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David "Snapper" Bell

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David 'Snapper' Bell
November 2, 1928 - May 11, 2013

STAFFORD SPRINGS, Connecticut -- David M. Bell was born in Nashua, NH on November 2, 1928 to Donald and Florence (Walker) Bell. He grew up in Pepperell and attended New Hampton School and Pepperell High School.

Too young to fight in World War II, he joined the Merchant Marines and delivered supplies to France in support of the post war effort. As a youth, Dave loved bird and waterfowl hunting, skiing, hockey, foxhunting, fishing, sailing and car racing.

In 1950, David joined the Army. He received the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts during fighting in Korea. He returned home to Pepperell and married Eunice M. Shea. Still a soldier, the couple returned to Fort Benning, Georgia to begin their life together. David and Eunice had three sons.

David had tours of duty in Japan and Iran. He taught ROTC and coached rifle teams at both the University of Maine and Connecticut. David also volunteered and served in Vietnam as a Battalion Command Sergeant Major. In addition to receiving his second Combat Infantryman badge, Dave was cited for heroism and valor. He received the Silver Star, three Bronze Stars, and 12 Air Medals during Vietnam.

After retiring from the military, Dave was in a horrific accident which limited his mobility for the remainder of his life. David's wife of 25 years, Eunice died of cancer in 1977. David remarried later in life. His second wife Margaret (Wildes) Blood was also from Pepperell. Dave and Peg wintered in Florida and spent the remainder of the year surrounded by friends and family at their home in Connecticut.

David died on May 11, 2013. Dave enjoyed life and the company of young people. He loved to read and had an unbelievable memory. He was a man of high moral character and carried himself with dignity and grace.

David is survived by his second wife, Margaret; and his sons, Randy and Darren, their families; as well as several step children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. David was predeceased by his first wife, Eunice, and their eldest son, Kevin.

BELL -- A graveside service, including military honors for David will be held at Pepperell Cemetery, 8 Park Street on Saturday, September 14th at 11:30 am. A celebration of life is planned after the service. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Eunice M. Bell Memorial Library fund c/o the Robertson School, 227 Cross St., Coventry, CT 06238 or the Homer Youth Hockey Association, PO Box 2703 Homer, Alaska 99603.
Published in Nashoba Publishing on Sept. 6, 2013
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