School 18

Donald "Don" Robert Belle

February 3, 1940 ~ January 19, 2021 (age 80)

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Donald Robert Belle of Charlotte died January 19, 2021 after losing his battle against COVID-19. Don was the eldest son of John and Eileen (Arnold) Belle, born February 3, 1940 in Cuyahoga OH.  Don attended Detroit Mercy, graduating with his BS in Electrical Engineering. He was immediately hired by IBM and moved to Binghamton, NY with his new wife, Carol Anne Smith; together they shared 55 years of marriage, memories, and family.  Early in his career, Don earned his MS in Computer Sciences from SUNY-Binghamton. IBM relocated Don to Charlotte in 1978, bringing him, his wife and three daughters out of the snow and clouds to the sunny south. He stayed with IBM for 30 years prior to retirement, which gifted him the opportunity to start a second career as an Instructor and Program Director at Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC).  After “retiring” a second time following 20 years of service at CPCC, he quickly returned as a part-time instructor, a job he proudly continued until his death.

He and Carol moved to an active 55+ community in 2019 introducing him to the sport of pickleball and making sure he never had to mow grass or rake leaves again!

Don was a fan of computers, outer space, shirts with pockets, dinner at 6pm, ocean cruises- especially the days at sea, shrimp cocktails and dessert! He was a technology geek who had his whole house controlled by computers before it was a thing and was a life-long ham radio operator - W2BSG.

Don was known for his patience and generosity with his family. He never missed an event for his grandkids - attending everything to which he was invited including games, meets, Grandparent Days, musicals, and concerts.

Don is survived by his heartbroken family including his wife Carol Ann (Smith), three daughters and sons-in-law- Deb and Tom Gough, Lori and Mike Henkel and Sharon and Mike Taulbert, three grandchildren – Christian Henkel, MeKayla Gough, and Donovan Henkel. Don is also survived by his three younger brothers and their wives - Russ and Jeanne of St. Louis MO, Jerry and Janet of Naples, FL, Tom and Marion of Chaska, MN, his sister-in-law Jeanne Kerr who he was grateful to have sharing a home with him and Carol for the last 15 years, and a loving extended family of in-laws, outlaws, nieces, nephews and great-nieces and great-nephews.

The family will have a 2pm service on Saturday, January 23, 2021 for those who want to participate virtually. The family will hold a private burial.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to CPCC in Don’s honor, to support scholarships for first time college students focused on future career goals in computer sciences. To donate:

Please make checks payable to CPCC Foundation; notate Don Belle Memorial in the memo line and send it to CPCC Foundation, PO Box 35009, Charlotte, NC  28235.  Online donations can be made at; memorial gifts can be indicated. 


Funeral Service Will Be Live Streamed @

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Funeral Service
January 23, 2021

2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Carolina Funeral Service & Cremation Center
5505 Monroe Rd.
Charlotte, NC 28212-5503


CPCC Foundation
PO Box 35009, Charlotte NC 28235