Paul Buckner Bell (1922 - 2017)

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Paul Buckner Bell, 94, passed away peacefully at Presbyterian Hospital, Charlotte on January 19, 2017 surrounded by his loving family.

Born July 29, 1922 at Presbyterian Hospital in Charlotte, he was the son of the late Dr. George Fisher Bell (former Pastor of Caldwell Memorial Presbyterian Church) and Carrie Savage Bell. Paul was preceded in death by his wife, Betty Sue Trulock Bell, the love of his life. They met in Charlotte in 1949 and were married in 1952 at her home in Climax, GA. They had almost 50 years together and raised four children. Paul is survived by his children, Paul B. Bell, Jr. and wife Meredith, Morris T. Bell and wife, Beverly, Betsy Bell Liles and husband George, Doug S. Bell and wife Beth. He is also survived by his 10 grandchildren, Tres Vanderburg, Sarah Farber (Adam), Buckner Bell, Freddie Bell, Welch Liles (Morgan), Paul Liles, Woody Liles, Hines Liles, Doug Bell, Jr., Freeman Bell, and 2 great granddaughters, Sutton Farber and Harrison Liles, and longtime family friend and caregiver Elouise Simmons. He was also preceded in death by his siblings Locklin Savage Bell, Barbara Bell, Martha Bell Woods and Dottie Bell Flowe.

He attended Lee Edwards High School in Asheville where he was president of the Student Body and led the debate team. After graduation he attended Wake Forest University where he was president of Sigma Phi Epsilon and Pi Alpha Delta fraternities. His college work was interrupted in 1943 when he was called into active duty in the Army Air Force. He completed his flight training at West Point (Stewart Field) in 1944 and received his wings and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant. He served overseas as a First Pilot on a B-24 Liberator Bomber in the China-Burma-India theater.

After the war, Paul received his Bachelor of Science Degree and Juris Doctor Degree, cum laude, from Wake Forest University. He began his practice in Charlotte in 1948 with Paul B. Eaton specializing in Intellectual Property Law (patent, trademark and copyright). The firm of Eaton & Bell grew under his leadership to Bell, Seltzer, Park & Gibson, the largest intellectual property law firm in the southeast prior to its merger in 1997 with Alston & Bird, LLP where he continued to participate as "Counsel."

He served as Vice-President of the North Carolina Bar Association and as chair of the Patent and Trademark Section and chair of the Senior's Division. He was a member of the American Intellectual Property Law Association and the Licensing Executives Society. He was active with the Federation Internationale des Conseils en Propriete Industielle (FICPI), a worldwide association of patent attorneys, where he was President of the U.S. Section and served on the International Council for many years. He and Betty Sue enjoyed many foreign trips and participating with their friends at FICPI events.

He was a consensus builder among lawyers, representing diverse interests in numerous complex patent and antitrust litigation matters. Paul was truly a "Gentlemen's Gentleman" and lived by the motto, "I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good thing therefore that I can do, or kindness I can show any human being, let me do it now." As quoted in the Charlotte Observer in 1986 he was "Not outspoken or flashy, but honest, diligent and able to analyze problems and opportunities. That's the reputation Paul Bell has carved out as a lawyer and active church and civic leader."

For many years he served on the Wake Forest University Law School Board of Visitors and continued his love of law and education as an Adjunct Professor of Patent Law at Wake Forest University Law School. Also, he was an Adjunct Professor at the University of North Carolina School of Law teaching an advanced seminar on patent law.

Paul treasured his family, always made time for them and was involved in their activities at church and in school. One of the highlights of his family life was a 6-week western tour of the United States during the summer of 1971 that the children still talk about to this day. Paul loved the outdoors and loved spending time with his family and friends in Montreat and Grandfather Mountain. He traveled the world, was an avid reader and enjoyed swimming, playing golf and tennis and loved sitting in the sun.

Paul was dedicated to the City of Charlotte and was proud to participate in its growth over the years. In 1964 he was featured in the Observer as one of the best-dressed men in Charlotte.

He was a founding member of Trinity Presbyterian Church where he served as a Sunday School teacher, Deacon, Ruling Elder and Clerk of Session. He served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Presbyterian Foundation, Inc. (US) and on the Boards of Sharon Towers and Alexander Children's Center. He was President of the City Club and the Piedmont Club. He was a member of Charlotte Country Club and Grandfather Golf and Country Club.

The family would like to give special thanks to the caregivers of Sharon Towers, and Novant Health Hospice for their love and care during the twilight of his life. A memorial service to celebrate his life will be held at 3:00 PM on Sunday, January 22 at Trinity Presbyterian Church. Visitation will be immediately following the service in the Church Parlor.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be sent to Bell Trulock Carillon Fund at Trinity Presbyterian Church, 3115 Providence Rd, Charlotte, NC 28211; The Paul B. Bell, Sr. Scholarship Program at Wake Forest School of Law, 1834 Wake Forest Road, Winston-Salem, NC 27109 or Sharon Towers, 5100 Sharon Road, Charlotte, NC, 28210.

Arrangements are in the care of Kenneth Poe Funeral & Cremation Services, 1321 Berkeley Ave Charlotte NC 28204. Online condolences at Phone: 704 641-7606
Religious Service Information
Trinity Presbyterian Church
3115 Providence Rd
Charlotte, NC 28211
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Published in Charlotte Observer on Jan. 21, 2017