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 Belva Lenora <I>Lett</I> LaRue

Belva Lenora Lett LaRue

Newton County, Missouri, USA
Death 11 Jun 1982 (aged 93)
Neosho, Newton County, Missouri, USA
Burial Fidelity, Jasper County, Missouri, USA
Memorial ID 6286145 · View Source
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Belva Lenora Lett was born near Baynham Branch, a tributary of Shoal Creek, about 1.5 miles NE of Tipton Ford and 5.5 miles from Diamond, in Newton County, Missouri. She was the third of four children born to her parents Beverly Ward and Laura A (Benschoter) Lett. Only her older sister Edna and she would survive childhood.

She attended Joplin schools, was active in sports when a young girl and woman, and played on the 1904 Girl's Basketball Team for Joplin High School. She also displayed an artistic talent with pen and ink drawings and charcoal sketches, and illustrated the cover of one of the issues of her high school literary magazine.

After her 1905 graduation from Joplin High School, Belva taught school in Joplin at Garfield, then Lafayette grade schools. She also was active in the YWCA Gym Classes--serving as Physical Director at the Y circa 1909-1913.

At the time of her marriage in Joplin to Jesee Lee LaRue on April 26, 1913, Jesse (born in Carl Junction, but raised in Joplin) was working in the mines at Mullan, Shoshone County, Idaho. Belva moved to Mullan and their daughter Beverly June was born there.

They did not remain in Idaho long, and relocated to the midwest to Quapaw, Oklahoma, where by 1918 Jesse was working as the Superintendent for the Melrose Mining Company.

Belva, Jesse and Beverly remained there for several years, and by 1921 moved to Joplin, where Jesse worked as a salesman for his brother-in-law Charlie Stauffer's broom company, and Belva returned to teaching, at Emerson grade school.

The following year, Belva was able to combine her love of education with her artistic talent, and became the Art Supervisor for the Joplin schools. She worked in that position for many years while raising their daughter, Beverly, who would also enter the teaching profession.

Jesse opened his own radiator repair shop, and Belva continued her work in education and art, infusing her love of the creative in her grandchidren when they came along.

Jesse died in 1948. Belva continued to work as Art Supervisor for the school system until the death of her daughter Beverly's husband Frank Pickett, in 1955. Belva retired after the 1956/57 school year to care for and nurture the daughter and grandchildren she loved so much. Her daughter Beverly preceded her in death in 1972.

When she was no longer able to live alone, following a small stroke, she moved in with her beloved nieces, Bettie and Beryl Stauffer, who lived in Neosho. Belva died peacefully in her sleep, one month shy of her 94th birthday, and under the loving care of her nieces in their home.

Belva left a rich heritage of selflessness, Christianity, passion for art and creativity, and a love of education, good books, grammar and gardening, for a family of grandchildren and great-grandchildren who will always mourn her passing from this life.


Family Members



Belva Lett LaRue
July 11, 1888
June 11, 1982




  • Maintained by: Margaret Pickett
  • Originally Created by: Kim Slayton
  • Added: 24 Mar 2002
  • Find A Grave Memorial 6286145
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Belva Lenora Lett LaRue (11 Jul 1888–11 Jun 1982), Find A Grave Memorial no. 6286145, citing Stone Cemetery, Fidelity, Jasper County, Missouri, USA ; Maintained by Margaret Pickett (contributor 47875384) .