Founder of Belley’s Atlantic and School Street Light Truck Parts
Loving Husband, Father, Pepere
It is with great sadness that the family of Ronald Eugene Belley, 75, announces his passing on June 22, 2020 at his home in Chelmsford, after a brief illness. He was born December 5, 1944 in Boston to Aurore (Gagnon) and Eugene Belley.
Ron, nicknamed “junior”, grew up in Lowell, and was educated at the St. Jeanne D’Arc grammar school, St. Joseph’s high school, and graduated from Lowell Trade School in 1964. After graduation, Ron started his career as a mechanic for A&L Taxi, where he would meet his future wife, Denise Dastous, also of Lowell, who he married in 1968. He raised his family on White Street in Lowell before moving to Chelmsford in 1984. Ron also served in the National Guard Reserves from 1964 until he was honorably discharged in 1970.
He began what would prove to be a long and successful entrepreneurial career when he founded Belley’s Atlantic, a highly successful service station that he operated from 1967 through 1980. After selling the company, he immediately went on to establish the business for which he would be most associated, School Street Light Truck Parts. This quickly became a neighborhood landmark for generations of customers who came to rely on the company’s expertise, honesty, and knowledge. The business would eventually expand to become a family business when his sons joined the staff. Two sons, Steve and Craig, still work there today. As his business prospered, he leveraged his success by investing in Lowell real estate. He also worked hard to promote small businesses, sharing his expertise and financial knowledge with others to help them succeed. In that respect, he became a mentor to others, and assisted them in their own enterprises. Throughout his life, he remained true to his philosophy of hard work, never stopping to retire and always ready for the next project.
The one consistent theme throughout his life was helping people, whether it be fellow business owners, students, his family, and even strangers. He was never too busy to share his experiences and expertise with those who needed it. Ron was the longest serving member of the Nashoba Valley Technical High School’s Automobile Advisory Board, where he served since 1986. His long-term commitment to the students at the school is a testament to his dedication for helping others. Among his many philanthropic efforts was the creation of the “Welcome to Lowell” garden display at the intersection of the Lowell Connector and Thorndike Street. In the words of William Wordsworth, “the best portion of a good man’s life is his little, nameless unremembered acts of kindness and love.”
Ron was a long-time member of the American Truck Historical Society and in his spare time, he enjoyed driving a variety of classic automobiles including a 1948 chain-drive Sterling truck and a 2001 AM General Hummer. Ron was also a collector, and over the years he acquired a collection of antique trucks, an extensive collection of toy trucks and pictures of Lowell circa the 1800s. Ron enjoyed trips to Lincoln, NH with his family and never missed an opportunity to stop at Clark’s Trading Post and admire the Pemigewasset river.
Ron was a loving husband and father, and a doting Pepere to his grandchildren. He is survived by his wife Denise, four sons, Steven and his wife Carolyn (Bevins) of Dracut, Russell, Warren and his wife Julie (Stadtman) of Londonderry, NH, and Craig and his long-term girlfriend Colleen Reynolds of Chelmsford, as well as six grandchildren, Ashley Dufresne Pereen and her husband Andrew Pereen of Mashpee, Kaitlyn Gagnon of Dracut, Chad Belley of Lowell, Nicholas Belley and long-term girlfriend Emily McConnell of Dracut, Sarah Belley of Dracut, and Haley Belley and her fiancé Owen DeLuca of Londonderry, NH. He is predeceased by his sister Doris Grandchamp, and other family members including Theresa Hutchinson, Robert Dastous, Michael Perry, Brian Boule, and Roger Boule.
The family would like to thank the Red Cross for their invaluable assistance in bringing home Staff Sargent Chad Belley. They would also like express their immense gratitude to filmmaker Jonathan C. Stevens of Aloysius Productions for the beautiful and poignant video he created of Ron’s life.
Friends will be received at the MORSE-BAYLISS Funeral Home, 122 Princeton Boulevard, Lowell, on Friday from 4 to 8 p.m. (Face coverings are respectfully required at all times inside the Funeral Home.) The family will celebrate his Funeral Mass of Christian Burial on Saturday in private, followed by his Committal Service with Military Honors to which all are invited, at Pine Ridge Cemetery, Chelmsford, at 11:30 AM. Funeral Director, Frederick W. Healy. Please visit Ron’s life tribute page at www.morsebaylissfuneralhome.com