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September 29, 1923 - November 8, 2017
Service Date: November 14, 2017
Funeral Home Woodlawn Funeral Home, Cemetery, & Cremation
Services for Evelyn Virginia Tenney Bellows will be Tuesday November 14, 2017 at Yelm Prairie Christian Church at 501 NE 103rd Ave, Yelm WA. Viewing will be at 12:30 followed by her funeral service at 1:00 pm.
Evelyn Virginia Tenney Bellows was born September 29 1923 in North Adams Hospital, Ma. Daughter of Leslie and Ethel Lombard Tenney. It was a very long and difficult labor for her mom. When they took Evelyn home she had on a bonnet to cover the bruises and cuts on her forehead and neck. She was called the Miracle baby, and the oldest of 4 children.
She didn’t remember when she accepted the Lord as her personal Savior but said she was very young, 6 or 7. She was 9 years old at the Alton Bay camp meeting when she knew the Lord was calling her into full time service to him. She never waivered in that calling.
She was about 14 when she first began to notice Ralph her future husband. He was 6 years older and president of the Loyal Workers (youth group). They wrote back and forth while he attended Zion Bible College to later become an Assemblies of God minister. They married in July 1942 before her 19th bday. Their first church ministry was in Wolfeboro NH where David Alton would be born in 1944. They also traveled all over Maine, New York, and Massachusetts doing Evangelistic meetings. She always said – No Church too small, no Challenge too Great. Working with the youth, helping people to grow in the Lord and to learn how to pray aloud for the first time was a reward that kept them pushing on when money was tight and food was scarce. They had moved back to North Adams Mass where Jonathan Ralph was born in 1949, and then to a church in Greenfield Mass. She studied child evangelism fellowship at Tremont Temple in Boston. She loved to sew and made most of her clothes for many years and many of David’s much to his dismay until he was in the 2nd grade. Ralphs mother Minnie gladly came to live with them for the next 11 years so Evelyn was able to go back to work.
For many years she had a small cottage that was her castle on the campgrounds at the Advent Christian Church & Conference Center in White River Vermont where she enjoyed spending her summer weekends helping with the music ministry and being the secretary-treasurer for the camp association.
She held many jobs over the years to help support the family as well as being the music director, Sunday school superintendant and pastors wife. She was a Secretary that used short hand, an accountant with double entry bookkeeping – (all done by hand), and an Auditor. She used mimeographs and switchboards before copiers and multi line phones were developed. She worked for Land Surveyors, Civil Engineers, Building Contractors and Hotels including the Provincetown Inn in Provincetown, Ma. She even worked part-time on the computer for her grandson Jon, up until she was 92 just to have some extra spending money for the books she loved to read and to keep her mind active.
Evelyn loved music and sang her entire life, until one of her vocal cords stopped working at 75 years old. She first sang in her parents church as a young girl and then with her two boys in her own church until they moved away. She played the piano, organ, accordion, electronic autoharp, and the glockenspiel. She studied Piano with private instructors and at Gordon College.
Eventually they moved to Cape Cod where they founded and built the Grace Chapel Assembly of God in So Wellfleet in 1970. Attending an Accelerted Christian Education Center in Lewisville, Texas in 1982, they earned certification for special studies for the Grace Chapel Christian School. Evelyn was the school Principal from 1982 to 1988 and they continued pastoring until November 8th 1993 when they moved to Washington state. Here they started a weekly senior ministry at the Nisqually Valley Care Center that she kept doing faithfully with the help of some friends even after Ralph passed.
They visited several churches in the area before deciding to make Yelm Prairie Christian Center their home church. For the next 24 years she was a faithful worker under 3 pastors. She was the church organist, and over the years helped with bible studies, Golden agers, and maintained the Beacon for over 10 years alone. She taught herself how to use the computer including how to make her own Birthday and Christmas cards for people.
When Ralph passed in 1997 Evelyn moved into a smaller home and bravely lived by herself with her dog Pepper. Something she had never done. She stayed busy doing crafts, painting on shirts and canvas, and also learned some new ones. Over the years she made jewelry from stones that were smoothed for months in her polisher. She loved knitting and crocheting in her spare time. She crocheted dolls from around the world and taught herself how to make over 100 different doilies which are seen year round in her children, grandchildren and friend’s homes. She spent months to write a life-love story book about her and Ralph. She also did all the compilation of inspirational and graphics, layout and preparation for the printing of the Yelm Prairie Cook book.
Evelyn loved to travel visiting every state except Hawaii and Alaska, and was an avid reader and writer. She wrote numerous poems and in 2004 submitted an original entitled “What is Love” to the International Society of Poets. Another “Colors of Life” that was chosen as page one of the book that year with a short personal “ bio”. She aspired to reading the bible completely thru – several times. The King James, The Living Bible, The New International, and the Amplified were her favorites, and she said she always saw something new with each reading.
She greatly appreciated those who would stop in and check on her over the years.
She is survived by her loving sons David and Jonathan, her daughter-in-law Colleen who was her constant craft, and book exchange companion. Linda Ilkovich, Joyce Whittingham and Sharon Kitchen were also like daughters to her. A granddaughter Tabitha among other things always made sure she had a ride to church. Her Grandchildren included David (Bumpy) Bellows Jr., Debora Bellows, Jonathon Jr. Bellows, Jody Bellows. Great Grandchildren Corey, Kyle, Cody, Cameron, Ryan, Rebecca, Brianna, Tyler, Mariah Evelyn, Christopher, CammieLynn, Shawn, Christopher, Brett, Samantha, James, Nathan, Dillon, Ricky, Laurie, Jimmy. Great Great Grandchildren Lucas, Mallory, Adaline, Jaden, Owen, and Tucker.
Evelyn was promoted to Glory on November 8, 1917
She was preceded in death by her husband of 55 years Ralph, and siblings, Lawrence, Lois, and Leslie. She is home at last with her family.