Walter Belleville II, 2/1/27 to 7/22/04
Walter Belleville II, 77, died at his home in Vail on July 22, finally succumbing to a long battle with illness. Belleville moved to Vail permanently 10 years ago but had previously been a regular visitor. He first arrived in 1969.Belleville, born in New York City on Feb. 1, 1927, had a life-long love affair with sports, especially those outdoors and those very, very fast, friends and family members said.
His sense of adventure may have stemmed from when he pulled on his first set of skis, at age 3. As a teenager he became the youngest Eagle Scout in America and later in life he took up motor yachting, tennis, swimming, traveling and became a fully qualified pilot, friends and family members said. Belleville trained at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at King’s Point, N.Y. in 1947. He was associated with the sea throughout his life, becoming an officer in charge of marine inspection for the U.S. Coast Guard and piloting a tanker for Texaco. He was just as successful in the boardroom as he was on the piste or the ocean; a long and varied career in sales took him to Minnesota, where he was a sales vice president for Gelco, and Fresno, Calif., where he was invited to turn around a Caterpillar tractor business, friends and family members said. Belleville also sat on the board of directors for a New York Stock Exchange listed company.
Family members said Belleville showed his ingenuity when he was commuting to work in California. He was continually getting speeding tickets, despite there being no police cars on the road around him. Belleville looked up and found that California police patrolled traffic from the sky. He couldn’t beat them, so he decided to join them, and from that day to the day he retired he commuted to work by plane, family members said. Belleville was preceded in death by first wife, Marylin Kiefer, who died at a relatively young age. He married Linda Pagel on New Year’s Eve, 1981 in Las Vegas. Belleville and his bride flew in and out on his own plane and stayed only 24 hours in Nevada.
Along with his wife, Belleville is survived by his children, Walt III, Robert, David, Jeanne and Emily. A memorial service will be held at Vail Interfaith Chapel at 4 p.m., Monday. Memorials may be sent to Vail Valley Home Health and Mountain Hospice, P.O. Box 40000, Vail, CO, 81658.