James "Jim" Bell was a man who never wasted a minute of his life. When he died Friday, April 12, 2013 at his home in Hammond at the age of 89, he had spent 40 years in a career in labor relations, was married for 62 years, the father of four children, read hundreds of books and created several pieces of art out of wood. Jim Bell was born October 27, 1923 in Chicago to Bruce and Mary (nee Fouts) Bell. He grew up in East Chicago, IN. He enjoyed the Boy Scouts and became an Eagle Scout. He graduated from Roosevelt High School in 1942, where he was vice president of the senior class and captain of the football team, playing the position of center. He enrolled at Purdue University in West Layette, IN in the fall of 1942. After one semester, Jim volunteered for the Army Air Corps. World War II had started, and Jim wanted to be a pilot. Jim wound up as a gunner and was stationed at several air bases during the war. He was at Alamogordo Air Base in New Mexico, when the atomic bomb was being tested in 1945. After Jim's honorable discharge from the Army Air Corps in 1946, he returned to Purdue where he graduated in 1948 with a bachelor of science degree. His brother, Joseph, and sister, Barbara, graduated from college on the same day as Jim. Following graduation, Jim went to work in labor relations at Standard Oil of Indiana in Whiting, IN. Standard Oil, which eventually became Amoco, was the only company Jim worked for during his professional life. In his entire 40-year career, he never took a sick day. Jim retired from Amoco in 1988, as manager of labor relations. His office was in what is now known as Aon Center in Chicago's Loop. In his spare time, Jim enjoyed wood working. He made several moving wooden objects that he proudly displayed at his summer home on Lake Michigan. He also was a lifelong Cubs fan. Jim also loved to read and made weekly trips to the Hammond Public Library. He especially loved learning about the Civil War and World War II. Jim married Lois Hansen on March 4, 1950 at Rockefeller Chapel at the University of Chicago. She died in August 2012. Jim is survived by four children: Brian (Carol) of Glenview, IL, David of Chicago, Barbara of Libertyville, IL, and Gary (Tiffani) of Munster, IN; a son, Bruce, predeceased him. Also surviving are five grandchildren: Anne (Mike) McCaskey of Chicago, Megan Bell of Chicago, IL, Jake Bell of Glenview, IL, Maddi Bell and Kayla Bell of Munster, IN. In addition, he survived by his brother, Joseph Bell of Lombard, IL; and sister, Barbara Ross-Shannon of Rockford, IL. Visitation is Tuesday, April 16, 2013 at LaHAYNE FUNERAL HOME, 6955 Southeastern Ave. in Hammond from 4:00-8:00 p.m. A private burial service will be held the following day. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Hammond Public Library, 564 State St., Hammond, IN 46320. For further information regarding services, please contact LaHAYNE FUNERAL HOME at (219) 845-3600 or visit our web site at www.lahaynefuneralhome.com

Funeral Home

LaHayne Funeral Home - Hammond
6955 Southeastern Avenue  Hammond, IN 46324
(219) 845-3600

Published in The Times on Apr. 16, 2013