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Funeral services for 60-year Bishop resident Doreen Bellas will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Barlow Lane Gym. She gently passed from this earth in Bishop on Sept. 24, 2011.
Doreen Bellas was born in Weitchpec, Calif. on Jan. 28, 1934. Her father, Ollie Kane (Paiute), her mother, Cinderella Minard Kane, and three sisters and two brothers lived along the mighty Klamath River. Her mother’s Yurok ancestral lands were rich with green vegetation, tall trees, salmon, blackberries and acorns. In 1949, after prior visits to the Owens Valley, their father moved the family to the Bishop Indian Reservation. Bishop was a very different land, filled with few trees, rugged snow capped mountains and rabbit brush.
Doreen raised a family of her own in Inyo County and then in Yolo County, where she worked for the University of California Davis. Later she returned to Bishop and worked for years with the following organizations: the Inyo Mono Advocates for Community Action, the Owens Valley Career Development Center and the Bishop Tribal Office.
She served on the California Indian Heritage Commission, the Cultural Center Advisory Board and she was a member of the California Basket Makers Association. She loved both the Paiute and Yurok cultures and often attended traditional ceremonies, dances and traditional Yosemite trade walks. She enjoyed painting, reading, basket weaving, bead work, telling Native legends and being with her family and friends. Many will remember her from the arts and crafts fairs where she sold her beautiful beaded bowls and key chains.
She was preceded in death by her father, mother, brother, Loren Kane, and sisters, Marilyn Baumgardner, Clara Angeli and Alta Rogers, all of Bishop.
Her two surviving brothers are Gerald Kane and Delvin Kane. She leaves behind three daughters, Lana and Wayne Decker of Bishop, Laurie and David French of Missoula, Mont. and Leslie Bellas of Lone Pine.
Her gentle spirit and humor will be missed by all, including her grandchildren, Brandon Decker, Amber French, Eli French, Glenna Bellas and scores of other relatives and friends.
Interment will be at the Pioneer Cemetery with a reception to follow at the Barlow Lane Gym.