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Gary Bell

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July 28, 1933 - July 20, 2013
SOUTH BEND - Gary Bell, 79, passed away on Saturday, July 20th. Gary was born July 28, 1933, in Mishawaka, to Russell and Venice Bell. As a teen he was active in the Civil Air Patrol, and at the age of 16 held the distinction being the youngest licensed pilot in the state of Indiana at that time. Gary graduated from South Bend Central in 1951, and subsequently served in the Navy from 1951 to 1954. On May 25th, 1957, he married his wife of 56 years, Jacqueline (Renstrom), in Glendale, California. Gary was an avid baseball fan, player and coach, and a devoted follower of Indiana Hoosiers basketball. He spent much of his working life in the trades as a journeyman sheet metal worker, carpenter, and maintenance technician. He was a skilled craftsman, and proudly renovated several of his family's homes. Later he traveled extensively in the United States and Canada with his wife, delivering motor homes and visiting numerous national parks. Gary enjoyed gardening, and earned a Master Gardener certification, which he put to use as a volunteer at Fernwood Botanical Garden. He also volunteered at Bendix Woods County Park and Habitat for Humanity. Gary is survived by his wife, Jacqueline, and his children: Joddi Osthimer (Scott), Gariann Tedtman (Tom) of Louisville, KY, Kevin (Dawn), Ken (Jenni) and Tim (Katie). He was preceded in death by a son, Burrus, and a daughter, Jonnilyn. Gary was a proud grandfather of 10, and was affectionately known as "Papa." Memorial contributions may be made in his honor to Fernwood Botanical Garden, Niles, MI, or to Alzhiemer's and Dementia Services of Northern Indiana, South Bend. Cremation has taken place, and there will be a family remembrance at a later date.
Published in South Bend Tribune from July 27 to July 28, 2013
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