Bell, William Worth "Bill"
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87, of Mesa, AZ passed away on October 4, 2011 in the arms of his daughters in Scottsdale, AZ; after a valiant battle with cancer. was born in Memphis, TX Dec 29, 1923 to Charles Wesley Bell and Millie J. Smith Bell. He was only 9 when he and his brothers and sisters were orphaned during the Great Depression. After time in an orphanage and several yrs on a sharecropping farm; Bill, 16, moved to Pampa TX rented a room and began life on his own. He worked long evenings at a local movie theater and attended Pampa High school during the day. Bill survived on pennies yet excelled academically and personally. He was a member of the National Honor Society, was VP of his senior class and voted Most Likely to Succeed by his classmates. It was in high school that he met the love of his life Nita Rose McCarty, yet at the time had no idea marriage was in their future. After graduation in 1942 Bill joined the Army Air Corp, reported to basic training and Airplane Mechanic School at Sheppard field; and while there, kept up correspondence by mail with Nita Rose. He was accepted to aerial gunnery school at Tyndall Air Base in Fla, then Idaho where B- 24 bomber crews were assembled. He was rewarded with the assignment of 1st Engineer, the youngest of his crew. On Christmas Eve 1943 the bomber crews set sale for Casablanca. Assigned to the 376th Heavy Bombardment Group of the 512th Squadron, Bill completed his 50th mission aboard the B-24 Besame Mucho on June 26, 1944. Returning to the states Bill married Nita Rose, attended University of OK and graduated with a degree in Journalism in 1949. They moved to Albuquerque, NM and together, began their photography business 'BILL BELL of Albuquerque'. They were an extraordinary team; and each earned impressive recognition and awards in the National arena of Professional Photography. In 1980 Bill served as President of the National Professional Photographers of America at their 100th anniversary celebration. Bill and Nita retired to Leisure World, Mesa, AZ in 2003 where they had enjoyed their "vacation home" part time residence for several yrs. His compelling life story "SHADOWS of WINGS" now published and available through Amazon.com was completed after Nita's passing. Bill's life story reminds us why we call it the "greatest generation"; rising above the grinding poverty of the dustbowl days to the pinnacle of the American Dream. His legacy of hope and Spirit live on through his family and all who knew him. He will always be beloved . He is survived by his by daughters Lizabeth 'Liza' Elaine Bell ( husband Patrick Waugh), Linda Rosanne Loy (husband Steve Loy); grandchildren Karrie Kristin Pierson (husband James F. Pierson III), Britton Ashley Picciolini (husband Christian Picciolini), Michael Mauchline, Kelli Lyn Newsome (husband Zack Newsome), Kristin Lizabeth Loy; great grandchildren Katherine Grace Pierson, Joseph James Pierson, Caroline Elizabeth Pierson, Kellen James Newsome, Kirra Jade Newsome, Devin Picciolini and Brandon Picciolini. He was preceded in passing by his parents, his beloved wife Nita Rose Bell, his brothers Louis M. Bell, Clisto Bell, Douglas E. Ogburn, Charles Wesley Ogburn, Harold L Ogburn, Raymond O. Ogburn, sisters Lillian V. Bell, Jesse Bell, Winnefred Bell; daughter Leslie Jeannette Mauchline and great granddaughter Anna Clare Pierson. An Intimate family memorial service will be planned in Albuquerque; where Bill's ashes (co-mingled with those of Nita Rose) will be laid to rest at Sandia Memorial Gardens. In lieu of flowers, the family requests dona-
tions be made to Ryan House in Phx, AZ at www.ryanhouse.o
Published in The Arizona Republic on Oct. 16, 2011