Bellone, John R.

Bellone, John R.

February 28th, 2016

It is with extreme sadness that we announce the passing of John R. Bellone on Sunday, February 28th, 2016, at the age of 88.  He will be missed by his son John Michael, his wife, Moira, and their two children Rachel and Jean Luc.  The sorrow will reach the Capmas family in France:  Roger, Genevieve, Bernard, Liliane, Serge, Christine and their children and grandchildren; and finally, in California, Marlene Van, her husband, George and her brother, Eric Bellone.  Since 1964, John never ceased to praise the quality of life the City of London has provided him and his family and, after 22 years of retirement, John truly enjoyed reminiscing with old customers – sometimes several in one day!  A memorial service will be conducted at WESTVIEW FUNERAL CHAPEL, 709 Wonderland Road North, London, on Saturday, March 5th, 2016 at 3:00 p.m., with visitation one hour prior to the service. Cremation has taken place and, to fulfil his promise to his predeceased wife, Janine (August 14, 2015), John’s ashes will be going to France to be reunited with hers forever in the family mausoleum.  Should a donation be considered, the Alzheimer Society would be our first choice.

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Book of Condolences

Al MerkleyMy full condolences to John Jr. and family. We've all lost a great ambassador of music and musical instruments. Once The Beatles hit in 1964, John's Store became the go to place for all aspiring young musicians. A musical meeting place. Bands were formed and reformed at his store. The ultimate in achievement and recognition was to get your band promotional photo framed and placed high on John's WALL OF FAME. Many good memories of John offering great advice and fair deals. He will be missed. Al Merkley London Drummer
Dave KoeglerAs a teenager in the band "The Marquis" and "The London Set," I loved John and his way of doing sound checks, "John Bellone 1-1-1." He was fair in his prices, and when our band's trailer caught fire and my Rogers drum set was lost, he gave me a fair price for another set. We didn't have to go to Toronto to L&Q to try out quality instruments. A very nice man and fondly remembered. Dave Koegler
Don LongI remember John best from my years in the bands - The London Set and The Entertainer. John's store was music central for every band in London through the 1960s. I can't think of those wonderful times without without the fondest memories of John and the times we spent jamming together in his store. Don Long
Jon ZaslowMany of us teenage would-be rockers spent hours and hours in John's store. We dreamed our dreams in that store. He was like an older brother/father, who educated us with the latest in gear. He was always kind, and fair. I am very sorry to hear of his passing. Condolences to his family. He will be missed, but long remembered.
John PliniussenMy deepest sympathies to the Bellone family and friends. John had a huge influence on me starting in 1965 when I bought my first Gibson ES 335 as a grade 10 student at South Collegiate in London. There were three things I admired about JB Senior. Firstly, no matter what age you were, John treated you with respect. He would assume that one day you would be an important musician who would frequent and support his store. He demonstrated that by allowing anyone to play any of the equipment in his store, no matter the price point. I can tell you firsthand that this had a tremendous impact on me. His customer service philosophy meant that we could play the same instruments that our musical heroes used. And even though I couldnt afford them, I loved the feeling of pride I had playing the same Fender, Gibson, Rickenbacker, or Gretsch guitars used by Steppenwolf, the Beatles, Zeppelin, and the Stones. There is nothing quite like a hands-on demo to give you that emotional connection. Secondly, John was the first person to ever extend me (a high school student) credit when he knew I wanted a guitar that I clearly couldnt afford to pay cash for. By allowing me to pay for it weekly, he extended this trust and belief in me; something that Ive come to reciprocate many times by patronizing his store which is now run by his equally talented and thoughtful son, JB Jr. Thirdly, John was the only person I knew back in the day that drove a funky Porsche 911. His silver bullet was always parked in front of the store which meant every Saturday it was waiting as I approached to try out more of his equipment. I have now been a member of the Porsche Club of America for 45 years, the longest in Ontario, and it all started because of John Bellone Senior. Thank you, John, for your kindess, empathy, humour, spirit and generosity. Jusqu' ce que nous nous reverrons. From your biggest fan - John Pliniussen.
Doug and Judy SutherlandWe are so sad to hear of John's passing. My regular Saturday afternoon routine back in the day, was to hit record stores and to mall crawl, but best of all to visit Bellone's. We were very young and poor but we were always treated with a hearty welcome. John provided such a valuable resource for local and touring musicians alike. A legacy that thankfully John Jr. and Moira continue today.
shane croweSorry to hear of the passing of John. As a loyal customer of the music stores for almost 40 years, John was always there to great me and offer excellent advice and friendship, even after retirement I would enjoy seeing him on the days he was at the store. My deepest sympathies to Johns family and JB. His legacy goes on everytime I enter Bellones music.
