Barbara Mayweather Belisle

Born: Mon., Sep. 21, 1936
Died: Sat., Feb. 6, 2021


4:00 PM to 6:00 PM, Sat., Feb. 13, 2021
Location: The Good Shepherd Funeral Home Inc.

Funeral Service

2:00 PM Sun., Feb. 14, 2021

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Music by The Piano Brothers


Bobbie Jean Mayweather Belisle  was born to the late William Mayweather and Betty Mayweather on September 21, 1936. (Later in life she changed her name to Barbara.)  She accepted Christ at an early age at Ward Chapel AME Church in Montevallo where she sang in the choir and was a member of the YPD.  She later became a member at  a Catholic church in Birmingham, Alabama, then St. Paul Lutheran Church in Birmingham, AL. Later she moved to New Orleans, Louisiana where she attended Trinity Lutheran Church.  After returning home to Montevallo, she rejoined Ward Chapel AME where she remained a faithful servant of the Lord.

Barbara graduated from Prentice  High School (now Montevallo Middle School).  She went on to attend Alabama A&M University, LSU-NO (now the University of New Orleans) and Miles College, where she graduated with a Bachelor's degree in English. She went on to further her education and attended Alabama State University and the University of Montevallo, where  she received her Master's degree in English.

While living in New Orleans, she worked as a librarian for New Orleans Public Library.  She later returned to Montevallo where she worked at Calera High School as a librarian.  In 1966, she went on to become the first African-American teacher in Shelby County and taught at Montevallo High School.  After 28 years, she retired.  She went on to work as the Night Manager of Circulation at Carmichael Library at the University of Montevallo where she retired after 20 years.

During her teaching venue, she received one of Alabama's first Golden Apple for the Teacher awards, was listed in Who's Who Among America's Teachers, was selected as Teacher of the Year at her school, and was presented the Community Service Award. She also won the WENN Radio Favorite Teacher contest where students in Shelby and surrounding counties called in to the radio station and voted for their favorite teacher. She won with over 1,000 votes.

In addition, she held memberships in many professional education associations, including The American Association of University Women.  Other community organizations included the Montevallo Arts Council, Montevallo Main Street Players (where she enjoyed acting and singing), the Montevallo Park and Recreation Board, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, the Birmingham Museum of Art, and the Alabama Writers' Conclave.  She was also a member and active volunteer of the Smith Scholarship, Inc., where she was a speaker, lecturer, and mentor for over a decade.

Because of her love for reading and writing, Barbara also added "author" to her list of talents.  Some of her publications include The Red Hills of Alabama, A Wish Away, Where's U're, The Say and Duck Chronicles, Part 1, and Reaping Tenants.  In addition, her writing also included poems. One of her poems, "Do Fence Them In," was published in the National Library of Poetry's "Windows of the Soul."

Barbara Belisle was a "phenomenal woman." She was one of the most caring, gentle, kind, humble, and loving individuals.  She always put others in front of herself and would go above and beyond to make sure everybody was happy. She "genuinely" loved and cared for everyone, and always wanted to make sure that everyone was "okay."  She will always and forever be an inspiration.  She was loved so much. She will truly be missed.

She will forever be remembered and loved by her children: Sonjia (Ronnie) McCary, William Belisle, and Cathy Belisle Gaddis. Her grandchildren: DeShawn Goode, George (Deeanna) Yelder, III, Taylor (La'Starshia) Gaddis, Rudi (Eric) Williams, Veronica McCary, Timothy Strong, and William R. Belisle. Great Grandchildren: Patience, Lyric, Noah, and Daniel Yelder; Francina, Jordan and Dylan Goode; Timothy Strong, Jr.; Jaden Whiting; and Nola Grace Gaddis. Sisters: Margaret Mayweather and Tennie Mae Mayweather, Montevallo, Alabama. Sister-in-law: Dorothy Mayweather, Stone Mountain, Georgia; Aunt: Willie Mae Cottingham, Montevallo, Alabama; Uncle: Morris (Brenda) Cottingham, Bronx, New York; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. Lifelong partner of 50 years: Elbert Thomas, Birmingham, Alabama. Special friends: Emily Pendleton, Sadie Burns, Pleasia Spears, Ahrian Davis Dudley, and Ethel Mae Thompson and Gloria Beasley.

Special love and thanks to her grandson, DeShawn, for always being there whenever she called, Elbert Thomas for his unconditional love for her, and her son-in-law Ronnie McCary - her chef.


A Celebration of Life will be held Sunday February 14, 2021 at 2:00 P.M. at The Good Shepherd Funeral Home with burial at Montevallo Cemetery.

Viewing will be held Saturday Feb. 13 from 4:00 P.M. -6:00 P.M. Rev. Mike Jones - Officiating

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Cathy Underwood
   Posted Thu February 11, 2021

SENTIMENTAL THOUGHTS was sent by Cathy Holmes Underwood.

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