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Kenneth Bellamy, 86, fought while wounded on the Korean War front line

obit flagKenneth Bellamy, of Bolivia, died Monday, Aug. 31, 2015, at Dosher Memorial Hospital. He was 86.

Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015, at Southport Baptist Church, 200 N. Howe St., Southport. Burial will follow at Northwood Cemetery with military honors. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service.

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith.–2 Timothy 4:7

Kenneth was born Aug. 10, 1929, son of the late Ollie Chester and Ethel Hankins Bellamy. He was preceded in death by his sister, Rosa Lee Price. Kenneth joined Little Macedonia Baptist Church at a young age and remained a faithful member until his death. When his health began to decline his attendance waned, but he attended whenever he was able. He also attended Friendship Missionary Baptist Church with his wife, Malissa, on occasion.

Kenneth was definitely not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Kenneth attended Royal Oak Elementary and graduated from Brunswick County Training School in Southport in 1948. He was attending North Carolina A&T in Greensboro when he decided to enlist in the U.S. Army in 1950. This was one of the many unselfish acts that Kenneth performed to help out his family.

Kenneth was severely wounded on the battlefield of Korea and he recounted the story of being sent back to the front line with an open wound that he had to care for himself. He was wounded twice in Korea and returned home as a decorated war veteran.

He received the Combat Infantry Badge, two Purple Hearts (with one bronze Oakleaf Cluster), a Korean Service Medal with three Battle Stars, a Good Conduct Medal, Presidential Unit Citation and most recently received a certificate and Ambassador Medal commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Korean War.

Kenneth completed his college education after returning home from the war by attending Fayetteville State University. In 1960, he received a degree in elementary education and began his career as a teacher and principal at Piney Grove Elementary in Bolivia. Other teaching opportunities followed: He was a teacher and counselor at Leonard School (McCain); teacher at Brunswick County Training School (Southport); and teacher at Tabor City West Elementary (Tabor City).

He never accepted excuses from his students or his kids. One of his most often heard quotes was “Old man Can’t died when Try came along.” As a teacher, as a father and as a friend, he always pushed you to be your best, nothing less. Kenneth retired from teaching and became a longshoreman working the docks at Sunny Point and Wilmington for over 15 years.

He served as secretary and treasurer for ILA Local #1838 for 10 years until his retirement. He was not afraid of work and instilled in his children that the only way to have anything was to work hard. He always warned “Don’t be like the crow and wait on another bird to build a nest. Build your own.”

On Sept. 17, 1954, Kenneth married his high school sweetheart Malissa Jane Brown in Wilmington. This union of almost 61 years was blessed with four children, five grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Kenneth was active in the community before his health began to fail.

He was a member of Pythagoras Lodge No. 6 F.&A.M., American Legion, Disabled Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars, NABVETS (National Association for Black Veterans), Brunswick County Democratic party and lifetime member of the NAACP. He served as trustee on the board at Dosher Memorial Hospital and was a member of the BEMC board and the Governor’s Workforce Development Board.

Kenneth loved fishing and gardening. Although confined to a wheelchair, he continued to grow vegetables on his deck. No doubt, he had a green thumb. In addition to the abundance of vegetables in his container garden, he also grew beautiful flowers.

Kenneth leaves to cherish his memories his loving wife, Malissa, of the home; children, Verida Sarratt (Larry), of Huntersville, Michael Bellamy (Ellen), of Albuquerque, New Mexico and Norfrette Bellamy and Bridget Bellamy, both of Southport; grandchildren, Kristi Bellamy, Amo Bellamy (Arlene), Malissa Lyons (George), Marcus Bellamy and Jason Palmer; six great-grandchildren; sisters, Barbara Wilson, of Kinston and Ethel Bellamy, of Petersburg, Virginia; brothers, Luther Bellamy, of Washington, D.C. and Tennyson Bellamy, of Supply; sisters-in-law, Virginia Bellamy, of Supply, Violet Gill, of Fayetteville, Rebecca Smith, of Southport and Anna Clemmons (Harvey), of Boiling Spring Lakes; brothers-in-law, George Riggs, of Yonkers, New York and Harvey Clemmons; special nephews, Alfred Bellamy, Dana Clemmons, Dwight Price and Harvey Clemmons Jr.; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends who loved him very much.

Please leave online condolences for the family at Davis Funeral Home.

To view the full list of Port City Daily obituaries, click here.

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