GARY JAMES BELL
Longtime Cave Junction, Oregon resident Gary James Bell, 79, passed away Tuesday, September 10, 2019 at Asante Three Rivers Medical Center in Grants Pass, Oregon surrounded by his family.
Graveside service with Military Honors will be held at Eagle Point National Cemetery, Thursday, September 26, 2019 at 11 o’clock with interment following. Officiating will be Pastor Dennis Mortimore. A community celebration of life service will be on Saturday, September 28, 2019, at 12 PM at the Illinois Valley Airport, Smoke Jumper Way, at the Lions Club Den in Cave Junction with a luncheon to follow. Officiating will be Lion Brother Steve Lyons.
Gary was born to George F. and Adella (Bush) Bell in Hawthorne, Nevada, May 19, 1940. In 1946 the Bell family moved to Cave Junction, Oregon. While growing up in the Illinois Valley, Gary was involved in Boy Scouts, Sunday school and youth groups, band, wrestling, and DeMolay. He and his best friend, Art Desaulniers wandered the forested areas and swam in the local rivers.
He attended the valley schools and graduated from Illinois Valley High School in 1959. Gary served in the U.S. Army at Fort Hood, Texas. On June 12, 1961 he married his high school sweetheart, Mary Coleman, in Cave Junction. He retired in 1998 from the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest as a civil engineer for the U.S. Forest Service after working 34 years. Gary loved working in the mountains.
He joined the Illinois Valley Lions Club 46 years ago, in 1973. In later years, even though he had serious health issues, he served as the club Sight and Hearing Chairman. Some time ago he estimated that over one thousand applicants had received help through this service. Gary enjoyed helping people. As a donor, his corneas will continue as part of Gary’s way of serving others in need.
He received many honors for his work and commitment such as the Lions International Melvin Jones Fellowship Humanitarian award as well as the Helen Keller Benefactor award. Gary became a member of the Illinois Valley Senior Center in 2005 and enjoyed playing pool, visiting his many friends and serving as a host. He liked to read and tell stories and best of all, spend time with his family. Gary was known for his huge heart and sense of humor.
Survivors include his wife of 58 years, Mary Bell, daughters Pamela Teel and Kim Kasiah, son Gary L. Bell, and 5 grandchildren, Shastina, Jonathan, and Shawn Meyer and Lane and Lincoln Kasiah. He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother George C. Bell. We will always carry your memories in our hearts.
“I’d like the memory of me to be a happy one. I’d like to leave an afterglow of smiles when life is done. I’d like to leave an echo whispering softly down the ways and bright and sunny days. I’d like the tears of those who grieve to dry before the sun of happy memories that I leave behind when life is done.” ~ Anonymous