James (Jim) Richard Bellatti was born July 7, 1927 in Blackwell, Oklahoma and passed away peacefully surrounded by family on December 13, 2016 in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Born the fifth child of C.R. and Edith Bellatti, Jim spent 12 memorable years in Blackwell before the family moved to Stillwater upon the purchase of two local newspapers.
It was while attending Stillwater High School that Jim met the love of his life, Louise Crosnoe. They graduated in 1945. After serving in the U.S. Navy, he was honorably discharged and returned to Stillwater to marry Louise on December 20, 1947. Together, they attended Oklahoma A&M and enjoyed the life of college students in post-war America. Jim also took an interest in the family businesses, working at both the Stillwater News-Press and KSPI radio. Eventually he became part owner of both with his brother Lawrence "Chub" Bellatti. He retired from professional life as publisher and editor of the News-Press in 1997.
While leading an active professional life, Jim also followed his passion for service. He was an active member and leader in many organizations from the local to the national and international levels. Locally, Jim served his community as President of the Stillwater YMCA, Director of the Stillwater-Payne County Civil Defense, President of the Oklahoma Press Association, President of the Oklahoma Broadcasters Association, President of the Stillwater Chamber of Commerce. He served Oklahoma State University as Chairman of The Friends of Old Central, member of the Alumnae Association Board, Centennial Advisory Commission, and Board of Governors of the Foundation. He served the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A. as an Elder, Executive Presbyter of Cimarron Presbytery, General Assembly delegate, Adjunct Trustee and Chairman of the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A., Foundation, and Trustee and Board Member of Dwight Mission and Trustee for College of the Ozarks. He served the YMCA as President of the Board of the YMCA of the Rockies, President of the National Council of YMCA of the USA, and President of the World Alliance of the YMCA. He received numerous honors and recognition for his service.
Jim often said he was only able to serve with the support of his family and co-workers, along with God's blessing. He was a man of high moral standard and great empathy. He was a tireless advocate of the disadvantaged and oppressed; no one was his lesser and he treated all he met with respect. He will be remembered as a devoted husband, devout Christian and loving father, grandfather, great -grandfather and brother. His foremost priority and main joy was his family. Nothing brought him greater pleasure than bringing everyone together in a spirit of love and camaraderie. He was often referred to by his children as "the Governor." May his memory reign in our hearts forever more.
Jim is survived by his wife of 69 years, Louise Crosnoe Bellatti. He is also survived by his three daughters: Jane Armstrong, her husband Dave, and their children Cayley Armstrong Mosca, her husband Nick and their daughter Eloise, and Quade and fiancé Erin Mason; Susie Glasscock, husband Kirby, and their children Kelly Caselman, her husband Craig and their daughters Shanelle, Victoria, and Kelsey, Kacey Luster and husband Greg and their children Kaitlyn and Jack, and Taylor; Becky Bittle, husband Bob, and their children Josh and wife Tiffanie, Elspeth, and Jamie and fiancé Abee; daughter-in-law Pam Bellatti (widow of son, Rick Bellatti) and their 3 sons, Joey and wife Tara, Ryan and wife Sarah, and Brad. Jim was preceded in death by his parents, siblings and son, Rick.
A Celebration of Life will be held at First Presbyterian Church located at 524 South Duncan in Stillwater, Oklahoma on Wednesday, December 28, 2016 at 10 am. The family requests joyous colored clothing as a fitting part of the celebration. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Stillwater Family YMCA, the First Presbyterian Church of Stillwater, the OSU Foundation or the Oklahoma Press Association Foundation. Donations may be mailed to Palmer Marler Funeral Home, 5106 North Washington, Stillwater, OK, 74075.
Published on December 16, 2016