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George H. "Gig" Bellais

Born on February 20, 1904, George H. Bellais was a lifelong resident of Biloxi, Mississippi who lived out his life as an industry tradesman. George was known affectionately to his friends as “Gig” Bellais. Sonya B. Kifer, Bellais’ granddaughter, said George told her that his father had originally arrived from France, and his mother was Native American. During his childhood, Bellais began working on schooners during the time they were still operated by coal and sails. Despite the hours of hard, strenuous labor required by this profession, Bellais proclaimed to love it from a very young age.

George married Beulah Creel Bellais and they became parents to five; three daughters and two sons. One skill George picked up while working on schooners was cooking meals he called “boat dishes” including a family favorite, corned beef spaghetti.

George is remembered as a man of simple means, an individual who rode his bicycle throughout his entire life and chose never to drive a vehicle. He saw three generations of descendants raised up, providing for them with both his work on the boats as well as various jobs he took on land. George witnessed the great changes in the seafood industry over his lifetime. Despite his love for the boats and the Gulf, his true passion was his children and their children. George H. Bellais passed away on February 24, 1979, just four days following his 75th birthday.


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