Albert and Shirley Belon
Originally born in Gap, France, Albert Belon arrived in Fairbanks in 1949 after his great-uncle Albert Bernard bought him a plane ticket to attend the university there. Albert graduated three years later with a degree in physics, while working part-time at the Geophysical Institute. In 1952, he traveled to Los Angeles with his best friend and enrolled at UCLA, where he met nursing student, Shirley Herron. Soon after, Albert and Shirley married. Albert received his master’s degree in physics from UCLA in 1954, and became a naturalized U.S. citizen that same year.
After Shirley’s graduation in 1956 from UCLA School of Nursing, the two moved back to Fairbanks and bought their first home. Albert returned to work at the Geophysical Institute and was appointed associate director in 1976. Albert was a well-respected professor and administrator. The two lived on Sunset Drive for 37 years where they raised their three children; Nancy, Dennis and Valerie. The two oldest graduated from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the youngest graduated from Princeton University.
Albert and Shirley enjoyed traveling, gardening, fishing, berry picking and attending school activities with their children. In 1993, Albert and Shirley helped design and build their retirement home in Ester, and enjoyed nineteen wonderful years living there. Near the end of his life, Albert needed frequent medical care causing him and Shirley to move into Fairbanks from Ester. On September 9, 2013, after lengthy illnesses, Albert Belon went to be with his Lord.
Supporting the students of UAF was very important to both Albert and Shirley. Scholars of physics and nursing themselves, they especially wanted to make a positive impact on students following in their footsteps and it gave them great joy to do so.