Neil J. Bell

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Neil Joseph Bell was born on Feb. 9, 1932 in Curtisville. His parents were Theodore (Ted) and Sylvia (Sib) Bell. Neil passed away at his home in Hale on Friday, March 28, 2014.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his brothers, Calvin, Ashley, Thomas and Dewey; sister, Barbara; and great grandson, Nathaniel Payne. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Jean; sister, Joy (Bob) Gallagher and children Joe (Mary Kay) Bell, Mike (Sheryl) Bell, Linda (Justin) Waters, Donna Bell, and Glen Bell. Neil and Jean have 14 grandchildren and 21 great grandchildren.
Having a great love of traveling, Neil covered much of the U.S. numerous times including Alaska. He enjoyed history and was extremely knowledgeable about family histories from Iosco County and particularly the Hale, Long Lake, South Branch and Curtisville areas. He spent the majority of his life in these areas and knew them extremely well.
His love of morel mushrooms had him walking the Maltby Hills every spring for most of his life, bringing kids, grandkids and family friends along to teach them the art of mushroom hunting. He also loved a good card game and shared that love with his family.
Neil and Jean opened up their home and family to 95 foster children over a span of 28 years. Many of these children were teenagers and a significant challenge for parenting, yet most felt that their stay in that home made them better people as they grew up. Neil and Jean were Foster Parents of the Year for the State of Michigan in 1985. Neil was a long term member of Hale Baptist Church helping with the Awana youth program and driving the bus. He also was active with the Hale Cub Scouts as a pack leader.
Funeral services were held at Monday, March 31 at the Hale Chapel of Buresh Funeral Home, 121 S. Washington in Hale. Donations in his memory may be made to the Hale Senior Center.
Funeral Home
Buresh-Bennett Funeral Home Inc
121 S Washington St Hale, MI 48739
(989) 728-2571
Funeral Home Details
Published in Iosco County News-Herald from Mar. 31 to Apr. 8, 2014