John A. Bell
John A. Bell, 90, passed away peacefully Dec. 3, 2020, at the Monticello Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.
Twins, John Arthur Bell and James Riley Bell were born Feb. 24, 1930, to W.A. and Bertha (McHenry) Bell at their 10th Street home in Marion. The Bell family moved to a farm west Coggon.
John and Jim graduated from Coggon High School in 1948. John attended Iowa State College for two years before being drafted in the U.S. Army. He served in the Korean War as a photographer.
On July 17, 1951, John married his high school sweetheart, Mary Lou Dake, at Fort Hood, Texas, shortly before being deployed. To this union two sons, Michael and Gordon were born. The couple later divorced.
John married his Norwegian honey, Gerd Michelsen Rich, on Dec. 7, 1972, in Chicago. Working in the hardware/lumber business was John's passion: Haebels Hardware in Cedar Rapids, Himes Lumber in Chicago, Hewitt Gilchrist in Marion, and retiring at age 85 from Mount Vernon Road True Value.
John and Gerd loved their evening walks through the stores at Lindale Mall and eating out. They enjoyed their time together at Lakeview Assisted Living in Amana from 2016-18. In November 2018, John moved to MNRC in Monticello. His favorite saying after moving to long term care was "Choose to be Happy!" John was a very kind and loving soul who never met a stranger, always a friend.
John is survived by his wife, Gerd; son, Michael of Texas; granddaughter, Alicia Bell Christensen; six
great-grandchildren; stepson, Walter (Cappie) Rich;
sons-in-law, Frank Wilson and David Wright; grandchildren, Sven and Olaf Wilson, Elsa Marie Wright and Lisa Nordase; special niece, Marilyn (Phil) Hanna; and several other nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Bob and Jim; son, Gordon; grandson, Ben; and stepdaughters, Diane Wilson and Ingrid Wright.
Family would like to thank the staff at MNRC for the care and kindnesses shown John the past two year but especially the loving care during this horrible COVID-19 pandemic.