Mr. and Mrs. Belstra and sons, Joel and Jeffry, two, who reside on the Alvah Pletcher farm, along with neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. Chester Benck and their little daughters, were spending last Wednesday afternoon, July 6, at the Tippecanoe River near Monticello when the tragedy which claimed little Joel's life occurred at 4:15 p.m. at Buffalo Island swimming resort.
The boy was last seen going up a ramp towards his mother, Eileen. Joel was seen below the water's surface about five minutes later by a youth on a diving board some 50 feet down the river. The older lad dove in but was unable to locate the boy. The child was found by Arthur Kosher of Winamac about 10 minutes after he was discovered missing.
Efforts to revive him, made by State Troopers and the Monticello fire department were futile.
Surviving with his parents and brother are his maternal grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Arnold Bailey of Monon, and his paternal grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Casper Belstra of DeMotte.
Memorial services were held Saturday, July 9, at 2 p.m. in the First Reformed Church in DeMotte with the Rev. Albert Van Dyke officiating. Burial was in Holland Cemetery, DeMotte.
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