|Death: ||Feb. 21, 2009|
Services for Joshua Brandon "Josh" Belk will be held today at 2 p.m. at Linwood Baptist Church with Bro. Mike Skinner officiating. Burial will follow in Linwood Cemetery with McClain-Hays Funeral Home in charge of arrangements. Mr. Belk, 15, of Philadelphia, died Saturday, Feb. 21, 2009. He was born in Meridian and was a resident of the Linwood community. He was a 9th grader at Neshoba Central High School and was a member of Linwood Baptist Church. He was a motocross racer and he loved spending time with family and friends and he was the class clown. Josh was preceded in death by an infant sister, Ashley Shea Belk. Survivors include his father, Robert Belk, of Philadelphia; his mother, Carla Belk, of Philadelphia; brothers, Robert Wayne "Trey" Belk III, of Philadelphia and Dylan Matthew Belk, of Philadelphia; stepbrother, Caleb Pemberton, of Philadelphia; arriving stepsister, Joshlyn Grace Belk; paternal grandparents, Robert Wayne Belk, Sr. of Meridian and June Covington of Philadelphia; maternal grandparents, Earnest Jackson of Collins and Carolyn Jackson of Meridian; great-grandmother, Corrie Belk of Union; and a host of aunts, uncles, and cousins; and special friends, Carley Ellis, Zach Goss, Michael Beckham, Alex Goforth, and Chase Fairchild. Pallbearers will be Jeremy Watkins, Chase Fairchild, Alex Goforth, Michael Beckham, Ross Belk, Dylan Griffin, Zach Goss and Tyler Kilgore.
Published in The Meridian Star on 2/24/2009
The Neshoba Democrat
Teen who died was class clown
By DEBBIE BURT MYERS
He was the class clown of the ninth grade at Neshoba Central High School, loved motorcross and had a knack for repairing engines.
Joshua Brandon "Josh" Belk, 15, died in a barn fire at a friend's house early Saturday morning where he was apparently sleeping after a party, according to accounts given by his family and the authorities.
The fire destroyed the barn off of Road 539 near Mississippi 16 east commonly known as Thrill Hill Road.
Chief Investigator Ralph Sciple of the Neshoba County Sheriff's Department said a preliminary autopsy report showed that the victim died of smoke inhalation. He declined to officially release the victim's name pending positive identification through dental and other records.
But family members confirmed that it was Belk who died.
Belk was the son of Robert Belk and Carla Belk, both of Philadelphia.
Sciple said officials were notified shortly before 8 a.m. Saturday that a barn at 11351 Road 539 had burned and there was possibly a body inside.
The barn, in the east Neshoba community, was owned by Lisa and Chris Fairchild and was near their home.
"There apparently was a party at that barn Friday night," Sciple said, noting that the barn was divided into rooms resembling a camp house. "There were several young people there that night between the ages of 14 and 17."
The fire wasn't reported until the next morning after the barn had burned to the ground, he said.
Belk was last seen around 12:20 a.m. when others apparently left him there to spend the night, the investigator said.
An extension cord was run from the Fairchild house to the barn to provide electricity, Sciple said.
"They had made a fire in a 55-gallon barrel inside the barn to provide heat," he said.
The cause of the blaze remains under investigation, the authorities said.
County Medical Examiner Allen Collins was called to the scene after the victim's body was found on a mattress inside the rubble.
An official from the state Fire Marshal's office was here on Monday as part of the investigation.
"There was not much left for him to look at as far as determining the origin of the fire," Sciple said. "There was no evidence of any foul play. Right now it just seems like a tragic accident."
Meanwhile, family and friends are mourning the loss of Belk, standing in long lines at McClain-Hays Funeral Home Monday night to pay their respects.
Though visitation was scheduled to end at 9 p.m., friends, mostly teen-agers, continued to arrive. Many had shared their pictures of Belk for a slide show depicting his life.
Belk was a freshman at Neshoba Central High School.
Neshoba County Superintendent of Education George Shaw said middle and high school counselors were available Monday for individual and group counseling as needed.
"Teachers are referring students, as needed, to the counselors," Shaw said. "We are keeping a list of those we have talked to. Our plan is to follow up counseling with these students as needed. The administration will also be in contact with our community mental health facility to address student concerns on an individual basis."
Sue Cochran, his great aunt, said Belk loved school and loved his friends.
Young people were drawn to him because of his personality. He made them laugh, he made them smile, many said.
He also loved his family, she said.
Family members recalled Belk's love of racing, whether on his bike or in his Toyota, which proudly bore No. 88.
"It looks just like Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s car," said his grandfather, Wayne Belk. "Josh was his fan. He went to Talladega and even rode around the track."
Belk also raced at Wynot Speedway in Meridian and at the motorcross earlier this year at the county coliseum.
Belk's father, Robert, owns a boat repair shop at Linwood, while his grandfather owns Belk Marine in Meridian.
Both said that Josh had an innate ability for mechanics.
He could remove a motor from a four-wheeler or boat at a moment's notice, they said.
Josh spent a lot of time at Belk Marine, as evidenced by many of his grandfather's customers who were at the funeral home Monday night, family members said.
"Josh just had a heart of gold," Robert Belk said of his son. "He had the biggest heart. He was always there for me, always there to help me work on stuff. He touched a lot of people's lives. That's one thing I know."
Josh's little brother Dylan, 12, was among family members at the funeral home late Monday night.
"He taught me anything I needed to know," Dylan said. "I'm just lonely that I am not going to be with him any more. But I'll see him some day. I just can't wait. I know he is watching me right now. I just wish I could talk to him. He was one of my best buddies. I just wish I could be with him one more time."
Services were held Tuesday at 2 p.m. from Linwood Baptist Church. Bro. Mike Skinner officiated. Burial followed in Linwood Cemetery under the direction of McClain-Hays Funeral Home.
Belk was born in Meridian and was a resident of the Linwood community and member of the Linwood Baptist Church.
He was preceded in death by an infant sister, Ashley Shea Belk.
Other survivors include another brother, Robert Wayne "Trey" Belk, III of Philadelphia; a step-brother, Caleb Pemberton of Philadelphia; paternal grandparents, Robert Wayne Belk, Sr. of Meridian and June Covington of Philadelphia; maternal grandparents, Earnest Jackson of Collins and Carolyn Jackson of Meridian; great-grandmother, Corrie Belk of Union; and a number of aunts, uncles, and cousins.
Pallbearers were: Jeremy Watkins, Chase Fairchild, Alex Goforth, Michael Beckham, Ross Belk, Dylan Griffin, Zach Goss, Tyler Kilgore and Haden Johnson.
Maintained by: Dottie Gilder
Originally Created by: Mona Hura
Record added: Feb 24, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 34155849
I miss you every single day my son, You are missed more than words can say. Please wait for me,someday I'll be there, I carry you in my heart forever & always! I love u and miss u so much Josh Belk! Love always, Mom 😚|
Added: Mar. 24, 2016
With much love, until we meet again.|
Added: Nov. 23, 2010
Added: Feb. 24, 2009