Belva Joy Hollingsworth, 98, died February 25, 2023, at the Manor House in Sigourney. She was born on December 13, 1924, to Henry and Margaret Elizabeth Chase Wilkening near Hayesville. She graduated from Sigourney High School in 1941. On June 26, 1949 she married Melvin Vale Hollingsworth in Sigourney.
At the age of 17, Belva began her teaching career at a country school near Sigourney. She became a “Rosie the Riveter” at Boeing in Seattle during WWII. She later resumed her teaching career and taught kindergarten at Sigourney Elementary for many years. Then Belva became a teacher’s aide overseeing the lunchroom and playground, riding to and from school on the bus with her children (much to their chagrin). After retirement, she volunteered in the elementary school library into her 80’s. Belva had a wonderful garden, where for many years elementary students took field trips to pick their own daffodils.
She was a member of the Sigourney United Methodist Church and TTT. Belva loved working with children and was very involved at her church, helping wherever needed, and taking work trips with the youth to Appalachia and the Canadian Boundary Waters - in spite of her inability to swim.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Melvin; two brothers - Les Wilkening and John Wilkening, and three sisters - Frances Leighton, Bessie Hollingsworth and Hanky Greene Vittetoe.
Leaving to carry on her love of life and laughter are her children Mel (Joani) Hollingsworth of Urbandale, Joi (Walt) Staves of Sherman Oaks, California, Althea Holcomb of Johnston, Shirley (Jim) Diaz of Boise, Idaho, seven grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.
Please join the family for a celebration of Belva's life Saturday, March 4th at 10:30am at the Sigourney Methodist Church. Visitation will be at Holm Funeral Home Friday from 4:00-6:00pm. Please make memorial contributions to Sigourney Elementary Library.