David "Dave" Edgar Bellis
April 13, 2023
David Edgar Bellis was born in Iowa City, Iowa on August 23, 1952. Shortly after he was adopted by his parents Robert and June Bellis. As a young child he lived in Iowa and then the family moved to Fremont, NE.
Dave attended Fremont Public Schools and graduated from Fremont High School. He was actively involved in band, choir, show choir, jazz band and drama. He also played football and ran cross country. The summer before his senior year, his favorite teacher, band teacher and mentor passed away and as drum major and having already decided that he was going to pursue teaching music, he took a leadership role. It was in band that he met the love of his life, Dawn Hoesing who was a sophomore.
Dawn and Dave dated for the next two years while he was in college at Chadron State College and she finished high school and then they were married on December 29, 1972. He graduated with a Bachelor's degree in K=12 Music Education in 1974.
Dave taught at Beaver City, NE, Weeping Water, NE (where they met lifelong friends Joe and Sandy Bishop and Dawn finished College), and Moorhead, IA. In Iowa, Dave and Dawn celebrated the birth of their children, David and Jennifer. Besides teaching music Dave coached football, track, wrestling and girl's softball.
In 1981, the family moved to Worland, WY where they raised their family and spent the rest of their teaching careers. At Worland, Dave started as an elementary music teacher but quickly moved to the middle school and in 1985 took over the 7-12 band program. The rest of his career was spent in this position with Marchazz (show choir) thrown in for a few years.
Marching band was what Dave loved the most and Worland High School quickly became known for Dave's fun and innovative state marching band shows using all kinds of different props. The band won many accolades including state Champion and 20 consecutive superiors at State Marching during his tenure. Giving his students experiences to travel was also important. His bands traveled to San Diego and Tampa for Bowl games and parades, and to Hawaii and Ireland for parades. He demanded a lot from his students but loved all of them like they were his own.
To give more Wyoming kids the opportunity to travel and become better musicians as well as celebrate Wyoming's Centennial, Dave and Dawn put together the Wyoming High School All State Marching Band to march in the 1991 Rose Parade. After that, they organized the band for 3 more Rose Parades, 2 Macy Parades, a St. Patrick's Day parade in Dublin, Ireland, a parade in Scotland and a Christmas parade in Hawaii. Approximately 3,000 students and many parents from all over Wyoming traveled with the Bellis' and outstanding directors over the course of the next 25 years. The band is still operating to this day, giving opportunities to high school musicians.
Also during this time, Dave and Dawn started putting trips together for both students and adults. They took groups to New York, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Budapest, Vienna, Prague, Portugal and Spain.
Dave won many National and State awards for teaching including Wyoming Music Educator of the Year, The Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award, Band World's Legion of Honor, Chadron State's Distinguished Alumni Award, the John Phillip Sousa Award and many more.
Although Music and his students were a huge part of his life, the most important part was his family. Dave and Dawn were at most of their children's activities including swim meets, track meets, cross country meets, gymnastic meets and of course concerts as both children were in Dave's bands. As a family, camping and traveling were major activities.
Dave retired in 2008 and spent the last 15 years enjoying life every minute by spending lots of time with his four grandchildren whom he adored and was so proud of, traveling the world with his wife and close friends and family (especially his sister Becky and brother in law Steve), camping in the Big Horn Mountains and keeping in touch with many of his past students and friends on Facebook.
Dave did not believe in letting life pass him by. He was always ready to go see someone, do something new and enjoy each new adventure. One of his greatest joys was taking his family altogether on a week cruise for he and Dawn's 50th anniversary.
He is survived by his wife Dawn of Worland; son David (Heidi) Bellis of Cottage Grove, MN; daughter Jennifer (Corey) Davis of Worland; grandchildren: Jake, Walter, Zach and Harper, sister Becky (Steve) Mahnke; brother-in-law Dave Hoesing; sister-in-law Jane (Mike) Williams as well as nieces and nephews, Shannon, Nicolle, Josie, Michelle and Jeff.
He was preceded in death by his parents Bob and June Bellis; in-laws, Bob and Alice Hoesing and his grandparents.
There will be a Celebration of Dave's Life 10:00 AM Saturday, June 24, 2023 at the Worland Middle School with Tim Trippel officiating. Memorial donations may be made to the Worland High School Band Music Club. Please send checks to PO Box 524 Worland, Wy 82401. Online condolences may be made at http://www.bryantfuneralhomeonline.com.