Chuck ReidJohn had lived a wonderful life bringing his unique business savvy to the Musical Industry in London. The many heartfelt memories, expressed on this site, could never fully capture the character of John, in person; that just had to be experienced, first hand. John had a great sense of humour which was often expressed through this his distinctive laugh, heard throughout the store on every visit. This man just knew how to live life; something we could all learn from John. I am so glad to have known him, for so many decades. May you and Janine now rest in peace, together, for all time.
Joan SimsI was a neighbor of John and Janine's for several years and thought they were both just lovely people. I especially will think of John and what a lovely man he was. RIP John.
Brad Coward & FamilyOur thoughts and Prayers are with John Jr. and the entire Family, we are sorry to hear this news. God Bless you all.
John HamMy sincere condolences to the Bellone family. In my heart I share in your sorrow during this difficult time. John set the bar for customer service. JB junior is maintaining this high standard of personalized care for the customers. As a friend and a customer for over 50 years I can not express my gratitude for the many things John did for me during this time. Always with a smile. I was privileged to have been able to call him friend. London's music scene lost a giant with a heart as big as the city. Thank you John for the memories. RIP together with Janine my friend
Jim CorbettSo many fond memories dealing with John starting when I was 13. Buying my Alamo Titan bass and a 35 Bogen amp. Buying my 1st real bass a 69 red Fender Precision. Memories of John Bellone speaker cabinets. Watching John tune harmonics by ear. I remember when he got his 1st strobe tuner (the thing was huge by todays standards) Going to the Giant Malt shop for steamed hotdogs f0r 25 cents because it was close to Bellones. ME: " Hey much is that?" JOHN: " oh I don't know but it shall be cheap!" RIP John
Ken and Donna MaesJohn and Moira and Family; Our heart is broken for you on the loss of your Father. What a wonderful man he was. I will always remember his smile and friendship. You are blessed with many friends that will be at your side during this trying time. Your Father and Mother will now be reunited for eternity. God Bless.
Les HoffmanJohn was truly one of life's most interesting characters. John had a great sense of humour, an unwavering love of life, family and friends, and a drive for perfection in everything he did. He was generous in every way and watching and learning from him during my years working at the store has left a lasting impression on me. I'm so happy to have known him. Rest in peace John. Les Hoffman
Doug MooreFor a generation of London musicians; John Bellone is one of the most important people in their musical lives. His store was a unique, friendly shopping place and he always treated everyone as a valued customer and he seemed like a friend to all. He helped every young musician get started with an amp or new/used guitar. I remember one friday night when he set up two 4x12 GBX cabinets and asked to play a guitar through them with the volume wide open to see ow loud it could go and what it sounded like. He stood at the far end of the store with ears covered. Certainly an era has ended for many people with his passing. Thinking of you JB and your family. As your dad used to say while demonstrating a new microphone. " from the highest highs to the lowest lows. Testing one , two, three.....
Leanna CoutuSo sorry to hear about the loss of your father.He was always such a pleasure to do business with and to talk to. Although his business was important, he thought of others too...I remember as a young woman going into the shop with my husband and he knew I wanted a dishwasher for my new house. Every time we went in for yet another piece of equipment he would ask -- "you have your dishwasher yet?" --- he finally told my husband "I can't sell you any more until you buy her a dishwasher". So funny and yet so sweet. Just thought I would share a little light hearted memory at this time of sorrow.......thoughts of you and your family are in my heart today!
Gerry MarkmanMy condolences to the Bellone family
Frank and Karen PirainoOur thoughts and prayers are with you John Jr, and your family during this very sad time. He was a great friend to all musicians who knew him, he will be missed!
Ed GreeneMyself and my family want to express heartfelt condolences to the entire Bellone family. John Bellone Senior and Junior have run a very respectable and honest business for years together and have made many friendships along the way. Having been a customer since the early 80's and working there for a couple of years recently, I have nothing but good things to say about the Bellone's. Rest in peace Mr. Bellone.
Robert TuerSincere condolences from the Tuer family, former neighbours of John and Janine. As teenagers, my brother Eric and I used to look after their house while they were away in France. We were impressed by the "open- concept" design way before it became a standard feature of house design. I know my dad, John Tuer, now living in Hamilton will be sorry to hear about John's passing.
