David Neal Belton died peacefully in his sleep from complications of COVID-19 on
December 22, 2020, which was both poignant and ironic given the way he lived his life with the
volume turned up. He was 66.
After graduating from Minneapolis South High in 1972, David worked a variety of jobs
before landing a position with the Minneapolis Public Works Department. He loved that job because
as a rookie in the department he would be laid off each winter, which left him free to collect
unemployment while “looking for work” in the Caribbean. He loved to travel and would show up
anywhere in the country (or the Caribbean) where there was family or a friend to offer free
In the early 80’s, David was attracted to the oil boom in Texas and moved to Houston where
he was hired as a roughneck on an oil rig, eventually moving up to the top position of driller.
David was a jack-of-all-trades: paint contractor, general contractor, carpenter, pipefitter, and
cabinet refinisher—these were a few of the skills and trades he practiced at different points in his
He also was a faith leader, ordained by the Unity Christ Church in Lee’s Summit, Missouri.
He served in clerical appointments in Metairie, Louisiana, and in Minneapolis. David led a Youth
of Unity group for several years and provided spiritual virtues training for the Boys and Girls
Clubs of the Twin Cities.
His true calling was as a family man. A middle child, fourth-born of Ernestine and Ossie
Belton’s eight children, David enjoyed close relations with his three older and four younger
siblings. He was a peacemaker and purveyor of kindness to each of them and to scores of nieces,
nephews and cousins.
He had four great loves in his life: Antuana, his wife of 35 years, and their three daughters,
Nedith (Nina), Taylor Michelle (deceased) and Aja, whose son Reece, age two, was David and
Antuana’s only grandchild. When Reece was born, David began to dabble in astronomy and
hypothesized that his grandson was the center of the universe.
In his younger years, David was the life of the party. He loved music, especially jazz and
R&B, and was a good dancer. Friends and family knew it wasn’t a party until David arrived and
got things started. Without exception, he would be late but worth waiting for, because David
brought the party with him.
David had many interests and avocations including bicycling and playing bid whist (although
he rarely indulged in both activities simultaneously). He was an avid reader. Ursula K. Le Guin,
Anne McCaffery, Langston Hughes, and Toni Morrison were among his favorite authors. He
assiduously read “Road and Track” and “Car and Driver” magazines.
He had a passion for collecting and racing slot cars and spent many evenings and weekends dedicated to the hobby. He built a custom 54-foot, four-lane slot car racetrack in his brother’s basement which he
modestly dubbed Belton Brothers World Raceway.
David is loved and will be missed by his family, friends, and all who knew him.
A Celebration of Life for David Belton is planned for 3 pm on Wednesday, December 30,
2020 via Zoom. Contact Davidbeltonmemorial@gmail.com to request the link.