Photo Compliments of Robert Grambling, Submitted by Greg Grambling
Zachary Phillips, Class of 1967
It is hard to believe Belle has been gone eleven years now. It seems like it was just yesterday she was a teenager standing at the kitchen stove cooking supper in the summer heat while making sure Annette and I did not move from our places of punishment for whatever infraction wed broken. J I always looked up to her. She wasnt just skilled musically and at twirling, she was an excellent investigative reporter, journalism professor, and student advisor. When at Louisiana College she helped her husband monitor the activities of college athletes while taking care of a growing family, working, and taking classes. From there she worked as an Investigative Reporter for the Colfax Chronicle while completing work on her BA and Masters in Journalism at what was then Northeast Louisiana University in Monroe.
Her life, and that of her family, was threatened because of the accurate, truthful reporting she did for the Chronicle. In fact, the life of the son of the Chronicles owner came to an untimely end, Belle felt, because of her reporting regarding Louisiana political events. She was working on a novel based on the information she had uncovered that, in her words, reached from where she lived all the way to Washington entitled Jackass Junction when she passed. The reason for her death is questionable and depends on whose perspective it is coming from as to the why of it. Belle believed people should know the truth and the actions of public leaders should be held to the fire of microscopic inquiry reflecting the highest levels of integrity.
I was with Belle when she went to the hospital for tests due to breathing problems from simple actions of climbing the stairs to her office at Northeast. (Her toxicology reports done after she went into a coma showed high levels of carbon monoxide)The night before she went to the hospital we sat at the table talking and I asked her what if something happened to her and she did not return to us. She looked at me a bit startled and we briefly discussed her business matters and then went into a lengthy discussion regarding her spiritual beliefs. She was at peace. The tests were a problem. She had an allergic reaction to the dye they put in her veins and she said, There were so many people lined up for this procedure they didnt even know my name . the doctor didnt do the procedure, a student did it. She was sent home but had to return a few days later because of complications. Concerned I stayed with her and we talked until she fell asleep. I didnt want to leave. Her husband, Lory, was there with her distracting himself with crossword puzzles. I had an uneasy feeling something was seriously wrong. I wanted to wake her up and tell her I loved her because I sensed it would be the last time Id get to do so. I decided I was being silly, so I whispered my caring in her sleeping ear, kissed her on the cheek, insisted Id return in the morning, and left. I awoke to the cries of my mother running down the hall saying Belle had coded. I jumped into action, calming my parents as much as possible while encouraging them to go on to the hospital. I had to take care of children and get dressed before I could follow. As I moved about taking care of things I talked to Belle across the waves of time and distance insisting she return and not leave us. Mother and Daddy needed her. When I arrived at the hospital I found Belle had indeed coded while the doctor was at her bedside giving her dismissal instructions. He had worked with her and she returned in a coma.
Now, I believe people can clearly hear you when they are in a coma, some dont. To illustrate that point, let me tell you one incident that occurred while Belle was still with us in the coma. My brother, Billy, came to visit her. After he left I went in to see Belle and tears were flowing down her cheeks. I wiped her tears and asked her if she was crying because she was happy Billy came. Tears started flowing again. She heard me and she heard my brother, and I am sure she heard everyone who visited her before she passed.
I think I need to say that from the moment Belle coded until the day of her passing I had pleaded and worked with her about staying with us. I had gone through a near death experience in college and imagined her in the tunnel I went through, so I pleaded with her to not go to the light but to walk bravely toward the darkness and us. She tried, she really did. Then I realized that it was not fair for me to ask her to stay if she was ready to go on to her life on the other side. So the last time I saw Belle before she passed I went to her and whispered in her ear, Belle, it is ok if you want to go on. We will be ok. As I walked out of her hospital room that day, I glanced back and saw her eyes open watching me. I ran back to her and asked if she wanted me to get Mom and Dad who were leaving. She opened her eyes again. I tried to get my parents but they had already left. I assured her we would be there first thing the next morning. That night she passed over.
I miss her never-ending smile. I miss our talks. I miss her. Although I visit her grave and leave flowers, I know she is not there. She is in heaven with God looking down on us sending her love and caring to us. Her life made a difference to all of us who knew her. It still does.
Jeanette Zachary Phillips, Class of 1967
Belle Zachary, Class of 1959
This is a copy of a letter I received from Belle. Her return address was 1839 Cour de Royale; Germantown, TN., 38138. The letter is dated Sept. 26, 1989. I thought some of you might enjoy the little insight into Belle's personal thoughts...Beverly Simolke Bryce Dear Beverly, I have received the information on "home coming", and regret circumstances will not permit me to attend. The youngest of my three sons is a high school senior this year and will be recognized as a graduating band member on the same night. Musically, he has followed in the footsteps of his mom and dad, having thus far earned numerous honors playing alto and baritone saxophones and bassoon...including Tennessee All-State concert and jazz bands. It is important that I be there for his special night. My two older sons are both married, the eldest living in Mt. Pleasant, Texas with his wife and daughter, and the middle son living near us in Memphis with his wife and three children. Yes...I know...none of us is old enough to be grandparents yet and I don't know about the rest of you, but I couldn't seem to convince my boys. On a personal note, I am still very much involved as a journalist, presently teaching journalism at a small liberal arts college, and contemplate entering a doctoral program within the next year and a half. I've lost my "pucker power", so I rarely play the wind instruments anymore, and my hair is shockingly gray under a good "bottle job". But God has given me good health and the ability to write, so by the time the next reunion rolls around, I should have completed my "great American novel", entitled Jackass Junction, completed my PhD, and will be trying to convince my grandchildren they don't need to make me a great-grandmother. May peace and prosperity be with you all and always. Sincerely, Belle Zachry Malone
Class of 1959 - If you can identify anyone e-mail us at MindenMemories@aol.com
Belle is the little girl in the very front center - Second grade
Belle, is in the very front...plaid sleeves with bow in front. She has bangs. Uncle Bill (Mattingly)took the picture at Richardson Elementary School. I don't know who the teacher was.
Belle and Sandra Crockett
If you can identify the photo's e-mail MindenMemories@AOL.COM & mention Belle's pictures.
I just saw the e-mail with the pictures of Belle Zachary. I loved Belle and thought she had an exotic beauty about her. Come to think of it, I especially liked the whole family! We got to know her pretty well when James and I used to double date with her and Billy Fuller and we were working at the Germantown Baptist Mission and the others of the kids from there. I thought she was special and was so very hurt that she didn't get to live a long, fulfilling life. One thing bothers me... That cannot be Belle in the picture to the right of the majorette picture. That looks like a blonde, no relation to Belle and like a much older picture. I would guess that it might be the same generation as her mother but it looks nothing like her or mother! :-) The only little girl in the classroom photo that looks like it might be Belle is the one in the very front, center.
Linda Holt Moorehead, Class of 1961
In the top picture: Belle (Zachry Malone) is in the center back...her sons Chris Malone (on the right looking at the picture) and Keith Malone (on her left looking at the picture) My mother (Galdolia Mattingly Zachry)is sitting in the chair to the left holding Belle's Granddaughter, Jessica Malone, and my mother's father, Leslie Mattingly, is in the chair to the right. He was close to 100 in this picture. He was 103 I believe when he passed.
Belle's son, Jason Malone Overall view of Belle's grave. She
was born 8-21-1941died 7-21-1996
and was buried in Hope, Arkansas.