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1941 Belva 2022

Belva Ruth (Slater) Yep

July 18, 1941 — July 16, 2022

Belva Ruth (Slater) (Rider) Yep, two days shy of 81, formerly of Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and currently of Ozark, Missouri, passed away on Saturday, July 16, 2022 surrounded by the love of her family. 


Belva was born on July 18, 1941 in McCleary, Washington, and raised in Arkansas; the daughter of James Leslie Slater and Ruth Mae Slater (Bowman).


Her first marriage was to Robert Rider, on June 18, 1960; and together they had two children, Kevin and Leta. They later divorced in 1963.  


She married Raymond Sing Yep on May 13, 1968, to whom she remained married until death did they part, 54 years later. Tragically, they lost her parents, James and Ruth, and her children, Kevin and Leta, in a single traffic accident on July 3, 1970. Soon thereafter, they began anew having two sons, Raymond Yep Jr (1972), and Joseph Yep (1977). 


She was preceded in death by her parents, two of her four children, Kevin and Leta Slater, and her siblings Evon Yeager, Novella Lacy, Rudy Slater, J.L. Slater, and Oleta Lavelock. 


Belva is survived by husband of 54 years Raymond Sing Yep; sons, Raymond Sing Yep, Jr. and Joseph King Yep; siblings, Ronald Slater and wife, Valinda Taylor and husband; two grandchildren, Connor Yep and Isabella Yep; and an ever-growing family of cousins, nieces and nephews.


Belva was a dedicated and loving wife, mother, daughter, grandmother, and friend. While she never let ANYTHING go to waste, she always made sure there was enough for us all, especially by way of volumes of love. Belva loved love, spreading joy and warmth to all she met. She always put the needs of others before her own. She was the first to volunteer to help family in need, sacrificing for the betterment of others. Helping others gave her happiness and purpose. She was passionate about travel, spending time outdoors, painting, chocolate, chocolate gravy and biscuits, and most importantly her family. Her love of photographing all family gatherings and life events has left her family with beautifully captured memories. She greatly enjoyed music, specifically gospel (especially The Gaithers) and the lyrical musings of Elvis Presley and Tom Jones.  Her favorite song being Under the Boardwalk that reminded her of being in her favorite place, the beach.


 She was an Eastern Star of the Masonic Shrine and a Lady Elk for multiple decades.


Belva’s life was one of a well-travelled southern belle. She appreciated the road travelled, often more than the destination itself. She made many cross-country road trips. Among her favorite places to visit: Texas, Florida, and her son’s homes in Colorado and California. One of her all-time favorite past-times was preparing and packing for a trip; it would fill her with excitement anticipation of travel. In 2012, we were able to fulfill her lifelong dream to make it to Hawaii and experience the magnificence of the aloha spirit. 


Belva, may the road trip on your final journey be filled with the tunes of the open road and the warm sunshine of heaven. We remain here ground-bound as you left Earth to go back home, amongst the sunny clouds right next to God. But we are left here to manufacture wings out of tears, hopes and dreams, in order to continue to pass the love you showed on to others. 


At Belva’s request, there will be no services; Cremation rites have been entrusted to Adams Crematory, Ozark, MO. After which, we will fulfill her wishes for her ashes to be spread freely on the beautiful beach surf of Hawaii, where she can spend eternity soaking up the tropical warmth and bathing in the perfection of her paradise. No one has been more deserving.


“To live in the hearts of those we love is never to die.” -Hazel Gaynor

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