Lillie Belle Burford, a resident of Three Rivers for over 40 years, died Friday, Jan. 29, 2016, in Porterville. She was 85.
Belle’s family — Matt, Beth, and Seth Jones of Three Rivers — invite those who knew Belle to a celebration of her life on Saturday, March 12, from 1 to 4 p.m., at Lions Arena.
Belle was born May 14, 1929, in McLoud, Okla., to R.C. and Julia Burford. She was raised in Oklahoma and Texas.
When Belle was 18, she left Texas and moved west to California. Over the years, she was a waitress and a homemaker.
Belle was an avid lover of art and had an eclectic collection of oil paintings, prints, and Indian artifacts. She also created her own art and could pencil sketch anything from Japanese fish to likenesses of anyone who came to mind.
In addition, she made Indian clay statues, would reupholster her own furniture when she tired of the current design, and created stuffed animals and anything else she decided she wanted to learn. Gardening and cooking were her special talents as well.
In Three Rivers, Belle enjoyed raising goats, donkeys, chickens, and exotic birds. She raised her son, Matt Jones, here and, later, cared for his son, Seth Matthew Jones.
Belle was preceded in death by her parents, brother Jimmy Burford, and sister Betty June Burford.
Belle is survived by her children, Pat Stricker, Dwight Stricker, and Matt Jones (of Three Rivers); grandchildren, Rebecca Stricker, Dwight Stricker Jr., and Seth Jones; brother Hank Burford; and several nephews, nieces, and great-nephews and great-nieces.