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Belva Leona Fire Thunder

08/18/1938 - 03/27/2019
Service Date: 04/07/2019
Service Time: 2:00 PM
Service Location: Salvation Army, 241 East 6th Street Mesa, Arizona 85201

On Wednesday, March 27, 2019, Belva Leona FireThunder, loving mother and grandmother, passed away at the age of 80. Belva (“Bee”) was born on August 18, 1938 in Pine Ridge, South Dakota to William and Cecila FireThunder. Bee was a member of the Oglala Lakota Sioux Tribe and grew up on the Pine Ridge Reservation, attending boarding school and capturing the “Lakota Princess” title her senior year.

Bee moved to Aurora, Colorado (where she once rode a buffalo) and then to Mesa, Arizona in 1967, where she was surrounded by dear friends and had her only son, Brad. As “Miss Bee” she was a part of Paul Shank’s Gracious Dining team that dominated the Scottsdale dining and entertainment scene in the 60’s and 70’s, working at the Safari Coffee Shop, Dining Room, French Quarter Lounge, and the (then) new Scottsdale Hilton. Later in life Bee continued to work with friends who became family at The Little Mesa Café. When she retired, she began volunteering with the Salvation Army at the Mesa Citadel. Bee was devoted to helping and received “volunteer of the year” recognition for her continued work.

Grandma Bee was a loving friend and inspiration for her granddaughters, Kateri and Rebecca. She never passed on an opportunity to spend time making crafts, playing games, or just being with them in any way she could. The joy they brought her was returned twofold to them.

Bee is preceded in death by her father, William; mother, Cecila; and brother, Rudolph. She is survived by her son, Brad; his wife, Kristine; granddaughters, Kateri and Rebecca; her nephew, Donny; his wife, Patti; and their children, Heather Bea, Cody, and Chris; nieces, Lisa, Connie, and Colleen; great-niece, Melissa Rose; and many other loving family members and friends.

A memorial service will be held at 2:00pm on Sunday, April 7, 2019 at the Salvation Army, 241 East 6th Street Mesa, Arizona 85201.


  • Vickie Garrison

    I had the pleasure of meeting Ms Bee and caring for her. She was a beautiful lady inside and out. I am so sorry for your loss.
    May she be your light every morning. RIP SWEET LADY

  • Candi Frizzell

    Bee was a great lady and a great friend. We will never forget her and all the hours she gave to the Mesa Salvation Army. She was a tireless worker who cared about people, and I am grateful for having known her. She will be missed.

  • Charlene Boileau

    Our precious Bee, a beautiful person who loved everyone she came in contact with. She loved her beloved Salvation Army as she volunteered her time and gave of herself. She was such an inspiration to me and loved her God of creation. Her acceptance as friend was welcomed by all. I will miss you Miss Bee. God bless your family!

  • Extending my sincere condolences to the family and friends of Miss Bee. Our loving Creator never intended for the human family to suffer and be separated by death. We were created to live forever on a paradise earth. Very soon our Creator will heal our hearts and remove all pain, tears and grief by resurrecting our loved ones. I pray that this wonderful promise will bring you some comfort and hope. (Acts 24:15 and Revelation 21:4)
    Sincerely Angela H

  • I was a classmate and graduated with her at OCHS Pine Ridge, SD. She was a wonderful person and very gracious. I will always remember her.

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