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1925 Belva 2015

Belva Jean Darrah

October 29, 1925 — August 17, 2015

On the day of August 17th, 2015 at 6:30 pm, a fighter, an inspiration has passed away peacefully surrounded by generations of family, of which she started. Belva Jean Darrah, 89, of Bloomingdale, succumbed to complications due to her cancer, spending the last few years of her life fighting, laughing, and loving.

Born in St. Regis Falls, New York on October 29, 1925, she was the daughter of Arthur and Libby (Collins) Farmer. Jean married Ralph L. Darrah on June 21, 1950 in Saranac Lake. She was preceded in death by her husband Ralph, one son Thomas and one daughter Susan L.

She will forever be the Queen of our family’s hearts, and she was the foundation of our family. Her spirit will live on through countless stories, and qualities instilled upon all of us. I would never bring a knife to a gunfight, but I would bring her. She was born in a generation where there was no choice other than being tough. If you didn’t work, you didn’t eat. This toughness extended into the family of her own, raising eight rowdy children with no Iphones, internet, or “how to” booklets being told how to do so. A feat like this could only be accomplished with true Grit. Armed only with her sharp, witty attitude and a broom she successfully raised three generations of family. We will miss visiting her loving home, a central hub for all of her children, grand-children, and great grand-children with walls furnished in hundreds of pictures, pantries stocked with twizzlers, her “loud shoes”, and the sight of her sitting contently in her blue chair. Our only hopes is that somewhere out there, wherever the good lord takes her, that she is cared for, provided for, and appreciated as much as we’ve appreciated her in this life.

Jean had been employed as a Bookkeeper at St. Paul’s Church in Bloomingdale for over 30 years until her retirement at the age of 87 in 2012. She had also worked as the bookkeeper at the Saranac Lake Adult Center for many years and the Town of Franklin Seniors. She was a member of the Over 55 Club and avid bingo player.

She is survived by five sons, Wayne A. Darrah and his wife, Brenda of Bloomingdale, David R. Darrah and partner, Gail Lozier of Morrisonville, Scott D. Darrah and partner, Donna Sayles of Saranac Lake, Stuart J. Darrah and his and wife, Tracy of Bloomingdale, Ronald P. Darrah and his wife, Mia of Bloomingdale, and one daughter, Marianne T. Ahern, and her husband, James of Saranac, 19 grandchildren, 14 great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. She is also survived by two daughter-in-laws Barbara Jean Darrah and Brenda Fountain Darrah one son-in law Wayne Buzzell. She was also predecesade by 3 brothers and 6 sisters.

Calling hours will take place at the Fortune-Keough Funeral Home on Thursday, August 20, 2015 from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place at St. Paul’s Church in Bloomingdale at 11:00 AM on Friday, August 21, 2015 with Rev. Patrick Ratigan officiating. Burial will follow at St. Bernard Cemetery in Saranac Lake.

Friends wishing to remember Belva Jean Darrah may make memorial contributions to Saranac Lake Adult Center in care of the funeral home. Family and friends can also share their memories and sign the online guestbook at
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Belva Jean Darrah, please visit our flower store.


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