Bill Belvin, of Pinehurst died October 9, after a long stretch of declining health. Everyone who knew him will remember him as a cowboy and a farrier. Here’s how he got there.
Bill was born January 16, 1934, in Crossville, Tennessee.
In 1951, after seeing a Wild West Show, Bill left his home in Crossville to work for Web Heston of Moss, Tenn. He drove a truck hauling stock but was also riding broncs, staying in a big bus with bunks, eating good food from the cookshack, and traveling mostly in Tennessee and Kentucky.
After two seasons, he went to work for Cherokee Hammonds’ Wild West Show, riding saddle broncs. With Cherokee, he traveled in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, North and South Carolina, and Georgia.
In 1957, Bill joined the RCA (Rodeo Cowboys Association), now known as the PRCA, rodeoing most of the year. He rode saddle broncs, bareback horses, and was a steer wrestler. During the winters, he worked with his friend Bobby Freeman for Bob Follette at the Bennettsville, S.C., stockyards.
In 1958, Bill moved to the Lake George, N.Y., dude ranch territory with Coot & Henry Follette of Mooresville, to work at Sunnybrook Resort’s hack stable.
Fin Jones, recruiting for Frontier Town when they were short-handed because of cowboy injuries, convinced Bill to move to North Hudson, N.Y., to ride in three rodeos a day and acted as a cavalry member. Bill continued to work summers at Frontier Town through 1961, competing Friday nights at the Painted Pony rodeos at Lake Luzerne, N.Y.
In 1960, Bill married Diana Duncan, a fellow Frontier Town employee, and they moved to Statesville He continued to compete in rodeos in the Southeast, many produced by Foy Reynolds of Bonifay, Fla.
About this time, with the help of farrier Booger MacDaniel, Bill’s career as a farrier of show and walking horses developed dramatically. Shoeing horses became a full-time job.
In 1968, Bill moved to a farrier’s shop at Little River Farm in Carthage, and then to Pinehurst Harness Track, in Pinehurst, where he continued to shoe horses for 32 years. During this time, he also owned and operated the Handlebar Bike Shop in Southern Pines, and Bill Belvin Horse Transportation, Inc.
Along with his parents, William McKinley Belvin and Thelma Ball Belvin, Bill is preceded in his death by his brothers, Glen Belvin and Fred Belvin, and his sisters, Marie Belvin Simmons and Janie Sue Belvin Neely.
Bill is survived by his wife of 58 years, Diana; sons William (Bill) T. Belvin (Karen) of China Grove, and Bruce Belvin (Creig) of Charleston, S.C.; grandchildren Leona Singley (Devin) of Cary, Sawyer Belvin of Nashville, Tenn., and Samuel Belvin of Charleston, S.C.; great-granddaughter Emilia Singley; brother Clifford “Tip” Belvin (Maudie Mae) of Ft. Wayne, Ind., and sister Ava Neely (Tony) of Crossville, Tenn.; and nephew Darrell Belvin (Peggy), as well as other nieces and nephews.
Visitation is Thursday, October 18, 6 pm – 8 pm at Boles Funeral Home, 35 Parker Ln., Pinehurst. A graveside service is Saturday, October 20, at 11:00 a.m. at Cross Hill Cemetery on N.C. Hwy. 22/24/27 in Carthage.
The family is not discouraging flowers or plants, but would encourage donations in place of flowers be made to either of these charities: The Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund,101 Pro Rodeo Dr.,Colorado Springs, CO 80919 or to Shriners Hospitals for Children, Attn: Office of Development,2900 N. Rocky Point Dr. Tampa, FL 33607 or Donate.lovetotherescue.org
The family would like to extend special thanks to Ranette Rodden, RN, of Asheboro, with Encompass Home Health. Her care and compassion for Big Bill was irreplaceable and their appreciation can never be fully expressed! And to Marcia Ballard, FNP, of Carthage, who cared for Bill for many years and gave him great comfort.
Services are entrusted to Boles Funeral Home of Pinehurst, NC.
To send flowers or a remembrance gift to the family of William Charles Belvin, please visit Boles’ Tribute Store.