Richard “Dick” Belz was born in New York on August 15, 1935 and passed away July 20th due to complications from a fall. He is predeceased by his parents, Valentin and Lydia Belz and brother Donald Belz.
Dick graduated from Richmond Hill High School, attended the RCA Institutes and after graduating began working for IBM. He was drafted and served in the Army as a computer specialist, then returned to IBM. He later earned a bachelor’s degree from Marist College. After 18 years of working for IBM in New York and with the help of a supportive wife he made a career change and went to law school at the University of Florida. After graduation the family stayed in Gainesville and he worked for Florida Institutional Legal Services where he became an expert in Florida Administrative Law and took several cases to the Florida Supreme Court.
Dick later became a U.S. magistrate judge. During his time in Gainesville, he served for many years on the city’s Board of Adjustment and helped start the Guardian Ad Litem program in Alachua County. He was also the first legal aid attorney to be elected president of the Eighth Judicial Bar Association. He later worked for the Legal Technology Center at the UF Law School part-time before fully retiring and moving to On Top of the World in Ocala. However, he still remained busy, serving on the boards of Master the Possibilities, On Top of the World and the CDD of Bay Laurel. He was a passionate genealogist and often taught classes to assist others in their search as well. Dick is survived by his wife Barbara of 63 years, their daughter Jane (Chris Beavers) and grandsons Brian Mandeville and Ian Beavers.
There will be a celebration of Life on Wednesday, September 21 at the Cultural Center, On Top of the World in Ocala at 11:30 am.