Ida BelleBy Carol Newport

Guest Contributor

BELVIDERE – Ida Belle Leonard DiMario of Belvidere celebrated her 100th birthday on Jan. 1.

She was born on Jan. 1, 1916 to Charles and Lura Leonard on a farm in Boone County, Ill. She was the third of six children in the family of four girls and two boys. She attended Scriven School, now located at the Boone County Fairgrounds. She went to school there through 8th grade.

Ida Belle met her future husband, Frank DiMario, when they both worked at the war plant in Rockford that became Roper, stove makers.

Frank and Ida Belle were married on Jan. 11, 1947 in Rockford, Ill. They enjoyed dancing and horseback riding.

Frank died in 1978.

Ida Belle kept horses to ride well into her 80s as well as German shepherd dogs for companionship until 2015. She has been a member of the Boone County Saddle Club for over 40 years.

She met her good friend Roger Seymour while dancing to Dale Rhode’s band at the American Legion in Belvidere. Her three sisters are Gladys Coleman, Myrtle Schult, both deceased, and Geraldine Ambler of Belvidere. Her brothers are Rollin and Warren Leonard, both deceased. She has 15 nieces and nephews.

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