West Boxford — John Wesley Belyea, 78, of West Boxford, peacefully passed away on November 10.
John was born in Boston, MA in 1934. He and his family moved to North Andover and John graduated from Johnson High School in 1953. He attended Union College in Kentucky and majored in English and graduated in 1957. He continued his education and pursued a graduate degree in Sociology at Berkley in Oakland, CA. John married Judith Crittenden in 1962, which ended in divorce in 1984. From this union, they had two children.
John was the first Chief Probation Officer in Essex County at Salem District Court, where he worked for 30 years. In this role, John was a trailblazer in ensuring amicable outcomes for divorcing families, and advocating for the children impacted. He was responsible for alleviating difficult circumstances in the lives of thousands of residents on the north shore.
In 1992, John married Lillian Kemper and together they lived in Boxford.
John had a fierce love for the automotive field and built and raced cars on both the east and west coast. John took pride in his garage and car collection and could often be found under a hood, diagnosing and repairing European cars. His passion for music was undeniable, primarily classical and rhythm and blues.
John is survived by his beloved wife, Lillian, with whom he had recently relocated to Sarasota, Florida. He was the devoted father to Aaron and Amy, stepfather to Rachel and Susanna and seven grandchildren. John also leaves younger sister, Judith Larsen and brother-in-law, Hugh Larsen, along with deeply loved in-laws and nieces and nephews, and dear lifelong friends.
John’s magnetic personality, vivid sense of humor and unwavering loyalty to his loved ones will be deeply missed.
ARRANGEMENTS: A memorial service honoring John’s life will be held on Saturday, November 23, 2013, at 2 p.m. at the Second Congregational Church in West Boxford.
In lieu of flowers, donations in John’s name can be sent to St. Ann’s Home in Methuen and The Italian Home for Children in Jamaica Plain.