Steve MalisonI offer my condolences to John Bellone Jr. and his family during this difficult time. I had the unique pleasure of working for John Sr. from 1984 to 1987 in the newer store. John Sr. was a model of integrity, consistency and professionalism. He was a very dedicated business man and family man. He took it upon himself to know every musician in London. His energy and passion towards excellence was contagious. RIP John Sr.
Graham BeattieSo sorry to hear of John's passing. My sincere condolences to his family. I bought my first bass and amp from John in the 60s. And my band, The Fortune Tellers, practically lived in his store. He was always cheerful and gracious. God bless and rest in peace.
Dave BarrI was hired by John to do some renovations. I was so impressed by his meticulous nature. He was a true gentleman and a pleasure to work for. He will be missed.
Ted AitkenJB and family... I'm sorry for your loss, but joyful for knowing your father as his customer and friend. I can still here that big laugh of his. Going into the store he would always meet me with cheerful 'hello Ted', which made me feel right at home. Your Dad sold me my first set of drums in 1966, when his store was located on the corner of Dundas and Waterloo. He was also instrumental in designing the production and recording equipment for our Central Baptist Church. After he retired and happened to be visiting your store, he still loved to talk to 'his' customers and we loved to talk to him. You are carrying on his tradition and can be proud of that. God Bless!
Jason Robert BrownMy deepest sympathies to John , Moira and family. Peace be with you at this difficult time. A fine man, father and business leader. God bless and kindest regards.
Steve BryantTo JB, Moira and family, my sincere condolences to your entire family. I always looked forward to my visits to the store during my years with Levy's and especially enjoyed watching and listening as John senior mingled while I sorted through product and showed off new samples. He was never too busy to acknowledge me and had a genuine enthusiasm for his business and customers that will be missed by all. I am deeply saddened by your loss. It was a privilege to know John senior. Steve Bryant, Waterloo, ON
Richard McKinnonJanine and John were good customers of ours for years. We were sad to loose Janine last year and equally as sad to have recently lost John. I had a chance to visit him last week in the hospital and celebrate his life with him. He was a person that will influence my perspective on life as long as I live. He has inspired me to truly understand what is important in life and just as importantly what is not. In his unselfish perspective on life, he asked that we not mourn his passing but celebrate the great life he and his family experienced. It couldn't have been better.
Allan and Brenda LeeSorry to hear about your father's passing JB. Both Brenda and I remember him running the store for many years and always good to the customers and full of stories. I'm sure he will be sadly missed by all. Our prayers go out to you and your family.
Anna and Tom McInerneyJohn, Moira and family; Our thoughts and prayers are with you, now, as you celebrate John's life and say goodbye. He was a treasure and it is a comfort to see that the fruit doesn't fall from the tree. Be well and know that he is reunited with Janine and is free of all earthly problems and concerns. In Peace; -Anna and Tom McInerney
Jonathan FlorinDear Bellone family and friends, Everyone at No Stomach For Cancer would like to extend their deepest condolences on the recent passing of John Bellone. Please accept our heartfelt condolences on the loss of your loved one. May God bless you during this difficult time. Best regards, Jonathan (Jon) Florin No Stomach For Cancer Executive Director 3510 Parmenter Street | Suite 200 | Middleton WI | USA 53562 (608) 692-5141
Brent & Anita McKayTo the Bellone family Our deepest condolences to the entire family. Our prayers and thoughts are with you during this difficult time. Brent & Anita McKay Academy of Music/Music Centre Tillsonburg, Ontario
Ray SealeyI have wonderful memories of a wonderful man way back in my own years in London. I bought my first classical guitar (a Goya) from John and that was the start of a story. My condolences to all the family.
Amrik SinghMy deepest condolences to the family. I met John way back in 1972 and can never forget the way he welcomed me to his store when I was starting in the industry selling guitars and for the next 25 years his opinion and advise will always be cherished by me. I share your loss JB jr and will pray for the departed soul .
Arnold DavidsonMy heartfelt sympathies and condolences go out to the Bellone Family. I remember first calling on John after my arrival in this country in 1988. He was a real gentleman and a big part of my history in the Canadian Music Industry. Thoughts and prayers are with the family.
Suzanne SimonSincere condolences to the family at this difficult time.
