Bell family, We're very sorry for your sudden loss. Our hearts and prayers go out to you all. Jim and Becky Schober
Charlies parents were good friends of my parents. We lived by them in West Duluth and I went to kindergarten with Katie and Charlie. The last time I saw Charlie was in 2002 when we buried my mother Grace Bothun. He stopped by the church to say hello and extend his sympathy. So sorry for your loss.
Linda DuBey (Bothun)
To Charlie's Children - I am so very sorry for your loss and I know it is huge. Charlie loved you and was so proud of all of you. We often spoke of you to the point that I felt as if I was getting to know each of you. Whenever he spoke of you, I could feel his smile through the phone lines. I teased him when I said he gave his son the name of a king. He said "he is a king" and his daughters "princesses". I met Natalie once and your father beamed as he looked at her. You lost your father way too soon. I lost my father before I turned 30 - but I still talk to him, almost on a daily basis. Your father is still with you and always will be. There will be brighter days ahead, I promise. Keep him safe in your hearts.
I have loved Charlie since the fall of 1967 when we met at Shattuck. Even then, Charlie knew who he was and where he was going. I admired that so much because I had not a clue where I was going. He was an old soul at such an early age with his clarity about the future. I am so very grateful that for the past 14 years, Charlie and I stayed in touch. I can see his smile and hear his giggle. What a treasure he was to all of us and he lived with such joy and appreciation. I am in shock and the world will be less for the loss of his footsteps. I have not seen Tom, Frank, or Kate in years. I saw Barb in 2000, along with Charlie's surprise visit. I saw Steve in January and he flashed that famous Bell smile. I am grateful for the Bells being a part of my life, in spite of lengthy time lapses. Charlie and Barb were the glue. Please know that I will always hold Charlie close to my heart. He was a blessed gift. My heart is breaking.
Our hearts are broken.
Little did we know some 40 years ago, when you and Gary started roofing for the School Board, that you'd be such an important part of our lives. No matter how busy your life was, you always had time for us.
Thank you for; encouraging shy Gary to go to college and then join the fraternity (I think), for supporting our marriage as groomsman, keeping us on task as we toured Germany, giving Grandma Helen and Grandma Marge so much attention, that they were thrilled when you'd show up at the cabin, supporting and loving our children, introducing us to the bean bag game, now the biggest asset at the cabin, and for the 40+ years of memories in between.
We will miss you so much but know you will live on in those 3 beautiful children you raised. It's no wonder why you were so proud of them. Ya did good, Charlie.
We promise to do our best to help Carol through this, but if your bond hadn't been so strong, this wouldn't be so hard. It will be a tough summer without your Sunday morning coffee and rolls as you'd park that new beauty on your private patio parking lot.
In the words of our favorites, K.D. and Roy " We've been cry-y-y-y-ing over you".
With love always, The Gary Gundry Family
Charlie once told me, "The longer we live the more we face the death of our friends and family. That's life." I feel blessed to have had Charlie for a dear friend these past 14 years and will try to live my life by his example.
His family is in my thoughts and prayers.
Dear Bell Family,
Charlie was a very good friend of my mother, Kay Kleffman. It was so many years ago and I don't remember for sure, but I believe they initially met through the Duluth Chamber of Commerce. My mother was actually the first paid employee hired to increase Chamber membership. Charlie and my mother developed a friendship that lasted for many years. Kay passed away from cancer, eight years ago March 1st.
Charlie was already retired from Bell Brothers but stepped in to help me with my mother's passing. I believe she made Charlie promise her that he would help me and I am so thankful she did and that Charlie was a man of his word. That in itself can be hard to find these days. Charlie took over from the start. Even before my mother passed, Charlie was there for her and I. He visited Kay when he could and checked in with me often. Charlie was actually out of town when my mother left this planet. He found out from brother Frank and came back to town and took over. I had some different ideas on how I wanted things done and Charlie let me go with it and helped me get it done. My mother's life celebration was everything I wanted it to be and that would not have happened without Charlie. But not only did Charlie orchestrate my mother's service, he helped me bury her.
