Darlene “Dee” Belles, 74 of Hemet, California passed away peacefully on Tuesday, January 3, 2017, at home surrounded by family. She was born on Thursday, March 26, 1942 in Van Nuys, California to the late Floyd and Mildred Schafer. Darlene was married to the love of her life, Richard Belles for 51 years. When she was young, she was a professional dancer with Disney and was part of the original Mouseketeers on the Mickey Mouse Club. She also danced in Vegas with stars like Fred Astaire, Debbie Reynolds and Connie Stevens. She continued with her dancing, teaching the young at her Red Shoes Dance Studio. She lived in Montebello, Rowland Heights, Huntington Beach, Temecula, Cathedral City, Indio, and finally Hemet at the Del Webb Solara Diamond Valley community. Following in her mother’s footsteps, Darlene and Richard became foster parents. She raised 4 wonderful children that were her pride and joy. In Huntington Beach, she started her own Floral business on the street corner of a parking lot that quickly blossomed into a successful venture. Her company, P.S. I Love You, combining Weddings, Floral and Tuxedos, was a major accomplishment for her. As her health declined she went back to work for the grocery chain in the floral department winning many awards for her holiday displays, finally retiring in 2014. Her creativity could not be matched. When her health permitted, Darlene and Richard traveled all over the world visiting South America, the Orient, the Islands of the South Pacific, Russia, Germany, Scandinavia, and many, many more. Diagnosed with cancer in 1991, she consistently amazed doctors with her courageous battle and determination to beat it. She was so happy to attend her 55th class reunion and to celebrate her 70th birthday with family and friends. Darlene burned like a bright spark, always on the move and making things happen. She was truly the life of any party! She was preceded in death by her son Patrick Belles. Surviving is her husband Richard Belles, daughter Laryl Laetsch and husband Jay, son John Belles and wife Annette, son James Belles, daughter Lynne Conforti, daughter Michele Downs and husband Mark, brother, Earl Schafer and wife Brigitte, and grandchildren Evan Feller, Ashleigh Feller, Ryan Feller, Nick Conforti and wife Cassie, Emilee Conforti, Reed Conforti, Jarret Belles, Maddie Belles, Caleb Conforti-Armstrong, Lillie Conforti, Jaime Aldaco and husband Nate, and Lindsay Walsh and husband Dave. Also, her beloved pug, Mugsy. She will be greatly missed by all!
The family will receive friends from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM on Tuesday, January 10, 2017, at Miller-Jones Hemet Mortuary, 1501 W Florida Ave, Hemet, California.
A Funeral service will be at 11:30 AM on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 at Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church located at 780 S. State Street, Hemet, California 92544. A reception will follow. Interment will be in Good Shepherd Cemetery, Huntington Beach, CA, on Wednesday January 11, 2017 at 12:00 pm.
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