Obituary of Eli Samuel Belil
Eli Samuel Belil, 88, of The Villages, Florida, formerly of Marlboro, New Jersey, and New York, New York, passed away on Saturday, June 1, 2019.
He was a veteran of The United States Air Force and served during the Korean War. After his service, he attended New York University. He met his wife, Ora, in an elevator in New York City in 1959. They married in 1961 and had two daughters. Wanting a life “in the country”, Eli brought his family to Marlboro, New Jersey in 1968.
Eli was active in local politics, serving on the town planning board and as the Deputy Mayor of Marlboro for twelve years and was honored with a street there, Belil Lane.
Not wanting his fellow Korean War servicepersons to be forgotten, Eli worked tirelessly for the establishment of a Korean War Memorial in Washington, D.C. and worked with General Richard G. Stilwell, keeping the issue at the forefront and raising millions of dollars for the effort. For his dedication, he received honors personally from President George H.W. Bush at a dinner also honoring Bob Hope, Astronaut John Glenn and columnist Anne Landers.
Eli loved to play guitar and sing and was in a folk music group with his brother Harry. He also loved to dance, whether it was waltzing with Ora, Greek dancing at the festivals he loved to attend, or Country Western line dancing. Singing and dancing to Eli was the essence of life.
Most important to his heart, was his family. He was a dedicated husband, father, grandfather, son and brother. We will miss him dearly.
He is survived by his wife Ora Belil; daughters Anita Belil (Ralph Butler) Jeena Belil (Paul Varriale) and beloved granddaughter, Elaina Varriale;
He is preceded in death by his parents Annetta and Samuel Belil.
Burial will be on Wednesday, June 5, 2019 at 11am, located at Florida National Cemetery, 6502 SW 102nd Ave., Bushnell, FL 33513. Private Shiva will be held in The Villages, Florida.
In lieu of flowers please make donations in Eli’s memory to Walk To End Alzheimer’s Yaphank (Team Eli’s Legs) which you can access through this link https://tinyurl.com/y658kwu4 or The Oral Cancer Foundation.
Online condolences may be shared with the family at hiers-baxley.com. Arrangements are under the care of Hiers-Baxley Funeral and Cremation Life Event Center, The Villages.