My father had passed when I was a young girl and was buried in Montgomery, MN. My mother's wish was to be cremated, so with Charlie's council, I decided to bury her ashes in my father's grave. Charlie took care of that too. Bringing my mother's vault down and picking me up at my home in Plymouth.
I had decided to have a small graveside ceremony with my father's side of the family at the cemetery, as they did not make it to Duluth. Montgomery is a very rural area and Charlie and I got lost trying to find the cemetery. I was panicking and Charlie was the calm rock assuring me we would get there, which we did. It was a very cold, rainy day. My family was waiting for us with umbrella's and parkas. Charlie held a little service with prayer for us graveside. When the rest of my family went to shelter, Charlie stayed out with me as long as I needed, which was awhile. Finally, we had to lower the vault into the open grave. Even with sorrow, a comedic minute can sneak in. It was so wet and muddy, I held onto Charlie's trench coat as he was completely bent over the open grave trying to accomplish this task. I slipped and we came very close to toppling into that grave ourselves. But, we didn't and Charlie got it done.
Charlie took me by a military school he had attended down in that area on the drive home. I have spoken to him a couple of times since but that was the last time I saw Charlie. I will never forget that day or what he did for me during that difficult time. Ever.
For some reason unknown to us, Charlie's time on this planet was cut short too, at least for everyone that knew him. We lost a good man. But I know he is not feeling that, only we are. I can imagine my mother and Charlie will now be having coffee again, talking together about their families and what can be done better for Duluth.
My deepest sympathy,
God said, "Charlie, take my hand and we will ride our bikes together."
James S. Larson, Biker and Funeral Director.
We were sad and shocked to hear about the huge loss of Charlie Bell. My son Chris West and Charlie Jr (Chuck) have been friends for many years. Charlie Sr was a wonderful person and did a lot for Western Duluth, his family,his friends,his neighbors and his church. Our deepest sympathy goes out to
the Bell family. Nancy and Sid Bruhjell Duluth and Alamo, TX
Charlie was a UMD Political Science major and I was one of his Political Science teachers, but he was the one that taught many of us what it means to be a servant-leader. I am sure that those qualities that made him stand out came from his faith and family. He set us all a very high standard for a life well lived.
I'm so sorry to hear this. Your Dad and I had lunch over by DHS just last year. It was my pleasure to have known him, and my joy to have you three in my classroom.
Judy and I were saddened when we heard about Charlie, I had some fun times with him ,especially when Natalie and my Sarah played soccer together, Charlie was a go getter and knew how to get things accomplished, our community will miss him as a leader and a person. My sincere condolences to the Bell family. Sincerely Mike and Judy Spehar
I'm so saddened to hear of Charlie's passing and my prayers are with you all. I didn't know Charlie well and it has been many years since but I well remember his smile and love of family. Kaye Stewart (Crystal Lake, Il)
My thoughts go out to all of you Tom, Frank, Kate, Barb and Steve.
I can't find anything more peaceful then the joy of growing up with the Bell family next door at Twig every summer. Those days when all the families on that road got together were priceless. I have run into Charlie at happy and sad events happening in Duluth and his smile, sparkling eyes and warm hugs always brought our conversations back to Twig. I hope Charlie is as peaceful now as we all were during those summer days.
In love and light, in memory of my dear friend, Charlie Bell. Your inner light inspired many.
Charlie was a wonderful man. I worked for him for three years.. I had never felt so appreciated in a place of employment ever. He had a family sense of style and after getting to know him. He was my unofficial father type.. He talked me through my lowest of lows and praised me though my best. He was the kinda man you don't come by to often. He was absolutely selfless and only saw the good in people. Thank you Charlie for always believing in me. You left an impression I will always remember.
My heart goes out to one of the best families I have ever known. I am deeply saddened by the loss of such a decent, genuine person as Charlie Bell. For the last two days, my co-workers and parents of my students have asked if I am okay. (Apparently, they noticed that I looked like I had been crying.) I grew up with the fabulous, one of a kind, Bell family. Charlie and Kate were two of my best friends in Jr. High and College. So many good memories. I fondly remember that Kate and Charlie made fun of my driving when it was my carpool driving day. Charlie helped me through both of my parent's deaths, at their funeral home. My husband and son both commented on how kind and caring he was.
