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Dr. Estol Royal Belflower
April 18, 1938 ~ June 17, 2022 (age 84) 84 Years Old
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The family of Estol Royal Belflower announces his death on June 17, 2022, at his home in Quitman, Georgia, at the age of 84. Born April 18,1938, in Tifton, Georgia, he was the son of Jack Estol and Verna Royal Belflower. He was preceded in death by his wife of 60 years, Nona Elizabeth (Beth) Davis Belflower, four months earlier on February 19, 2022. He is survived by his sister Janet Belflower Hegenderfer (Don), his sister-in-law Sidney Lee Davis Kimbrough, numerous nieces and nephews, and a loving group of caregivers to whom he was affectionately known as “Mr. B”. Estol and Beth are also survived by their special friend Laverne Bell. Laverne coordinated their care, allowing them to remain in their home.
Estol graduated from Albany High School in 1956 and the University of Georgia in 1960. He received his medical degree from the Medical College of Georgia in 1964. After his internship in Macon, Estol began his military service as a flight surgeon at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage, Alaska. After returning to the Medical College of Georgia to complete his residency in radiology, Estol and Beth recognized that Alaska was the place they would call home. They moved to Juneau, where Estol instituted a full-service radiology department at Bartlett Regional Hospital.
Estol had an insatiable thirst for knowledge and was constantly seeking a new challenge. While still in medical school, he received his private pilot license, a life-changing event. He was FAA certified as both a pilot and an aircraft mechanic for 50 years and was FAA certified as a medical examiner for 40 years. While in Alaska Estol served in both the Army and the Air National Guard. He flew helicopters in the Army National Guard and was a flight surgeon in the Air Guard, retiring with the rank of lieutenant colonel.
After retiring from radiology, Estol opened an office in his airport hangar. There he performed flight physicals for private pilots. The hangar was a favorite gathering place for pilots and a place where life-long friendships were forged.
Estol and Beth loved the states of Alaska, their home for 50 years, and Georgia where they were born. Their love of flying took them to many interesting points, often remote, throughout Alaska in their Piper Super Cub. To ensure that they experienced the diversity that Georgia offered, they undertook and completed their goal of visiting each of its 159 counties, documenting each visit with a picture of its courthouse.
Estol and Beth were active members of the Presbyterian Church and were involved in their community. They were avid birders, always eager to share their knowledge. They opened the eyes of countless individuals to the world of birding.
Estol was as unique as his name. Always a Gentleman and a Gentle Man, Estol was a person of integrity and high moral character who strove for excellence in all things. He set a high bar for himself and usually exceeded his own expectations. Many of the values and skills that were an integral part of his life were learned at home, at church, and through scouting. He achieved the rank of Eagle Scout in 1952 and spent many summers as a staff member at Camp Osborn. The memories, skills, and friends made there were never forgotten.
Contributions in his memory to support Camp Osborn should be sent to South Georgia Council BSA, 3005 North Ashley Street, Valdosta, Georgia 31602. Please designate for Camp Osborn.
Estol’s celebration of life is planned for 11 a.m. on October 22, 2022, at Camp Osborn, 480 Camp Osborn Road, Sylvester, Georgia 31791.