Services are scheduled for 10 a.m. Thursday, July 12, 2012, at the Weed School in Weed for Robert Russell Bell, of Weed. Eddy Coleman and Randall Carr will officiate at the service, with interment to follow at the Piñon Cemetery in Piñon.
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Pallbearers will be his grandchildren Allen Bell, Shane Bell, Seth Pollard, Daniel Pollard, Andy Prude, Toby Hall and Kody Adams. Honorary pallbearers will be Ty Prude, Cory Mimms, Kory Mereness, Aaron Brashears, Kaden Bell, Tracy Mimms, Mike Prude, Herb Sprague, John Sprague and Calvin Winchester.
Visitation will begin Wednesday, July 11, 2012, at 10 a.m. at Terpening & Son Mortuary in Artesia.
Robert Russell Bell was born Aug. 26, 1924, to Jesse Parker Bell and Mary Melissa (Moffett) Bell at the Bell Ranch on Bluewater Canyon near Weed. He died Monday, July 9, 2012, on the same ranch at the age of 87.
Robert graduated from Weed High School in 1943 and soon entered the U.S. Navy. He served his country during World War II along with his brothers Joe and Denny. He received the Bronze Star for his service.
On Dec. 16, 1955, Robert married Lavona Sprague in Carlsbad. They lived together at the Bell Ranch for nearly 57 years and brought up their children Jessica, Andrea, Allen and Shane.
Robert was passionate in his efforts to increase the quality of life for the residents of the Sacramento Mountains. He served on committees to bring the Sacramento Mountains Medical Clinic to Cloudcroft and to build the new school in Weed in 1974. However, he will be most remembered for his efforts to be sure the communities of Weed, Sacramento and Piñon had dependable sources of water. As water is so scarce in the Piñon area, he allowed the community to use water from the well at the Bell Ranch.
He also served on the Soil and Water Conservation District board for 45 years and was a charter member of the Otero County Planning Commission. He received numerous awards for his conservation efforts, including Tree Farmer of the Year, Otero County Wildlife Federation Conservationist of the Year and Woodmen of the World Conservation Award. He was inducted as an Oldtimer into the Sacramento Mountain Historical Society.
Above all, Robert will be remembered as a loving husband, devoted Dad and Daddy, Papa, Uncle Bob or Uncle Robert, and as a faithful servant of the Lord. He and Lavona devoted many years to the work of the Church of Christ in Weed, which his parents helped establish in 1937 and continued to worship with the church in Cloudcroft after the church at Weed closed. When he couldn't remember much else, he could remember the prayer he always said, and the words to the songs he had sung all of his life.
Survivors include his wife, Lavona, of the family home; daughters Jessica and husband, Mike Prude, of Artesia, and Andrea and husband, Tracy Mimms, of Weed; sons Allen, of Artesia, and Shane and wife, Amy, of Los Lunas; grandchildren Nolene Adams and husband, Kody, Jeanene and husband, Toby Hall, Seth Pollard and wife, Elizabeth, Aaron Brashears and wife, Cara, Cory Mimms, Ty Prude, Mandy Mereness and husband, Kory, Naomi Mimms, Daniel Pollard and wife, Mary, Andy Prude, Kelsey Bell and Kaden Bell; nine great-grandchildren; sister Millie Samuels; brother Dalton Bell; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was proceeded in death by his parents and brothers J.Marion Bell, Joe Bell and Edwin Denny Bell.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Ethiopian Water Well Project at Hermosa Drive Church of Christ, 1302 W. Hermosa, Artesia, NM 88210; the Guatamalan missions at Cloudcroft Church of Christ, P.O. Box 316, Cloudcroft, NM 88317; or the
Published in Alamogordo Daily News from July 11 to Aug. 10, 2012