|Birth:||2 May 1906|
Billings, Montana, USA
|Death:||1 March 2017|
Morgan Hill, California, USA
|Age:||110 years, 303 days|
Belle McCormick (née Malmstrom; 2 May 1906 – 1 March 2017) was an American supercentenarian who is currently unverified.
Belle Marie was born in Billings, Montana, United States on 2 May 1906 to Thomas and Ella Malmstrom as the second youngest and last surviving of four siblings. Belle grew up on a ranch in the cowboy state of Montana where she learned to ride horses before she could even walk. Her father was an immigrant from Sweden who made the voyage to American all by himself when he was 10 years old. She started teaching in Yellowstone County, Montana in the fall of 1925. At age 19, she had only six months of teaching training and was hired because the state of Montana needed educators so much. She returned to Billings and went back to school to became a career woman. There Belle met Bill McCormick, her future husband.
Belle and Bill got married, but kept it secret. They raised three daughters in Morgan Hill – Margaret, Annie and Mary Ellen. In 1951, the family moved into a fixer-upper home in Morgan Hill. They came here for the better climate because of their oldest daughter Mary Ellen’s health concerns. Belle found a substitute teaching job at Machado Elementary School. She later earned a degree and taught at Burnett School, the site that now serves as Central High School’s campus. In 1966, she moved to San Martin School and worked there as a vice principal. When Belle retired from teaching in 1973, she kept busy volunteering and learning new skills. She studied the art of making stained glass windows from her former third-grade student, Tim Lantz. She also learned the craft of caning chairs. She found time to build a small barn and put up a wood fence on her property by herself.
In 1987, the Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce honored her as its “Woman of the Year” for her volunteer work and many years teaching. In 2006, she donated to the Morgan Hill Historical Society a bell from a 1906 Baldwin steam locomotive which had once been in her home’s yard. She began to share a few words of wisdom learned from 110 years of living. “What makes life worthwhile is all the friends you have. I have friends of every walk of life, and I sure enjoy them. I never say anything mean to anybody,” she said. “Thank, you, thank you. Friends make your life worth living. I’ve had some wonderful friends here. I dream about them a lot. I wake up at night and think about them, this one or that one who have been so wonderful to me.”
McCormick died in Morgan Hill, California, USA on 1 March 2017 at the age of 110 years, 303 days.