Julia Ann (Sharp) Belt, aged 74, of Hagerstown, Indiana and formerly of Mercer, Wisconsin, passed away peacefully at home with family on November 11, 2022.
Julia was born on September 19, 1948, to Robert and Dorothy (Ravencraft) Sharp in Wayne County, Indiana. A graduate of Hagerstown High School, Class of 1966, she attended Miami Jacobs University of Dayton, earning an Associate Degree in Business directly after High School. Shortly after her graduation, she married the love of her life, Melvin L. Belt, on November 12, 1967, while Melvin was in the service.
Having grown up in the Jacksonburg / Hagerstown area with her parents and siblings, Julia worked at several places during her career while living in Hagerstown with her husband, notably Richmond Property Insurance, the Town Hall of Hagerstown, and Sanyo of Richmond, Indiana. In between careers, she was a stay at home mother to her three children and all the friends and animals they brought to the home. Perhaps her greatest accomplishment though was being the “Absolute Legend” behind the “Legend of the Great Mel Belt”, keeping the house and home in order so that her husband could pursue his interests and his passion in fishing, attending weigh-ins and tournaments and conventions far and wide with her children in tow. Julia herself would participate in weekend contests as her time permitted, seeing some moderate success in the Ladies’ Division of the Indiana Bass federation, and she bowled competitively locally on several teams over the years, and earned a spot in the Indiana Division of the PBA on the Pro-Am tournament, bowling alongside the pros that the family would watch every weekend, one of the biggest thrills of her lifetime. Upon her retirement while working at Sanyo, she moved north to Wisconsin to enjoy the beautiful Northwoods with her husband, fishing in the summer and riding every trail that the Mercer Sno-Goers laid claim to many times over during the winter. She could be seen working part-time to keep herself busy at a local gas station and a local vacation lodge while her husband would run guide service for fishing or groom trails for snowmobiling. She and Melvin would host their children’s families on vacations, beginning a tradition of hosting all the children in celebration of family every Christmas season for days and miles of snowmobile riding. In October of 2020, as her husband’s health declined, Julia and Melvin moved home to Hagerstown to be closer to family, to assist with his care. During the last few months of her husband’s life, Julia was diagnosed with lung cancer and a heart condition, which she battled in secret until she could not any more.
Julia is survived by her son Michael (Sylvia) Belt and daughter Stephanie (Daron) Shaul of Hagerstown, IN, daughter Kathryn (Luke) Wanta of Tomahawk, WI, and brother Ron Sharp of Richmond, IN, and sister Connie (Brian) Duncan of New Lisbon, IN.
Her guidance, encouragement, wisdom and compassion will be missed by her grandchildren, Jon ( Zameyka ) Belt, James Belt, Courtney Belt, Eleana Shaul, Kevin Belt, Ethan Shaul, Eli Shaul, Mercer Wanta, Easton Shaul and Sofie Wanta, and step-grandchildren Mary Ames, Cole Wanta, Eliyah Ames, Evan Wanta, David Ames, and Jasmine Ames, and three great-grandchildren.
Julia was preceded in death by her loving husband, Melvin, and her parents Robert and Dorothy Sharp.
Visitation will be 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, November 26, at Culberson Funeral Home, Hagerstown. Services will follow at 1 p.m. Internment will be in Jacksonburg Cemetery.
Donations may be made in memoriam to the to the American Lung Association at https://www.lung.org/ .