• Behm Funeral Home, Inc.
    Jefferson, PA
In partnership with the Dignity Memorial® network
Ralph K. Bell 1915 - 2014
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Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Sara and I recall a memorable visit with you to the Bell farm some 45 years ago. Your dad gave us our first wonderful experience with bird netting and banding. In his active life, he shared and surely sparked the interest of so many others. A life well lived!!!

Our sympathies go out to you, Joan & Don.
Love,
Friday, May 30, 2014
Enjoyed knowing Ralph Bell from the first time we bought a Christmas tree in 1978 at the farm. He and Betty came to band some baby bluebirds in one of my boxes some years later and he set up and used some bottle gourds that I grew in the late 80's. He said the purple martins liked them better than the martin houses.
Ralph shared his birding knowledge with everyone and surely touched more lives than most people ever will.
My last contact with Ralph was at the SWPA water authority when we were paying our water bills. May he rest in peace.
Thursday, May 29, 2014
To Joan and family,
I am so sorry, he will certainly be missed by many.
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Our condolences to the Bell family. We knew Ralph as a co-leader at the WV Wildflower Pilgrimage and always enjoyed working with him. He will be greatly missed.
Monday, May 26, 2014
Dear Joan and Family: I am so sorry to hear about your father. You are in our thoughts and prayers. Just know that the memories you have of your father will last forever, they never die. Please take care Joanie, I will be in touch. With Sympathy, Love, Eleanor (Kensell) Davidson, Naples, Florida
Saturday, May 24, 2014
Mr. Bell provided blessings to my parents, my family, and my granddaughters through many holidays. His smile and laugh for all of us will be missed.
Saturday, May 24, 2014
You will be greatly missed. Some of my best memories of farming were your visits. I will always feel fortunate for having a great family member like you. Our deepest sympathies to all your loved ones.
Saturday, May 24, 2014
Extending to you our deepest sympathy.
Saturday, May 24, 2014
May 24, 2014
Dear Joanie and family,
So sorry for your loss. May the humble and gentle man that he was live on in your hearts now that he is resting peacefully after a full and wonderful life. The birding world has lost a gem. Sorry I can not join you today. Blessings to you.
Saturday, May 24, 2014
I have lots of good memories from my times with Ralph. I was thinking about some of them yesterday as I IDed birds quickly from the car, just on the gist of the behavior, a trick I learned from Ralph. I'll think of him when doing my Breeding Bird Survey next week, another 'habit' I picked up from him. The memories are many, and I'll carry them with me always.
Saturday, May 24, 2014
As with many people, Ralph created a fire within me for birding. He was such a humble man with a sweet spirit; and always had a joke. I am so glad that I got to spend a couple of hours with him last weekend and am blessed to have him on my life list of people. My heart and prayers are with the family.
Saturday, May 24, 2014
Dear Joanie and David, I am so sorry to hear of your dad's passing. He was such an inspiration to me and taught me so much about birds. I will miss him greatly as will many, many others.
Friday, May 23, 2014
Dave-It ws so awesome going to the farm yearly to get our Christmas tree.Your grandfather was a real character.He said at one time "everything is for sale but my dog" Thinking of you, Leah and family Love John and Nancy Kingston
Friday, May 23, 2014
There will always be a connection between our families. I remember so much about the love and respect Ralph has for my grandfather, J. Warren Jacobs. Ralph was an inspiration to more than one generation and a true friend.
Friday, May 23, 2014
My husband and I so enjoyed our visit with Ralph back in 2005. What an inspiration to all of us.
Friday, May 23, 2014
Joan and family

We are sadden by the death of your father. We will keep you all in our prayers and will ask our Lord to give you all the comfort and strenght you will need at this time. We love you Joan
Friday, May 23, 2014
Joanie and family,

Thanks so much for the phone call. That meant so much to me, and I know it was difficult for you. Sorry we can't be with you at this difficult time. We hope to catch up with you and Don, later this year, in Fort Myers, under more pleasant circumstances. It was great to have known your Dad for so long, and to have followed in his foot steps as President of the BBC. Not many will have that honor. It was nice to have been able to come to his Spring birding event at the farm. Ralph put Don and I to work right away, parking cars. I would have liked to have done that more than one year, but scheduling the week-end for such a long drive didn't work out. One of Ralph's biggest accomplishments was all the work that he did at AFMO. He was so appreciative that you were able to carry that on, as his time there became less and less as he began to slow down. I was amazed at how good his ears still were, with no hearing aids. (even though he kept saying: "I can't hear you" -- what he meant was: I'm ignoring that comment) And, he couldn't believe that I had to get hearing aids in my early '60's. But, I knew it was time, when I could no longer hear a Grasshopper Sparrow. He was one amazing man. He had all of his faculties about him for a long long time. I had hoped he would make it to 103. I was looking forward to the big bash for the real 100. Well, he'll be having a better party now, in the presence of the Lord!
Friday, May 23, 2014
Dear Dave, What a wonderful tribute to your dad! He certainly left a lasting legacy, not only through his long history in birding but also through his family, whom I have known and loved for over 40 years now! 99 years, wow, that is a grand number of years for a person to live a worthy and wonderful life! You are all in our hearts and our prayers as you bid Farewell For Now, dearest Dave.
Friday, May 23, 2014
To Ralph's family and friends.. I was saddened to learn that Ralph had passed. He was a great friend to birds and a leader in understanding their migrations. I will miss comparing our flights with him and his wonderful typewritten letters each year. But, all he has done will not be forgotten, he has left a legacy and a model to follow. He loved the birds..I hope you can take solace in knowing his spirit soars with them now. Laurie Goodrich, Hawk Mountain
Friday, May 23, 2014
Dear Joanie & Family,
We were saddened with the passing of your Dad. What a wonderful man he seemed to be. He lived a full life with family and his birds.
Hold on to your memories, and let them guide you during during this time of sadness. May angels walk with today and always.

