James Burl Belk, Jr.
January 21, 1922 – May 19, 1960
Born in Roundaway, Mississippi to James Burl Belk, Sr. and Mamie Ailene Buckner, he was the second child and the oldest son of his soon to be twelve brothers and sisters. He attended Linn school, leaving in 1940 to join the Civilian Conservation Corps, in hopes of helping his parents. He arrived on October 3, 1940, at Camp Wells, near Elko, Nevada in the Ruby Mountains. Eventually, this property was used a Girl Scout camp for many years.
During his time in the Civilian Conservation Corps in Nevada, he learned heavy equipment operations, construction techniques and other skills which he used for rest of his life.
Returning to Mississippi, he married Georgia Wiggers. The day after their marriage in 1941, Pearl Harbor was bombed and he was called to the US Army immediately. He served for three years until the end of the war.
Re-establishing his home in Mississippi, not far from his birthplace, he and Georgia were sharecroppers, as their parents and grandparents before them had been. They had three daughters, Mamie Elizabeth, Gloria Lynn, and Dianne.
Referring often to his time in Nevada, he spoke with respect of the beautiful mountains, the clear air and the friendly people.
He was well on his way toward improving his family’s life using his Nevada-learned skills, when he died in an accident at age 38.
His daughter, Dianne Belk, is a lifetime Girl Scout and the Founding Chair of the Juliette Gordon Low Society, formed by Girl Scouts of the USA to honor its founder and those who chose to remember Girl Scouts in their will and estate plans.
In honor of her father, Dianne and her husband, Lawrence Calder, have committed a $250,000 estate gift to be directed to camping experiences for the Girl Scouts of the Sierra Nevada when matching gifts are obtained.