Harriet Belchic

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Harriet Belchic
Political party Louisiana Republican Party vice chairman from 1962 to 1968

Born August 17, 1928
Tiffin, Seneca County, Ohio
Died February 12, 1999 (aged 70)
Shreveport, Caddo Parish, Louisiana
Spouse Dr. George A. Belchic, Jr.

Children:
George Cameron Belchic (1960-2007)
Katherine Mitchell Belchic, formerly Katherine Rolland (1953-2007)
Ellen Wells Belchic, formerly Ellen Hutchison (1955-2017)
Martha Cameron Belchic-Loeb

Religion Episcopalian

Harriet Verna Cameron Belchic (August 17, 1928 – February 12, 1999) was a Republican political activist in Shreveport, Louisiana, who was the first woman ever granted both Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in geology from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. She served on the Shreveport Women's Commission and the Louisiana Federation of Republican Women.

Biography

Background

Although she was born in Tiffin in Seneca County in northern Ohio, her family moved to Winnfield in north Louisiana, known as the traditional home of the Long political dynasty. Belchic graduated from Winnfield High School before she entered LSU.[1]

Career

An advocate of a two-party system, Belchic was vice-chairman of the Louisiana Republican Party from 1962 to 1968, having served part of the time under then Chairman Charlton Havard Lyons, Sr., of Shreveport, a Republican congressional candidate in 1961 and his party's gubernatorial standard-bearer in 1964. She held a coveted seat on the party's 144-member Louisiana Republican State Central Committee for more than twenty years. She was elected delegate to numerous Republican national conventions. She was a southern floor leader for then U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona at the 1964 conclave in San Francisco, California. Belchic was district chairman of Women for Nixon in 1968 and was an alternate delegate for George Herbert Walker Bush in both the 1988 and the 1992 conventions held in New Orleans and Houston, respectively.[1]

She became a member of the Shreveport Women's Republican Club in 1954, long before her party became competitive in the previous one-party format. Active in local civic affairs, Belchic was appointed by Democratic Mayor John Brennan Hussey and Republican Mayor Hazel F. Beard to the Shreveport Women's Commission, having served from 1988 to 1994. Beard also named her to the Riverfront Redevelopment Advisory Committee. She was a sustaining member of the Shreveport Junior League and a former member of the Centenary College Muses. She was member of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Shreveport.[1]

Death and afterward

Belchic died at her home at 6500 Gilbert Drive in Shreveport after a long illness. Services were held at St. Paul's Church on February 17, 1999. She is interred at Garden of Memories Cemetery in Winnfield. [2] She was survived by her husband, Dr. George A. Belchic, Jr., a Shreveport orthopedic surgeon; her son, George Cameron Belchic (1960-2007): automobile accident victim) and wife Angelia Steele Belchic of Decatur, Alabama;[3] three daughters, Katherine Mitchell Belchic (1953-2007)) of Shreveport[4] and her then husband, Michael Rolland, both then of New Orleans, Ellen Wells Belchic (1955-2017), who worked for thirty years in the health care industry in New Orleans[5] and who was divorced from Bruce R. Hutchison (born 1957), and Martha Cameron Belchic-Loeb (born 1956) of Shreveport; her brother Wheelock Cameron and wife Virginia of Fort Walton Beach,Florida, and eight grandchildren.

Pallbearers included U.S. District Judge Thomas Eaton "Tom" Stagg, Jr. (1923-2015), and state Senator Ronald Clarence Bean (1938-2005), who described his supporter and friend Belchic as the "dean of Republican women in the state of Louisiana, and a fine friend of mine. She worked when nobody else would . . . She will be remembered as somebody who provided lots of leadership . . . She would want to be remembered as someone who helped even the smallest candidate run for public office, all the way up to someone running for governor."[1]

Even though their parties differed, former Mayor Hussey appointed Belchic to the Shreveport Women's Commission: "We were trying to get a lot of different folks appointed to the commission, all parts of the city, all parties. She was a nice woman and very active in Republican politics, and I was pleased she was willing to come on board."[1]

Belchic is remembered through the Harriet Cameron Belchic Memorial Geology Scholarship Fund at LSU.[1]

Belchic's husband and daughter Martha are also active in the Shreveport Republican community. Martha Belchic-Loeb, a generous GOP contributor, was a delegate to the 2004 Republican convention in New York City, which renominated the George W. Bush-Richard B. Cheney ticket.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Harriet Cameron Belchic obituary, The Shreveport Times, February 15–16, 1999.
  2. Harriet Verna Cameron Belchic. Old.findagrave.com. Retrieved on February 15, 2018.
  3. Archived Obituary - George Cameron Belchic, Decatur, AL. The Shreveport Times. Retrieved on February 15, 2018.
  4. Archived Obituary - Belchic, Katherine Mitchell. The Shreveport Times (2007). Retrieved on February 15, 2018.
  5. Ellen Belchic Obituary. The Shreveport Times (September 19, 2017). Retrieved on February 15, 2018.