TAKAHIK River Valley Hikers
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Nov. 7, 1923 - Sept. 12, 2016

    Sue still had her hiking stick    

Our last visit with Sue 6/12/15


   ANNA SUE BELVINS, 92, passed away on September 12, 2016. She was born Nov. 7, 1923 in Atkins, Ark., to Reece Lafayette Alewine and Leah Emmert. Sue was known affectionately to her family as "Tu."

   She and her sister, Doris Gray, delighted in telling stories of seemingly boundless youthful freedom and adventure in and around Atkins, climbing Crow Mountain and hopping trains with their friends. Sue was named the local high school homecoming queen in 1941. Their adventures continued as adults with a train ride to Mexico City and trips to Europe.

    Sue attended Arkansas State Teacher's College, was a member of Alpha Sigma Tau and received a B.A. in English from the University of Arkansas. She taught fifth grade in Dardanelle and laughingly recalled disciplining students by having them stick a foot in a trash can. Her students wrote to well-known authors of children's books. She kept a cherished scrap book of replies from the famous and nearly famous. Sue loved her dogs and could often be seen after work on Lake Dardanelle in a canoe with Natasha, her Doberman.

    In retirement, Sue and Doris owned and operated The Wardrobe dress shop and boutique in Dardanelle. Doris recalls those years as among best of their lives. Sue was active in the Dardanelle United Methodist Church and Al-Anon. She volunteered for numerous organizations, including Heifer International, RAIN, Meals on Wheels and Laubach Reading Method for Adults for which she was recognized on national television in a feature on adult literacy. In 1981, Sue was hired as the first business manager for the Arkansas River Valley Arts Center in Russellville, but she quickly became the organization's general factotum, arranging shows, hanging art and helping run the entire center when it was in its infancy.

    In her 70's and early 80's, Sue lived in a Front Street house that she and her architect son, Johnny, designed and built on the Ark. riverbank in Dardanelle. She took great pleasure in the care of her yard. Her garden was beautiful and meticulously kept. She eradicated armadillos with a hand gun. Her Gingko trees were a special source of pride, but the messy Cottonwoods drove her crazy. She was a Master Gardener in every sense of the term.

    Sue loved reading on her back porch facing the river with her bird book and binoculars close by. She always had the latest issue of The New Yorker, and she particularly enjoyed southern writers such as Flannery O'Connor. She jokingly claimed to have read every book in the Dardanelle library, and in fact, actually read many of them twice or more. She worked the daily crossword puzzle. Her favorite color was yellow.

   Sue enjoyed playing bridge for more than sixty years with her lifelong friends from Yell and Pope Counties. Late in life, she was a passionate supporter and charter member of the Takahik River Valley Hikers, rarely missing a scheduled weekly outing. Fellow hikers said that during rest stops she had a knack for using a big rock like a recliner. Among her favored sayings were "Take what you need and leave the rest" and "One day at a time." At age 80, she held a "Peace Not War" sign, marching in a Little Rock anti-war rally protesting the bombing of Iraq.

   Sue is survived by her beloved sister, Doris Gray; her daughters, Ann McKenzie (Lynn) of Eureka Springs and Betti Hamilton (Lynn) of Little Rock; her grandchildren, Becky Kime (Karl), Matt Williamson, Kayce Green (Matt Price) and Meggie Green (Michael Inscoe) and her great-grandchildren, Harry, Sydney, Rhys and Garrison. Sue was preceded in death by her son John Thomas "Johnny" Blevins and her parents.

   Sue's family thanks the staff members of Brookdale at Pleasant Hills Retirement Center, Memory Care of Little Rock at Good Shepherd and Arkansas Hospice for their loving care.

   A memorial service will be held at a later date. Donations in Sue's memory may be made to the Dardanelle United Methodist Church, Arkansas Hospice or any local Alcoholics Anonymous foundation.

    Appeared on arkansasonline.com    
    Obituaries 9/18/16