osarep Tue, 03/23/2010 - 18:18

Joseph A. Bellande and family circa 1940 at NOLA?

[L-R: Odie Wooten Bellande (b. 1895); Signe Olsen Bellande (1910-1999); L. Earle Bellande (1897-1989); J. Arbo Bellande (1868-1961) and J. Emmet Bellande (1895-1974)


Joseph Emmett Bellande (1895-1974)


Joseph Emmett Bellande (1895-1974), called Emmett, was born at Biloxi, Mississippi on June 24, 1895. He was reared at 1430 Melpomene Street when his father was employed as a baggage master for the L&N Railroad.

By 1917, Emmett had married Oda [Odie] Wooten (1896-1979), who was born in rural Leake County, Mississippi to Robert F. Wooten (1864-1910+), a farmer, and Mary Hollis Wooten (1864-1910+). At this time, Emmett Bellande was employed at Detroit, Michigan as an auto mechanic with the Liberty Motor Car Company.  

Returning to the Crescent City, Emmett was a very successful insurance agent before the Great Depression, and like many of that decade lost his fortune doing those economically trying times. In 1930, Emmett and his small family were domiciled it 1619 Industry Street in New Orleans and he was employed in the insurance industry.

By 1940, the family had relocated to 4701 Marigny. At this time, Emmett was employed by the WPA as an administrator. His salary was $2100 per annum.  In the late 1940s, Emmett became employed by the city of New Orleans as administrator of all cemeteries under the aegis of the city.

In September 1950, Odie W. Bellande filed for a separation in the Civil District Court of Orleans Parish, Louisiana. After their divorce, Emmett married Mildred Burgdorf (1908-1990) who was active in local politics. Odie married John U. Liles.

Joseph Emmett Bellande died of thyroid cancer on September 24, 1974. His corporal remains were interred in Garden of Memories cemetery at Metairie, Louisiana. Odie lived until February 21, 1979. Her internment was in St. Bernard Memorial Gardens at Chalmette, Louisiana.


The Times-Picayune, 'Civil District Court', September 21, 1950.

The Times-Picayune, '[Joeseph Emmett] Bellande', September 25, 1974, p. 18.

The Times-Picayune, '[Odie Wooten Bellande] Liles', February 22, 1979, p. 22.

The Times-Picayune, '[Joseph Emmett Jr.] Bellande', September 4, 2011.



Joseph Emmett Bellande Junior 


Joseph Emmett Bellande Jr. (1927-2011), called Emmett, retired in the 1980s at with his lovely wife, Ella Marian (b. 1928) in Arabi, Louisiana.  He enjoyed a successful career as the proprietor of Bellande & Sons, an electrical contractor and as a gunsmith when he owned The Gun Shop.  In February 1956, Emmett made an impressive debut as a trap shooter.(The Times-Picayune, Febraury 21, 1956, p. 27)


After Hurricane Katrina destroyed their Arabi home, Emmett and Marion relocated to Ponchatoula, Louisiana.  Emmett enjoyed his children, grandchildren, hunting, trap shooting, history, and sailing in his "old age”.  He and Marion had seven wonderful children and an evergrowing number of grandchildren.  Their children are: Bonnie Lynn Bellande (b. 1947) m. Mr. Englande (b. 1947); Joseph E. Bellande, III (b. 1949); m. Linda Konnecker; Peggy Jane Bellande (b. 1951) m. Mr. Laborde; Kenneth James Bellande (b. 1953) m. Miss Russell; Susan Carol Bellande (b. 1955) m. Donald Gerard Vallee; Diane Bellande (b. 1958) m. Mr. Davis; and Nancy Jean Bellande (b. 1964) m. Vincent Nat Liberto Jr. Liberto and Mr. Ciuzio.


