Enumclaw resident Thomas “Tom” Bellos died Feb. 26, 2017, at the age of 98.
He was born Sept. 8, 1918, in Fort George (Prince George) in northern British Columbia, Canada, to the late Apostolos “Bill” Bellos and Sophia Szpak. He had a love of horses and racing from an early age. He learned how to be a jockey and then later learned to cowboy and added saddle bronc riding to his horseman skills. Over time, his skill as a jockey provided opportunities further south in British Columbia.
During World War II he joined the Canadian army and was stationed in western Canada. After the war he continued horse racing in Vancouver, B.C., and racing took him to all the well-known race tracks of the western United States and Canada. At one point he switched to steeple horse racing and went to the eastern states to race. In his later years he spent his time training and managing race horses in the western U.S.
In 1964 he married Elena June Gregg. In the 1970s they settled in Kirkland, Wash. He became a United States citizen on March 17, 1997.
He is survived by daughters Donna Bellos of Seattle and Sophia Rae Bellos of Enumclaw; son-in-law Michael Cawrse; and two grandchildren. He was preceded in death by brother Anthony W. “Tony” Bellos.
A celebration of life is planned for 1 p.m. Saturday, May 6, at Gracepoint NW Church, 28121 S.E. 448th St. in Enumclaw. In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made to Gracepoint NW Church (PushPay.com/pay/gracepointnw).