A fabled columnist for the Albuquerque Journal for decades until his retirement in 2009, Jim Belshaw died on October 15 aged 78 after suffering a stroke at his home in Corrales a week prior. He is survived by his wife Elizabeth “Liz” Staley.
Belshaw was fiercely opinionated, but also warm and funny, a guy originally from Chicago’s South Side who loved the White Sox, and loathed the Chicago Cubs, even when the Cubs finally won the World Series in 2016 for the first time since 1908.
An Air Force veteran who joined right out of high school, Belshaw served eight years, most of those in New Mexico, with a short stint in Thailand. On leaving the Air Force he enrolled at the University of New Mexico, majoring in journalism, where, remarkably, his “freshman counselor” was then professor Tony Hillerman, who became a good friend. After graduation, Belshaw began working for the Albuquerque Journal in 1974, with a short two-year break working for UNM’s Public Information Office.
On rejoining the Journal, he stayed on and on, an early riser who relished exploring the lives of both little known and better known New Mexicans, a story teller with a distaste for bullies, a lover of poker and, after retirement, a frequenter of Corrales’ Hannah and Nate’s cafe.
Services are pending.