Bellande & Sons Electric was opened in 1946 by Joseph “Emmett” Bellande II in a small building in the heart of New Orleans. As his family grew, Emmett relocated his home and business to St. Bernard Parish. This is where it has remained for more than 50 years, even after being rebuilt following the complete devastation caused by Hurricane Betsy. Emmett, being a father of two boys – Joseph “J” Bellande III and Kenneth Bellande – worked hard to ensure that his sons had a legacy to carry on. Emmett provided quality work and prompt service to the New Orleans metropolitan area for more than 35 years before passing the company on to his sons.


Upon Emmett’s retirement in the late 1970s, Joseph “Jay” Bellande III and Kenneth Bellande began to take the lead. The two sons continued running the business with the same motto as their father, “Quality Work with Prompt Service.” Once Kenneth decided to join the Coast Guard, continuing the legacy was left to J. As J was raising a son of his own – Joseph “Jason” Bellande IV – knowing that this might one day all be his to pass on, the business continued to thrive.


In 2005, after being completely wiped out by yet another hurricane that we all know as Katrina, Jay fought to return to the St. Bernard area. He knew that completely losing his home and business would be a difficult task. But after much prayer and hard work, Bellande & Sons Electric returned.


Now the time has come for the business to be passed on to the next generation. Jason, the third-generation owner of Bellande & Sons Electric, is steadfast in his dedication to maintaining the same high standards of quality on which the company was originally founded. With a lifetime of electrical experience and many years of on-the-job training before he was old enough to drive, Jason is very excited to carry on his family legacy.


Joseph Emmett Bellande Jr. expired at Moss Point, Mississippi on August 27, 2011.  His corporal remains were interred in the Biloxi National Cemetery at Biloxi, Mississippi.(The Times-Picayune, September 4, 2011)


Joseph E. Bellande III


Joseph “Jay” Emmett Bellande III was born ? 1949, at New Orleans, Louisiana.  In 1970, he married Linda Konnecker (b. 195?), the daughter of Louis C. Konnecker (1927-2006) and Helene Fusellier (1927-1980). They have two children: Tina Bellande (b. 1973) and Joseph “Jason” Emmett Bellande IV (b. 1977).


The Bellande family moved to St. Bernard Parish in 1960. After earning his degree in economics from the University of New Orleans, Jay operated Bellande & Sons Electric, Inc., as an electrical contractor for over forty-four years.


An avid outdoorsman, fisherman, and hunter, Jay Bellande has experienced first hand every hurricane and tropical storm that has hit the New Orleans area since 1957.  He is a lifetime member of the NRA and an advocate of personal responsibility, self-defense training, and survival planning.


In 2015, Jay Bellande wrote Rooftop Terror [] describing in vivid and emotional detail his families terrifying Katrina experience of late August 2005.



In late August 2005, authorities in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana, read the warning signs and instructed residents to leave ahead of the approaching storm known as Hurricane Katrina—and most people did as they were told.   But for a few stalwarts, including Joseph E. Bellande III and his wife, Linda, fleeing with their lives wasn’t the obvious choice. With a sophisticated disaster preparedness plan and plenty of experience with hurricanes and tropical storms, Joseph and Linda decided to shelter in place at their St. Bernard Parish home just outside of New Orleans.  This decision proves nearly fatal, however, and leaves the Bellandes weathering Hurricane Katrina while tethered to the roof of the house, just fighting to survive.  It is the early morning hours of August 30th when Joseph realizes that no one is coming to rescue them. So along with their son, the Bellande family decides to try to save themselves by climbing into a boat and taking their chances against the great storm.   True Hurricane Katrina Story tells the harrowing tale of the Bellande family’s fight to survive against the odds during one of the nation’s deadliest natural disasters.




