The first time Patrick Belue asked Lora Dawn Mallett out on a date, Lora was in the sixth grade at Ravenswood Elementary in West Virginia.
“We went to the library and we were kissing in the library, sort of watching a movie,” Pat said after nearly 40 years of marriage. “I broke up with her on the way out. Then she told me I didn't kiss good.”
Lora Dawn Belue passed away in late August with her husband, Pat, still by her side. As told by Pat, their life journey ended recently in Winter Haven – a life filled with countless good memories together.
For eight years, Lora sold legal ads and classified ads for the Sun. For 13 years before that, she worked at the Ravenswood News in West Virginia.
Pat was introduced to Lora when she was still in kindergarten. Pat used to hang out with her cousins. The two went to the same public schools all their lives.
They played kickball together and they had children, grandchildren together.
As a freshman at Ravenswood High School, Pat asked Lora out for the second time. He never broke up with her again and Lora remained a faithful and loving wife to him, Pat said. Lora Belue was a mother to a son and to a daughter, a grandmother to biological and to adopted children. Lora was a friend to many other wonderful people.
“For the last two days she was in such bad shape,” her husband said. “I sat there in the chair and held her hand. I've sat with a lot of people who have died but I've never sat with anybody who wanted to live worse than she did. She had a lot more to do but she was just a human being.”
Pat went outside just after midnight to get a breath of fresh air. He came back in their home two minutes later and Lora was gone.
According to her family, and from personal experience with her, Lora was the type of person who never, ever, ever asked for help. Nobody knew cancer was destroying Lora's body, maybe not even Lora. She never told her sister Launa Mallett that something was wrong...
Editor's Note – The Winter Haven Sun, the Polk News Sun and the Four Corners News Sun are all newspapers that are owned by most of the same people who owned the former Lake Wales News, Polk County News and Democrat, the Frostproof News, and the Fort Leade News Leader up until the last decade or so. Lora Belue was hired to sell legal ads and classified ads for the former Lake Wales News in 2013. To read the rest of her love story, check out the Well Being magazine on newsstands Oct. 6.