Sept. 25, 1945-May 10, 2018
At the age of 72, Belva Menicucci, on May 10, 2018 passed peacefully with her beloved family by her side. She chose to spend her last days at the Deer Lodge home of her grandson Garrett, wife Trina and enjoying her great-grandson Ryker. For years, Belva battled for her health and left family wondering if she may still sit up and say, “Just kidding.” Those left behind take comfort in knowing she is once again with her husband and soulmate Louie and their daughter Becky while rocking her grandchildren.
Belva was born on Sept. 25, 1945, in Anaconda, Montana to Al and Ruth Pierce. She had four siblings — Don Murray, Larry Pierce, Bill Pierce, and Linda Knadler. She attended Anaconda High School and graduated in 1963. It was there she met the love of her life and life-long best friend, Louie. They married in 1962. Within a short time Belva and Louie were raising their four daughters and one son. Their family was complete when joined by three more daughters. That was also when Louie (a baker his whole life) and Belva moved their family to Deer Lodge and opened the Old West Bakery on Main Street. Son Louie continues the tradition and runs the family bakery to this day.
Belva was as unique a woman as her name. She was a remarkable woman who had a huge impact on her family. She was strong, brave, and stubborn. She knew hardship. You could always depend on her to keep her promise. She was the cornerstone of our family. Momma, mother of eight, grandma to so many more, passed her strength onto her family which she always saw as her greatest accomplishment. Some of her fondest memories were with family behind the bakery counter serving friends and the community. This is her legacy -- the family and community that loved her.
Belva is survived by daughters, Dawn Marie Wagner, Kim (Dave) Jones, Ginny Menicucci (Steve Kremer), Angie (Dirk) Malmberg, Dee (Brian) Wolter and Susan (Jim) Schimming; son, Louie Menicucci IV; sons-in law, Richard Kent, Jimmy Close, Cary Foster, and Gary Chilcotte; grandchildren, Brandon (Ashley) Kent, Garrett (Trina) Kent, Zane Foster, Zach Foster, Alisha (Cash) Yount, Kylie (Jordan) Welsh, Morgan Close (Marlon Stewart), Preston Malmberg (Trevor), Brittany Malmberg, Trent Surina, Jaymin Schimming, Skyla Schimming, Shelby Jones, Christie Shelton, Tanya Chilcott, Brian (Kenley Chilcott), Lance Albert, Autumn Gaston (Marcus Sweeten), Tyler Wolter (Bailey Close), Randi (Kyle) Brashear, and Kodee Wagner; and her seven cherished great-grandchildren, Toby, Gracie, Logan, Ryker, Coraline, Kiya, Deven and eighth on the way Baby (Brandon and Ashley) Kent. She is also survived by brother and friend, Bill Pierce; sister-in-law, Kris Menicucci; sister-in-law, Ann Marie Jette, and so many more nieces, nephews, and cousins. Everyone that knew her will miss her and her smiling face -- especially those that called her Mom, Grandma, Nemo, Grandma Go Slow, Aunt, and other beloved names.
She was preceded death in by her husband, Louie; daughter, Becky; grandsons, Vincent and Teddy; brothers, Don and Larry; and sister, Linda.
A celebration of life and luncheon will be held on May 20th at 3 p.m. at the Elks Lodge, 230 Main Street, Deer Lodge, Montana. Burial of ashes by the family will be held at a later date.
Memorials are suggested to Frontier Home Health and Hospice (Friends of Hospice, 1940 Dewey Blvd, Butte, Montana 59701); Easter Seals-Goodwill Highlands Hospice & personal care, and Powell County Senior Citizens (100 Missouri Ave, Deer Lodge, Montana 59722);
We continue to find guidance and hope in two of Belva’s favorite sayings, “Don’t borrow sorrow from tomorrow.” and “Turn your scars into stars.”