cases of “Fanner Fifties” Hop-Along Cassidy outfits, and Lone Ranger Lunch Boxes. You name it! Tom Mix? Roy Rogers? Steve’s got it all. I once suggested that he consider donating the collection to the Smithsonian. It's an astonishing collection. (Don’t yet know if he did.)

I am one of several dozen North Plainfielders who have known Steve since Mrs Backer’s second grade class at Stony Brook School. We navigated many childhood shenanigans together which evolved from Mischief Night toilet paper and soap gags through the crazy 1960s. The laughter, kindness, and the positive energy that Steve brought to every occasion will be sorely missed by all of us fortunate enough to grow up with him.

Steve was predeceased by his wife, Vicki who died in 1998; and his father, Frederick. He is survived by his mother, Frances; his daughter, Julie DeRose; his sisters Virginia Fiedler and Diane Cassetta.

Visitation and services will be held from 6:00 to 8:00, Monday, February 6,  at Memorial Funeral Home, 155 South Avenue in Fanwood 07023 (908 322-4350)  Interment will be private. For additional information or to sign the guestbook, visit