Sandy MacKay I'm very sad to hear of John Bellone Sr.'s passing. I bought my first set of drums - walnut Gretsch-from John in 1968. He always treated his customers with respect, regardless of whether you were 16 or 66. A few years ago I had the privilege to play an all French (Parisienne, Quebecois, Cajun) concert that John and Jeanine attended. I felt as if I was performing for royalty. I was thrilled to see them enjoying the event. After the concert we had time to reminisce and, of course, talk with pride about our children. J.B., I'll always have fond memories of your mom and dad. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
Jim PauleySo many thoughts of John and how proud I was to know him. Always had some laughs with him about my first Telecaster 1965 and after going to Yorkville Toronto to rehearse with Grant Smith and The Power I stripped the beautiful white lacquer off down to bare wood. Next time back to London I took it to John to reset all the action and he looked at me and said what have you done to this guitar. He had a tear in his eye and every time we met after that we hugged. A wonderful person and family. Thinking of you. Thank you.
Alfred MillerSorry to learn of your father's passing Alfred Miller and Jean Miller (nee Milne)
Bill ShinglerUtmost condolences to the Bellone family. Got my first bass & amp from John in 1967. Then a few upgrades over time. Always so great to do business with him. Sometime in the 70's in a St Thomas bar had a column speaker fall over and crush my Fender Coronado II bass. Phoned John at home and he brought me a loaner. We met half way. Such service, such a gentleman. RIP Sir!
Dennis DucharmeJohn Jr. And Family. We are all so sorry to hear of your loss. Although not a good musician, I have had an appetite for googood musical equipment and excellent service and have shopped at your stores for many years. John Jr. I KNOW YOU & your staff will continue to provide exemplary service. Once again so sorry for your loss, Dennis.
Fred BlumasJohn Bellone will always be remembered by the London and area music community. John's store was a focal point of many experienced and budding musicians. John was a good man and had a connection to his patrons. Over the years I have met musicians that I know to this very day through his iconic store. My very first serious guitar was bought from John Bellone. The Store is still in existence under his talented and capable son John Jr. My deepest sympathies to you John and your family for a loss of a man that will be remembered by many good people.
Grant SmithI want to send my condolences to John Jr. and Moira and the rest of their family upon the passing of John Sr. When I was starting my life in the music business I bought my first real set of drums from John, a top of the line set of Rogers for $13oo.oo, an astronomical amount for a kid of my age, (thanks mom). I don't have to repeat how well I was treated by John from my first time walking into his store at sixteen years of age because everyone else has already written of their experiences as a teenager when this classy Frenchman welcomed you into his world. He was always gracious and encouraging to all the aspiring young musicians who would hang out in the store to try out the instruments that seemed out of reach to a young dreamer. Many years later when I took my youngest son in to see the store for a nostalgic visit to my past John walked out of the back with a set of drumsticks for my son. They were the same make and size that I had purchased from him many times as a young wannabe player. This gesture epitomizes the kind of person that John was and he was this person to everyone who came into his store. He was a wonderful, kind person who's legacy will live on in London through his more than capable son John Jr. but still he will be missed and remembered by many. Rest in peace John.
Fred ParryJust got back from holidays and was saddened by the news of John's passing. My family has also experienced what a disease like Alzheimer can do, and know the family will understand when I say, the 'pre-loss' of a loved one can also be a blessing when the final goodbyes are said... my sincere condolences. Unlike most, I can't claim to have known John well... a few times in the store... as my fellow band mates would talk in esoteric terms about the latest and greatest instrumentation. But, here I am feeling compelled to say something about a man I mostly knew by reputation. Why? I think it must be because he represented a way of life that didn't distinguish between 'Sunday morning' and 'Monday morning'- his way was to complement one with the other. Yes, business is business, but it is only a pale imitation of that lasting legacy... John thought long-term, in life and business, which was the basis of his great success - why he'll be missed by so many - in music and beyond.
Art Pratten...NSBMy sincere sympathy for your loss. John was a good man and always a pleasure to do business with He will be missed
Darcy CorbettIn my tenure at Bellones Music I had the pleasure of working for/with John for the last few years before his retirement. John was truly a pillar of integrity and class. His treatment of, care for, and value in his customers, family and friends are unsurpassed. And his sharp witty sense of humour and awesome laugh will never be forgotten. I learned real honest customer service from John. JB, I lost my father who was my best friend in October, so I truly know first hand how you feel. My sincere condolences to you and your family. Godspeed, John Sr.. "Testing 1"
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