DISCLAIMER: The obituaries written on this page by the illustrious medium, Dianne Ullman, are hers and hers alone, and do not reflect the opinions of the The Miami Beach Gazette or any employee thereof. The Miami Beach Gazette is not responsible for the accuracy (or inaccuracy) of any of the information supplied by the illustrious medium, Dianne Ullman.
The Bygone O-Beach-Uaries
by Dianne Ullman
Thursday, January 1, 2015
Mirna Cornelio Belmonte, 71, from Miami Beach, FL, went to be with the Lord on January 5, 1988.
She was born in 1917, in Amboy, Minnesota, and married Lester Belmonte in her community church, St. John Lutheran of Willow Creek, at the age of twenty. With their first child on the way, the couple moved to East Grand Forks where her husband took a job at the Pillsbury Flour Mill. Mirna's luck changed the day she was crossing the Sorlie Memorial Bridge and found a man lying on the side of the road. Realizing the symptoms of a heart attack, she sought help and saved the man's life. Following his recovery, J. Paul Getty, one of the few wealthy men in America during the depression, left Mirna a sizeable sum of money as a way to show his gratitude.
Mirna, her husband Lester, and their one year old son, moved an apartment in Minneapolis where she took a job as a school teacher while Lester tended to the house and their child. Through a series of introductions, Mirna became good friends with Minneapolis's first all-girl country band, the Rhythm Ranch Gals, and for two years she took advantage of the two month vacation that her teaching job offered to follow them on tour. In 1944, when Lester was drafted into the Army, Mirna moved to Tallahassee to work with a singing coach that was recommended by the Rhythm Ranch Gals. A divorce followed soon after Lester returned to the states in 1947.
Mirna's life was one of inspiration and resilience. She survived the pain caused by her divorce and later the death of her only son, Lester Belmonte Jr. And even though she didn't become the sixth member of her favorite all-girl country band, she spent the rest of her youth singing at restaurants, bars, and casinos throughout Florida. Her performing career gave her the freedom she had always wanted but confined her to smokey venues that eventually took a toll on her health. At the height of her singing career, at the age of 43, her voice was compared to Vera Lynn's. Five years later, at the lowest point in her singing career, her voice had reached such register that she was often mistaken by a man. Seeing that there were no piano accompaniments in her key, her repertoire had to change. Reluctantly, Mirna joined a mariachi band where she was given the opportunity to sing a few rancheras in her deep baritone voice.
Her life-long dream seemed to have come to an end. With her voice damaged beyond repair, she moved to Miami Beach permanently and sought the support of the regulars at the Sherry Frontenac's Bingo Tuesday Nights. She spent her last years shopping, knitting, reading, and gossping about the entertainment industry with her girlfriends. Her sudden death came about during a Tuesday Bingo game. She had just sipped from her glass of sherry when she was overtaken by an uncontrollable cough. The last thing she saw was her friend Gertrude yelling, "Bingo!"
(No further information regarding the cause of death or funeral services will be provided, as the information received by the illustrious Dianne Ullman comes directly from the disease through a channeling process.)