Mary Belcher, 79, who wrote campaign speeches for presidential candidates and more than 100 scripts for documentary films, died March 17, 2012, on St. Patrick’s Day, from lung cancer complicated by pneumonia.
She was born May 21, 1932, in Ennis, Texas, to Santa Fe Railroad yardmaster Lynn Haskell and homemaker Mary Etta Smith. She graduated from Ennis High School and Texas Women’s College, earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in communications.
She married Zack Belcher on Aug. 4, 1962.
In Texas, she worked as a general assignment reporter for a newspaper; public relations director for United Way; and grant writer for the Technical Education Research Center. She also taught African-American history at Paul Quinn College, which is affiliated with the African Methodist Episcopal Church.
She and her husband created their own business, Educational Services Inc., a company that made documentary films for schools, commercial companies and sporting events. She wrote more than 100 motion picture scripts for these films.
She wrote campaign speeches for presidential candidates Edmund Muskie, Hubert Humphrey and George McGovern. Mr. and Mrs. Belcher worked as part of the advance crew for the Humphrey and McGovern campaigns.
They moved to Red Lodge in 1971 to coproduce two full-length motion pictures. They later leased a poker room in a Red Lodge bar and dealt poker for two years before beginning 28-year careers as licensed private investigators, initially working with attorney Frank Kampfe.
She had received care from the oncology staff at St. Vincent Healthcare.
Survivors include her husband; a daughter, Lela Lynn Belcher Nickel; and two granddaughters.
No services were planned. Arrangements were in the care of Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary.
Memorials may be made to the Montana Rescue Mission.