Photo courtesy of Parker Memorial Funeral Home - Vardaman

Donald Steele Bell

Vardaman, Mississippi

Apr 26, 1934 – Feb 15, 2021 (Age 86)


April 26, 1934
February 15, 2021
Vardaman, Mississippi


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Parker Memorial Funeral Home - Vardaman Obituary

Donald Steele Bell, 86, passed away at Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi on February 15, 2021, after an extended illness. He was born to the late Walter Otto Bell and Ibbie Irene Belk Bell on April 26, 1934, in Ethel, Mississippi.

Don was a very patriotic man serving with loyalty and devotion to his country and mankind. He entered into the United States Army on October 17, 1958 and later transferring to the Mississippi National Guard, Unit 223 Engineering Battalion. He served over 22 years of service to his country and the military. 

Don began his dedication to serving and service at a young age, starting with singing in the National FFA chorus in high school and attending Boy’s State while in high school. Don attended Holmes Community College from 1952 to 1954. Upon his graduation he enrolled at Mississippi State University where he received his BS Degree in Forestry in 1956. He was a member of the first class from the new forestry curriculum.  Don continued to expand his education by attending many forestry workshops.  His work career began with the Jimmy Henley Lumber Company, while still a student as MSU. Upon graduation he worked at the D. L. Fair Lumber Company as their forester, Georgia Pacific, and Weyerhaeuser as their forester and later as their raw materials manager. After 22 years of working for others he began his private consulting career as a forest manager founding Donald S. Bell and Associates in June 1978.  After another 22 years he sold his business but continued to work part-time with Bell Kirkland and Associates.

Don was a member of several forestry organizations where he served as a board member and chairman for those organizations including: the Mississippi Forestry Association, the Society of American Foresters, representing Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas, the Association of Consulting Foresters of America, and the National Association of Forestry. He also served as an agent for Mutual of New York helping families with estate planning. He also invested in young people serving as the Boy Scouts as a Scout Master for Troop 26. He also served on the Pushmataha Scout Board and was awarded the Silver Beaver Award and honored as a Boy Scout Master and Order of the Arrow. Don took great interest in his town and community serving as a member of the Bruce Chamber of Commerce where he served as past chairman, founding member of the Bruce Jaycees, and past member of the Bruce School Board.   Don was also a member of the Bruce Rotary Club, serving as past president, he was also a Paul Harris Fellow and had perfect attendance for over 44 years. Don also served as past president of the MSU School of Forestry Alumni Association. He was a member of the MSU Alumni Association and the Calhoun County MSU Alumni Association.  He was also past president of the North Mississippi Fire Prevention Association.

Don was an active member of the Bruce United Methodist Church, where he served in various positions in the church.  He served on the Administrative Board, Sunday School Teacher, Choir Member, Finance Committee, and Chairman of Calhoun County Methodist Cluster.  

Don was an outdoorsman’s he loved hunting deer, rabbit, and quail and if he were not hunting you could find him fishing.  He was also an avid MSU sports fan.

Those left to honor his memory are his wife Billie Jo Pennington Bell, whom he married on July 27, 1956, daughters:  Barbara (Ted) Camp, of Banner; Sharon (Steve) James, of Bruce; Donna (Thomas) Camp, of Banner, and Penny (Bryan) Register, of Vicksburg; Brothers:  Terrell (Edna) Bell, of Louisville, and Bob Bell, of Ethel; Grandchildren: Kevin (Dr.Keri) Camp:  Dr. Jason (Kristy) Camp; Christy (Michael) Listenbee; Kayla (Jason) Jenkins; Clint Camp; Hannah (Michael) Maier, and Matthew Register, and 7 Great Grandchildren.

A visitation and funeral service will be held Saturday, February 20, 2021, at Parker Memorial Funeral Home in Bruce.  The visitation will be from 12:00 P.M. until service time at 2:00 P.M. at the funeral home chapel.  Bro. Darrell Logan and Bro. Jeff Dalton will be officiating, and Dr. Jason Camp will be doing the eulogy and tribute.  Burial will be in Memory Memorial Garden.  Pallbearers will be: Kevin Camp, Dr. Jason Camp, Clint Camp, Matthew Register, Jason Jenkins, and Johnny Broocks.  Honorary pallbearers are: Neil Kirkland, Bill Canale, Jim Pennington, Mac Burnett, Ed Quillen, Dave Fair III, Charles Dismuke, Bruce Rotary Club members, and his dedicated caregivers:  Rachelle Edwards, Lucy Hughes, Deanna Gray, Lee Counts, Arnita Hooper, Mary Netterville and Tewkunzi Thornton.  Also, a special caregiver that is now serving in heaven, Christi Story.

Memorials may be made in Don’s memory to the Bruce Chamber of Commerce, the Bruce Museum or the Bruce United Methodist Church.

Parker Memorial Funeral Homes of Bruce and Vardaman are honored to serve the Bell family during this difficult time.

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I met Don (Mr. Bell) when I was a graduate student at MSU in the late 90s. I have very fond memories of chats with him and have thought about him often over the years. It's been many years since I've spoken to him but the memories persist. My thoughts and prayers are with the family.

A trooper for Bruce loved his town and served it well.

I'm so sorry for your loss. Even though my time with Mr Don was short I truly enjoyed caring for him. He was definently one of a kind. Ms Billie,Barbara, Sharon,Donna & Penny thank you so much for allowing me to care for Mr Don. I know he is at rest with our Lord. Due to icy road conditions I will not be able to attend the services today please know that all of you are in my thoughts & prayers. Please take care & be safe. If there is anything I can do please don't hesitate to...

So very sorry to hear about Mr. Don... Sweet man who loved his family so much !!! My thoughts and prayers are with each of you today, and the days to come..

Sorry to hear about your loss. Praying for you at this time.

Sincere sympathy,
Mozell Hull

In loving memory of a wonderful person. We will miss Don, Thankful for the knowledge of forestry that he shared with all. He will be missed.

May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.

Don always acknowledged me and gave me the feeling that he cared; and he did. Don was very well respected as not only a citizen of our community but as a servant of his Lord. I pray that good memories will displace sorrow and give you peace and hope. Psalm 116: 15 says "Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints."