Ella Belle (Belle) Lightburn, 95, passed away in Ripon, CA on October 28, 2013. She was the only child of Marion Keys Harvey Wiese and James Harvey. Belle was born in Brockway, PA and lived there until she was eight. She remembered flipping the switch to turn on the town’s first electricity at a plant owned by her grandfather, William Keys. She then moved to Long Beach, CA. It was here that the great earthquake (6.5) of 1933 leveled her Poly High School, forcing students into improvised classrooms.
In 1941, she married Joseph Garfield Lightburn. He enlisted in the Navy, and they were stationed at Pearl Harbor. At the time of the Japanese attack, they were asleep in their quarters. At the sound of the bombs dropping, they ran out and looked up into the cockpit to see a pilot’s face. Joe remained in the service during the war, continued in the reserves and retired as a commander.
Belle and Joe moved many times in the ensuing years before settling in San Pedro, CA. It was here that their two daughters, Sally Ann and Molly Jo, were born. Joe would eventually retire from the Los Angeles Unified School District as an adult school principal. Belle was a loving housewife and mother. When Joe retired, they moved to Green Valley, AZ. In 2003, Belle moved to Manteca, CA to be close to her daughter, Molly.
Belle was active in the sorority Beta Sigma Phi and enjoyed playing monthly bridge with Joe and five other couples. They were both active members of the Retired Military Officers Association. She loved spending time with family and friends. She was an excellent cook, and many remember wonderful meals around the family dining table.
Belle was preceded in death by her parents, her husband of 40 years, Joe, who passed in1981 and her daughter Sally Schulze Roy, who passed in 1991, both were taken by cancer.
Belle is survived by her daughter Molly Mohjer and husband Michael of Manteca, CA, her grandson Ray Schulse and wife Michelle of Valley Springs, CA and children RJ and Summer; her granddaughter Amy Schulze, life partner Eugene Schmidt of Orlando, FL and children Jessica, Eugene Jr. and Kristopher.
The family is grateful for the excellent care provided by the staff at Bethany Skilled Nursing Home. There will be no service, per her wishes. Donations may be made to cancer research or an animal fund. She always had a soft spot in her heart for pets.
Manteca (Calif.) Bulletin
Friday, November 8, 2013