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Lafayette Mourns Loss of Hall of Famer

June 21, 2010

EASTON, Pa. - Harold Bellis '40, a former Lafayette football and baseball player, passed away on Sunday at the age of 93.

The Maroon Club Hall of Famer, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1987, enjoyed a standout career both on the gridiron and baseball field. He is perhaps best known as having quarterbacked the undefeated Leopard football team in 1937. Bellis also was a key blocking back for Lafayette.

His baseball career was equally impressive, as he captained the team and missed only one game in his four seasons as an infielder.

Following graduation from Lafayette, the Phillipsburg, N.J. native completed a tour of duty in the Air Force in World War II before returning home to teach and coach football and baseball at his high school alma mater, Phillipsburg High School.

He retired from coaching in 1967 and completed his 14-year football head coaching tenure with an overall record of 86-29-10 that included two undefeated seasons (1960, 1964). He served as head baseball coach for the Stateliners for 26 years.

After his football coaching career at Phillipsburg came to an end, he joined the Lafayette football staff as the assistant freshman football coach.

Bellis was inducted in the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame in 1985, the Phillipsburg High School Wall of Fame in 2000 and the Lehigh Valley Hall of Fame in 2006.

He is survived by his children, Mary Linda Bellis, James L. Bellis, Kathy Pritchard, six grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.

Viewing hours will be held from 3-5 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. on Wednesday, June 23 at the Finegan Funeral Home in Phillipsburg. In lieu of flowers, the family is asking to consider donations to Phillipsburg Emergency Squad, Prospect Street, Phillipsburg Athletic Department at PHS, Hillcrest Boulevard or to the Infusions Department of Warren Hospital, Roseberry Street, also in Phillipsburg.