[L-R: Linda Carden Bellande (1942-1999); Louis E. Bellande Jr. (b. 1942); Signe Olsen Bellande (1910-1999) Louis E. Bellande (1897-19890; and Signe Marie Bellande (b. 1939)


Louis Earle Bellande (1897-1989)

Joseph A. Bellande's second son, Louis Earle (1897-1989), was called Earle.  Earle Bellande, although born at Biloxi on the Mississippi coast, lived most of his adult life in Chicago, Illinois.  It is generally believed that he came north as the result of a hitch in the US Navy.  Circa 1924, Earle married a woman named Katharine Eischen (1889-1933), who was born on January 5, 1899 to Anton Eischen and Margaret Harre in Luxembourg.  Katharine expired from stomach cancer at Chicago on June 25, 1933.  Her corporal remains were interred at St. Henry's Cemetery.  At the tome of Katharine's demise, the Bellandes were domiciled at 1726 Thome Avenue at Chicago.(1930 Cook Co., Illinois Federal Census  R496, p. 30B, ED 1956 and Cook Co., Illinois Death Certificate No. 17097)


Earle Bellande


Earle Bellande was gregarious and personable.  These traits suited him well as a salesman in the Chicago meat packing industry.  In 1937, he married Signe V. Olsen (1910-1999), a nurse of recent Scandinavian ancestry.  She was born on August 23, 1910 at Stambaugh, Michigan and expired at Batavia, Illinois on February 28, 1999.  They lived at 1528 Elmdale at Chicago.  Three children were born of this union: Signe Marie Bellande (b. 1939), called Bunny; L. Signe Bellande, a male who died March 8, 1941; and Louis Earle Bellande Junior (b. 1942).(The Naperville Sun, March 3, 1999)


Earle and Signe Bellande often traveled South to visit relatives and friends.  In March 1938, they came to Biloxi and joined with his Uncle Jesse Smith (1860-1934) and Aunt Ophelia Barthes Smith for a 2000 mile round trip down the east Florida coast to Miami.  Marie Alexandrine Barthes (1876-1961), Earle's mother, owned an orange grove near Miami.  The party retuned to Biloxi via the west Florida coast road and visited Jacksonville, Daytona beach, Palm Beach, Miami Beach, and St. Petersburg.  Jesse Smith noted that there were 100,000 visitors in the Miami area, but they were beginning to return to their Northern homes on a daily basis.(The Daily Herald, March 31, 1938, p. 6)


Signe Marie Bellande (b. 1939)

Signe Marie Bellande married Frederick (Fritz) Specht at Chicago, Illinois on September 10, 1960.  They resided in Chicago were Fritz was self-employed as an attorney and later relocated to Lawrenceville, Georgia.  Their children are: Suzanne Marie Specht Danielson (b. 1961), Lisa Marie Specht Clark (b. 1964), and Matthew Specht (b. 1967).


Linda Carden Bellande (1942-1999)


Louis Earle Bellande Jr. (1942-2017)


Louis Earle Bellande Jr. was born at Chicago on December 18, 1942.  He married Linda Lee Carden (1942-1999), a native of Tennessee.  They exchanged wedding vows in Chicago on December 28, 1963.  from this holy union two children were born: Peter Bellande (b. 1976) and Rachel Bellande (b. 1979).  Louis had a successful law practice in Chicago and Linda was a very successful realtor in the west Chicago suburbs.  They reside at Wheaton, Illinois.  Linda C. Bellande expired on September 7, 2007.(The Chicago Tribune, September 8, 2007)


Louis married Bonnie Bartolai Gioffredi after Linda's demise.  He expired on December 22, 2017.  Louis was survived by spouse, Bonnie B. Gioffredi Bellande; his two children; sister, Signe Bellande Specht; and step children, Kelli Cameron and Jessica (Edward) Spizzirri. Visitation Wednesday December 27th 2017 from 9:00 a.m.till time of service at 10:00 a.m. at the Orchard Evangelical Free Church, Barrington, Illinois. Private interment Wheaton Cemetery.


Earle Bellande died on May 25, 1989 at the grand age of 92 years just one week after he and Signe had attended the wedding of his grandson, Matthew Specht, in Carbondale, Illinois.  After retiring from the hectic world of sales, he and Signe enjoyed many trips to the west coast of Florida, New Orleans, and his birthplace, Biloxi.  Signe Bellande expired on February 28, 1999 at Chicago.  She remained very active performing charitable works, visiting old friends, and enjoying her growing families and grandchildren.