Our parents were friends and I always felt welcome in their home. I loved being there. They always made everyone feel at home and special. I have experienced much in my life, and I can truthfully say, "There is nothing like a Bell."
My deepest sympathies to the entire family.
My first job as a U of M graduate paired me with a very detailed,compassionate, and always professional man, Charlie Bell. Charlie and his brothers were there to guide me in my professional, as well as my personal life. Sympathy to your family.
Mike and Teri Smith
My favorite memories of Charlie were attending dance competitions in Minneapolis. His daughter Natalie danced with my daughter Mallory for Dance Escape. Charlie would buy us moms pizza in exchange to fix Natalie's hair and make-up!What a wonderful man, he was one of a kind.
i greatly admired Charlie. he always respected the opinion of others. His older brother tom was the Worshipful Master at Euclid when i was raised as a Mason in 1976. Tom was also on the school board in Proctor when i was hired as a school psychologist.
the Bells handled the funerals of my parents with dignity and respect. Charlie and his family were and are extremely hard workers.
Tom, Frank, Katy, Barb,Steve;
I was so stunned to hear about Charlie's passing. I remember meeting Charlie back when Steve and I hung out in our young days and riding snow machines around the trails by your parents house. I remember the yellow Dodge Charger that he had back in his collage days when I was a junior high kid fasinated with cars.
It was a honor for me to know him. Whenever I ran into him in later years we talked. I had the priviledge to proudly display his campaign signs in my yard down on Park Point when he ran for mayor. He privledge the Rotary Club I belong to with presenting a program to our club members when I asked him.
I'll miss running into him and always having a joyful conversation.
I'm sad for all of you, my sympathies.
May you find peace in knowing that he was a wonderful man that believed in this community and selflessly gave to its betterment.
Charlie was a great contributor to Duluth. Condolences from Stephen and Barbara Lewis.
Tom- sorry to hear of Charlie's death Way too young as he was a year older than me. I get to Duluth often to visit my Mother in Law Carolyn Bye. I will look you up and we can have a toast in Charlie's memory.
Mark McGilley in KC
I went to Shattuck with Charlie and was proud to call him my friend. As a young boy and as a man there was never a finer human being. That smiling face will be missed. Probably the best thing we can do in his memory is to smile more.
Charlie was my best friend at Shattuck. His true friendship continued afterwards. He has kept in contact throughout the years, encouraging me through all of my medical issues. His positive attitude keeps me going because he had a special sense of people and heir situations. He loved everyone, especially Kate. His smile shone big and bight evey time we spoke of her ( which was often ). Charlie is one of the main reasons the Shattuck class of '68 is so close. He loved his Shattuck brothers like no other but not near as much as we loved him. And I am so fortnate to have told him that last Friday when we talked....I love you, Charlie Bell,,,,,,see you soon.......John Keyes, Katy, Tx.
I was very saddened to hear of Charlie's passing. In the early 1970's we pledged a fraternity together at U.M.D. and became a very close group. Even at that early age it was clear to see that Charlie had some great leadership qualities and was going to be an outstanding adult and community leader. Celebrate a life well lived.
May your hearts soon be filled with wonderful memories of joyful times together as you celebrate a life well lived.
Charlie was such a good friend and such a wonderful role model. He was so generous himself that it made it almost impossible to turn him down when he needed your help. What I really will miss is his sense of humor. He always enjoyed the fun side of every challenge.
Charlie was a true leader and friend to all of his classmates at Shattuck. We will miss him very much.
I was a fraternity brother of Charlies at UMD. As Beta Phi Kappa brothers I fondly remember the actives around fraternity life: eating lunch at the "beta" table in the cafeteria,playing cards,sports , and oh yeah the PARTIES.
