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Blasina Bello

February 3, 1929 — November 4, 2023

Battle Creek

Blasina Bello

 

 

Blasina Arroyo de Bello of Battle Creek, Michigan entered peacefully into her eternal reward surrounded by loved ones, sacraments, prayers, and hymns on Saturday, November 4, 2023. She leaves behind a testimony of faith and devotion which she cultivated over her 94 years of life.

Blasina was born on the feast of Saint Blaise, February 3, 1929, the first child of nine to Sergio and Josefa Arroyo Rogriguez in Caguas, Puerto Rico. Upon high school graduation, Blasina moved from her beloved island home to New York City to live with her aunt where she found factory work in the Manhattan fabric industry. She became an active member of her parish in Harlem where she joined the Legion of Mary and the young adult group. It was there that she met her husband, Gonzalo Anthony “Tony” Bello (1928-2009).

Tony and Blasina were married in 1951 and soon after traveled by boat to live near Tony’s parents in Caracas, Venezuela. Between 1952 and 1964, they were blessed with the arrival of their five children: Teresa, Rafael, Cecilia, Paul, and David. All were born as American citizens living abroad in Venezuela and in between the extended visits they would take to Blasina’s family in Puerto Rico. In 1969, they moved back to the States to be closer to family members and settled with their children on the north side of Chicago in Rogers Park, Illinois.

Blasina’s parents were very devout Catholics and instilled within her a great love and respect for her Catholic faith in Jesus Christ and a strong devotion to our Blessed Mother Mary. Along with her husband, Blasina instilled her love, her faith, and her devotion into her children.

Blasina taught her family the Catholic faith through example and action. Missing Sunday Mass, much less holy days of obligation, was never an option; the Holy Rosary, complete with the Litany of Loreto, was prayed every day, and the household was given the constant reminder to, “Offer it up to Mary!” in reference to a disciple’s responsibility, like Mary at the foot of the cross, to fully unite our own sufferings to those of Christ crucified (cf. Col. 1:24, Phil. 3:10).

Blasina and Tony knew the importance of a Catholic education and made sure their children attended Catholic schools in both Venezuela and Puerto Rico. The good nuns helped strengthen the children in their love and knowledge of our great faith. Once in Chicago, they enrolled their children in religious education and became active members of their parish community.

After dividing her life between homemaking and working full-time, Blasina retired and, in 1994, moved with Tony to Battle Creek, Michigan to be near their daughter’s family and grandchildren. She became famous in the family for her authentic Puerto Rican cooking which she made every Thursday evening while hosting the weekly family get-together. Blasina’s decline in recent years brought with it the loss of her excellent cooking skills, which have been sorely missed by all. No one has yet been able to truly recreate “Grandma’s Puerto Rican Stew.”

Blasina was a lifelong member of the Legion of Mary, both for the English and Hispanic communities. In Battle Creek, she joined the Tuesday Spanish Rosary at St. Philip Catholic Parish and helped with the Spanish Mass when it was first offered at St. Joseph Catholic Parish. Once the Hispanic community had been established, she became a Eucharistic minister and a catechist for the Spanish-speaking community and served the parish alongside Tony. She took special care and joy in her task of taking Communion to the homebound. In 1996, she received a special award from St. Joseph Parish in recognition of the work and service she had performed within the community.

Blasina was loved and cherished by everyone she met. Her humble and ready-to-help demeanor made it easy for people to be with her, including the workers at Evergreen Manor where she spent the last five years of her life and was well-loved. The family wishes to extend their gratitude and thanks to those health workers who journeyed with Blasina these last years and also to her children and son-in-law who spent countless hours handling her affairs, assisting her physically, and constantly visiting and checking in.

Blasina is survived by her 5 children: Teresa Bello of Battle Creek, Rafael Bello of Chicago, Cecilia (Deacon David) Krajewski of Battle Creek, Paul Bello of Escondido, CA, and David Bello of Kalamazoo; 10 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren; 4 siblings: Carmen Lidia Rodriguez, Sergio (Margarita) Arroyo and Socorro de Soto,  Jose “Pepin” (Carmen Vallez) Arroyo, all of Puerto Rico. She is also survived by many nieces and nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews, and other extended family scattered in various pockets of the world.

She is preceded in death by her husband Tony who passed in 2009 at their Battle Creek home under her loving care. She is also preceded by her parents and grandparents, by 4 siblings: Guillermo (Ramona “Baita”) Arroyo, Rita (Arturo “Tuto”) del Valle, Manuel “Nelo” (Isabel “Chave”) Arroyo, and Lidia (Deacon Cheo) Vallez de Arroyo, by her great-granddaughter Daiana Ayelen Garcia Lopinto, and, among other extended family members, by a particularly beloved first cousin, Blessed Carlos “Chali” Rodriguez, whose cause for canonization as a Saint in the Roman Catholic Church is currently underway. As her mind faded, Blasina would inform family visitors that “Chali”, whom she knew growing up, had visited and consoled her in her room.

With our family of faith, we now commend Blasina’s spirit to God and pray that she be admitted into the choir of Saints above to be joined with her beloved family: past, present, and future, where she may await in joyful hope the coming of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, the resurrection of the body, and the life of the world to come, Alleluia.

Visitation will take place Monday, November 13 from 5:00 to 7:00pm at the Richard A Henry Funeral Home in Battle Creek, ending with a recitation of the Rosary. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated for Blasina at 10:00am Tuesday, November 14 at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Battle Creek. A luncheon will follow at the Sr. Cyrilla Jegla, RSM Parish Center across the parking lot with final interment taking place at 1:30pm at the Mount Olivet Cemetery off Riverview Drive in Kalamazoo. Gifts of flowers may be sent to the Richard A Henry Funeral Home and memorial donations may be directed to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, which goes to the service of the needy and suffering in our community.

 

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Past Services

Visitation

Monday, November 13, 2023

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Prayer Service

Monday, November 13, 2023

Starts at 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Mass

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Starts at 10:00 am (Eastern time)

St. Joseph Catholic Catholic Church

61 N 23rd St, Battle Creek, MI 49015

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