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Charles Greenleaf Bell

Charles Greenleaf Bell Obituary
CHARLES GREENLEAF BELL BURLINGTON - Charles Greenleaf Bell, 94, died peacefully on Christmas Day, 2010 in Belgrade, ME, at the home of one of his five daughters. He was born on Halloween 1916 in Greenville, Miss., the son of Judge Percy and Nona Archer Bell. He attended the University of Virginia in 1933 and was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, England, where he met his first wife, Mildred MacKenzie. They had three daughters, Nona Bell Estrin and Delia Robinson of East Montpelier, and Charlotte Bell Samuels of Fairfax, Calif. In 1948, he married Diana (Danny) Mason and their daughters are Sandra Colt of Belgrade and Carola Bell of Santa Fe, N.M. He was a vigorous and athletic polymath, whose long life spanned a distinguished academic and literary career, including many fellowships and honors. At Princeton University, he had a faculty position for five years at the Institute in physics, concurrent with Albert Einstein and other celebrated physicists. At the University of Chicago, he taught with Stringfellow Barr and stumped for Adlai Stevenson. He found his academic home at Saint John's College's Great Books Program, first in Annapolis, Md., and later in Santa Fe. He continued to teach there and present his seminal work, 80 Symbolic History shows, into his mid-80s. He and his second wife, Danny, were honored as New Mexico Living Treasures. He published two novels, The Married Land and The Half Gods, and three books of poetry, Delta Return, Songs for a New America, and Five Chambered Heart. At age 90, his last book was published, Millennial Harvest, an autobiography. In addition to his daughters and their partners, Charles Johnson (E. Montpelier), Dr. Bob Robinson, (E. Montpelier), Dr. Harry Colt (Belgrade, ME) and Stacy Samuels, (Fairfax, Calif.); he leaves behind grand- children, Dr. Mario (Estrin) Trabulsy and her husband, Dr. Phil Trabulsy, of Colchester, and their three children, Quinn, Abe, and Milo, Hans Estrin and his wife, Zoe Parker, and their two children, Izabel and Darius of Putney, Eli (Liz) Robinson and her partner, Callie Thompson, of Austin, TX, Sarah Robinson of Forestville, Calif.; and many other grandchildren, great- grandchildren; and other relatives, including Marc Estrin and wife, Donna Bister, of Burlington. His friends spanned generations and all walks of life. His energy, passion and humor were legendary. One of his many former students said it well: "His magic continues to buoy me, and shall until I die."

Published in The Burlington Free Press on Jan. 4, 2011
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