Judy & Mike Paluda
Friday, May 23, 2014
Dear Joan, Don and Luke,

We are so sorry to hear of your Dad's passing. We know you will miss him greatly, but what a wonderful gift of memories you have of him. You all are in out thoughs and prayers and we send out deepest sympathy. We love you!
Thursday, May 22, 2014
It was an honor to meet your family and care for Mr. Bell. May he rest in peace.
Thursday, May 22, 2014
Joan: I am very sad to hear about your loss. I so much enjoyed talking with Ralph off and over these last 13 years at the AFMO. His deeds spoke volumes. The world was graced with his presence and many, many folks I've talked to were touched by his kindness. God bless you and the family.
Thursday, May 22, 2014
Not often in life do we cross paths with a rare bird of Ralph's stature. The lessons, advice, and jokes will live on in the hearts and minds of all of us who had the pleasure of his profound friendship. It was great to share time in the banding shed. Thanks for all the wonderful memories.
Thursday, May 22, 2014
We will always remember Ralph for the way he helped us learn our birds when we first joined the Brooks Bird Club at Forays. He will be missed. He was the most "famous" person we knew.

Scott and Janice Emrick and family
Thursday, May 22, 2014
Joan: Though we never had the privilege of meeting your Father, we have heard some wonderful stories from you. After reading his obituary, we know he must have been a very special man. Our thoughts are with you and Don and we look forward to seeing you when you get home. Big hugs, Jane and Jim Foushee
Thursday, May 22, 2014
I am so saddened to hear of Mr. Bell's passing. Although I never personally met him, his letters to me regarding his life and answers to my questions regarding blue birds endeared him to me. I could tell from his entries in his diaries (he photo-copied them to me) that he was very meticulous and serious about his bird watching and banding over his entire life. He never missed an opportunity to help others develop the same love for our feathered friends that he had. My condolences to his family.
Thursday, May 22, 2014
We appreciated Ralph's kindnesses to us. ~Cindy and David Ellis
Thursday, May 22, 2014
Our family had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Bell on a homeschool field trip many years ago. He was so great with the kids, taking time for their questions and helping them to understand the importance of what he did. His passion for his "hobby" was evident! We are sure he will be truly missed, but what a wonderful legacy he leaves behind! Our sincere condolences to his entire family and the birding community.
Thursday, May 22, 2014
Ralph Bell was a very impressive Purple Martin landlord, among other things. He kept a lifetime of written records on their arrival dates. I was fortunate to spend a day with him a decade or two ago. He was a very keen observer of the natural history around him. My condolences to his family.
Thursday, May 22, 2014
I had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing Mr. Bell a few years back and thought fondly about him from time to time since. What a genuine, kind, person. My prayers are with your family.
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Joanie and family,
Sorry to hear about your dad. So glad he got to have last week's bird day at the farm. He was such a sweet, gentle man. I will remember him with fondness.
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
I send my deepest sympathy to the Bell Family.
When I met Ralph he said "You got the fire!" because I got excited with every new bird sighting. Ralph inspired Marj and all the Bird Club humbly with
his knowledge and dedication.
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
To the Bell Family, Ralph will be missed greatly. My Wife Carolyn (Feb 20,2013) Grandaughter, Kayla, and I, Howard Cork, always looked foreward to seeing and speaking to Ralph on Dolly Sods, He was a wonderful friendly hellpful man,
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Joan and Bell family,
I was saddened hearing of Ralph's passing. He truly was a gentle man. I'll always keep fond memories of him in my heart. He so enjoyed sharing stories of his youth and I certainly enjoyed his tales. He had more "bird knowledge" than I'll ever hope to have. Please accept my condolences. I'm so sorry for your loss. Your family is in my prayers.
Mary LaPlante
Mount Morris, PA
Member of Ralph K. Bell bird club
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