My favorite party was the TOGA and Charlie was always around all events flashing the toothy hollywood smile. I
moved away from Duluth in 1972 and lost contact with Charlie(my loss) . I now regret not contacting him as I do pass thru Duluth a couple times a year . While I hope to see him in heaven I know he will be there, not so sure if I will make it tho. If I do meet him heaven I am sure we will sing
the BEATA anthem......Were the men of beta phi the raiders of the night........
Prayers to the family as you deal with the loss of a GREAT man. My current residency is split between Kailua Kona Hawaii and Mound MN.
Charlie was a positive influence on all who knew him. May your family find comfort in those memories. He is now with all the angels who have touched our lives.
I knew Charlie from my father's funeral in 1980.
Judy Billings (Millersville, MD)
Charlie was a very kind and compasionate man. We have one last memory of him that makes us smile. We sold our mothers home in West Duluth and donated her piano to his first assisted living home he opened. He came over with a friend with a pickup and they loaded the piano into the back-end and Charlie rode in the back sitting on the piano bench. We can still see him waving and smiling as he rode down 59th Ave West in the back of that truck. What a special man. He will be missed greatly.
Lisa (Pentony) Reich (Rogers, MN)
Chris (Pentony) Koski (Esko, MN)
I was very sorry to hear about Charlie and my thoughts and prayers are with his family. Charlie was so amazing and giving to the West Side of Duluth. As an unsupported tennis coach at Denfeld we were facing the prospect of losing our tennis courts. Our pleas for help were ignored by the district, the city, USTA, and more and Charlie listened. He spent hours helping us fill out grants, giving us ideas, talking to others, and so much more. His efforts of going the extra mile will always be remembered and appreciated. Thank you for caring Charlie, you will be missed!
Charlie lead and was a the head of so
much, but more importantly, he was
the Heart. I count him as a friend and
will miss but never forget him.
I was shocked to hear of Charlie's death. He was a good man .. smart too. As a businessman in West Duluth our paths crossed many times, most recently serving together on the St Luke's Hospital board. Charlie will be greatly missed. My sympathy to his family.
Charlie was a dear friend of mine. He was like a son to me. He will be sadly missed.
Charlie was so full of life. We will miss his sense of humor and compassion for others. He could always make you laugh! Charlie is gone but will never be forgotten by our family because he was family to us. He will be forever in the hearts of all who knew him. Memories will help you get through the days ahead. There will be tears but also laughter within those memories. God Bless you all.
Charlie was the most kind and loving person to all who knew him. His contibutions to Duluth & residents were tremendous. I have known Charlie since we were both 19 & never heard anything but good comments from him. He would have been a great mayor of Duluth if he had the oppertunity. This is a great loss for his family, friends, & the city of Duluth. Connie Olson Johnson Male
Charlie was a chershed member of his Shattuck Class of 1968. A leader in so many things and a friend to all of us. I will miss you, Charlie.
I am truly saddened to hear of Charlie's death. He was more than just a friend, he was an amazing man. He was always so friendly and welcoming everytime I saw him.
I remember a brief time in his life when he was my assistant coach for his daughter Natalie's basketball team. We had a fantastic time working with the girls, and I will always cherish those moments I was able to spend with Coach Charlie.
His passing will not only leave a void in my life, but in the hearts of everyone who knew him. Charlie's memory will always remain deep within my heart.
Charlie, you will be missed by your family, friends, associates, and community. We all loved and admired your: work ethics, ability to communicate, and best of all: how you were able to bring peace to dissatisfaction. Your timeless personality will always be in the heart of Duluthians. Thank you for your hard work and your out right deication to help Duluth, and West Duluth become the city it is today. India and Ed Luke, Austin Texas.
To the Bell family. Charlie was a really good man, he will be missed by many. So sorry for your loss.
Charlie was a connector. So many of us know other people, know them better or got a chance to work with them on projects because of Charlie. Maintaining his legacy means we must continue to do that together, as members of our community and his community, now without him physically here to help us. He will be here to help us in other ways if we keep listening for the sound of his voice.
Charlie was a wonderful person.
May your hearts soon be filled with wonderful memories of joyful times together as you celebrate a life well lived, as this is how Charlie would want it. I have and will cherish many fond memories. God bless.....