Rebecca Ann Rakes Belcher (aka. Señora Belcher), age 73 of Stuart Virginia, completed her precious life’s journey on January 3, 2022. Her presence and kindness will be missed by all who knew her well. She was born in Stuart Virginia on January 9,1948 to the late George Taylor Rakes and Orea Alice Rakes of Woolwine. In addition to her parents, she is preceded in death by an infant son, Warren Taylor Belcher. She is survived by her husband, Larry Samuel Belcher, a daughter, Monica Belcher Gonzalez and her husband, Jorge Gregorio Gonzalez, 3 grandchildren, Burke, Suzanne, and Camille Gonzalez, a brother George Albert Rakes and his wife Amy of Seattle Washington and their 2 daughters, Lauren Rakes and Paige Dailey.
Ann graduated from Woolwine High School where she was the Valedictorian of her class and was a standout basketball player. It goes without saying that Ann was a fierce competitor in every sense of the word, just ask anyone that has played against her. This also includes her grandchildren, as she did not like to lose to anyone. Even though she was extremely competitive, she was always gracious in victory and on the rare occasion, defeat. It was also in high school that Ann developed her love of exercise and physical activity. Those that knew her, would see her out walking religiously every day, no matter the circumstances. This habit continued for the rest of her life, as long as she was able.
After high school, Ann attended Ferrum College and played basketball there her freshman year. After receiving her junior college degree from Ferrum, she received both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Radford University. Immediately following college graduation, Ann and Larry took an extended trip to Europe for 9 weeks. She would often say that this was one of the best experiences of her life and instilled her love of travel and learning about different cultures and people.
After college, Ann and Larry moved back to Patrick County to begin their careers in the Patrick County Public School System. Ann taught English in her early years as an educator, but quickly switched to Spanish to become known as Señora Belcher to the many students that had the privilege of being in her class. Ask any student and they will tell you that she was tough and demanded a lot of effort on their part. However, they would also tell you that she was fair and that they actually learned the language. She was a true educator in every sense of the word. Her love of travel carried over to her career in high school, as she took several students abroad to Europe and Mexico.
She finally retired after 30 years of service and became a full-time grandmother. Her love of her grandchildren superseded everything else. She made every effort to be involved in any activity her grandchildren participated in, no matter how insignificant it might have seemed to others. They loved her dearly and will miss her unconditional encouragement and support.
Ann’s life was an inspiration to those who knew her well. She had uncommon determination and persistence, an ability to bring out the best in people, infinite compassion and empathy for others and the gift of making others feel at ease and welcome in her presence.
The memorial service for Ann will be held at Woolwine United Methodist Church on Thursday January 6, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. Covid protocol will be followed with masks being required inside. If you are unable to wear a mask or adhere to Covid protocol, you may listen to the service on your car radio outside in the parking lot.
In lieu of flowers, we ask that donations be made to either Mountain Valley Hospice, Mountain Valley Hospice and Palliative Care, 410 Technology Lane, Suite 200, Mt. Airy, NC 27030 or the Orea Rakes Patrick County High School Scholarship Fund in care of Stuart Rotary Club, P.O. Box 562 Stuart, VA 24171.
Moody Funeral Home in Stuart has been entrusted with the arrangements and online condolences may be sent by visiting www.moodyfuneralservices.com.