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Posted: March 2, 2011 12:00 a.m.

Richard Bellairs: A life of service

Submitted Photo /

Whether it was ensuring that a child had a toy at Christmas through the Empty Stocking Fund or tallying Sunday school attendance at First United Methodist Church, community service was second nature for Richard E. (Dick) Bellairs.

He was always there and always working to make Covington and Newton County a bit better.

"(He was) somebody who always was ready, willing and able to do," said Greg Pope, a Covington attorney who served with Bellairs in the Covington Rotary Club and is a family friend.

Bellairs, 80, died Monday at Newton Medical Center.

A Purdue University School of Pharmacy graduate, he was a co-owner and operator of Standard Pharmacy in Porterdale and Professional Court Pharmacy in Covington.

He joined Rotary in 1959 and was its president in 1963. He was a Paul Harris Fellow with Rotary.

It’s hard to replace somebody that understands there is a need to serve the community," Pope said.

He frequently working in tandem with his wife of 57 years, Betty, in his community service, and was active in raising money for the Empty Stocking Fund.

An important fundraiser for the charity effort is the spring sale of sweet onions. Bellairs was always hard at work at the sale, even in his later years.

"Even when he wasn’t getting around as well as he used to do, Dick would sell 50 pounds of onions," Pope said.

The Bellairs joined Covington First United Methodist Church in 1982. He served as Sunday school superintendent, taking attendance and putting records together.

"He was just an incredible man and one of the dear saints of this church, said Dr. Doug Gilreath pastor of Covington First United Methodist Church. "He will be missed."

Services for Bellairs are at 11 a.m. today at Covington First United Methodist Church, with the Rev. Gilreath, Dr. Royeese Stowe and the Rev. Gale Thompson, officiating.

Entombment will follow in Lawnwood Memorial Park.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Pastor’s Fund, Covington First United Methodist Church, 1113 Conyers St., Covington, Ga. 30014, or to the Empty Stocking Fund, c/o Rotary Club of Covington Foundation, P.O. Box 1063, Covington, Ga. 30015.

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