Mr. John William “Jack” Bell, 82, longtime Walkersville farmer, died peacefully Tuesday, July 30, 2019 at Kline Hospice House. He was the loving husband of Carol Jean Bell, for 62 years.
Born September 28, 1936 in Frederick, he was the son of the late William Wesley and Mary Ellen (Hahn) Bell.
Jack was raised in the Damascus area, where he and his brother, Don, began their early careers in farming. They farmed several different locations while attending high school. They would milk cows in the morning, go to school, attend sports practice, and return home for the evening milking. For many years, they assisted their mother at the Montgomery County Farm Women’s Cooperative Market in Bethesda.
Upon graduating from Damascus High School in 1954, Jack enlisted into the U.S. Air Force, serving during the Korean War. He met his future wife, Carol Wheeler, on a blind date while attending a community dance in Spokane, WA, where he was stationed at the time. They married and returned to Maryland in 1958 with their infant son, Ronnie, upon John’s Honorable Discharge from the service.
John and Don began farming in 1959 at the home farm of their uncle in Ceresville. Together, the Bell Brothers raised their families, milked 200 head of Holsteins, and crop farmed additional acreage in the Walkersville, Frederick and Thurmont areas.
Upon dispersal of the dairy herd in 1996, John continued crop farming and raising beef cattle for several years until he decided to retire full-time. Times spent with family were the most precious to him, whether it was going out to eat, attending his grandchildren’s activities, or his favorite… a daily car ride with his wife throughout the countryside of Frederick and the neighboring counties.
John was also a very active member of the community. He was a 35-year member of the Glade Valley Lion’s Club, receiving the Melvin Jones Fellow award for Dedicated Humanitarian Services. He thoroughly enjoyed being a Lion and served in various leadership positions within the club. His favorite activity was helping in the french fry stand each year at the Walkersville Carnival, of which his grandsons also helped in more recent years. He was a member of Columbia Lodge #58 and was a 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Mason. Additionally, John was a member of the Woodsboro American Legion Post 282, a former member of the Lewistown Ruritan Club, and a member of Brook Hill United Methodist Church.
In earlier years, John was active in various farming organizations and served these groups in several leadership positions. He was a life member of the Frederick County Agricultural Society, Inc. and proudly served on the Board of Directors of the Great Frederick Fair for 30 years, retiring in 2012.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by four children, Ronnie Bell and wife, Dania, of Thurmont; Rhonda Starmer and husband, Steve, of Lewistown; Jacqui Kreh and husband, Richard, of Middletown; and Jody Bell and fiancee, Melanie Day, of Frederick; 14 grandchildren, Rebecca Kent (Steve), Wes Biser (Erin Davis), Jennifer Biser (Mike Janinek), Shannon Klar (Ryan), Brianna Starmer (Bryan O’Rourke), Bryan Starmer, Katelyn and Kourtney Bell, Megan Smith(Justin), Sara Seiser (Drew), Derek Kreh (Ashley), Blair and Brandon Kreh, and Joangel Ventura; five great-grandchildren, Madison, Lucy, Mark, Stella, and Ciara; two sisters, Delores Neal and Rosalyn Bowman, both of Damascus; and numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews, and their families.
He will be remembered by many friends, including his childhood friend of 75 years, Henry King.
John was predeceased by a sister, Ruth Ellen Hruska and husband, Ken; two brothers, Richard G. Hines, and wife, Bev, and Donald Bell and wife, Carolyn; two brothers-in-law, LaVerne Neal and James Bowman; and nephew, Richard D. “Denny” Hines.
John’s family would like to thank his family practitioner, Dr. DelGrippo, and his cardiologist, Dr. Levangie, for the wonderful care he received over the years. Special thanks to the staff of Hospice of Frederick County and Kline Hospice House for the compassionate care given to John and the support given to his family.
The family will receive friends from 2 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, August 4, 2019 at Stauffer Funeral Home, 1621 Opossumtown Pike, Frederick, with a Masonic service at 4:30 p.m.
Funeral services will begin at 11 a.m. on Monday, August 5 from Brook Hill United Methodist Church, 8946 Indian Springs Road, (Yellow Springs) Frederick. Officiating will be his pastors, the Rev. Dana Werts and Rev. Linda Warehime; and his longtime friend, the Rev. Tim May.
Interment will follow in Glade Cemetery, Walkersville.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Frederick Co., P.O. Box 1799, Frederick, MD 21702.
Expressions of sympathy may be shared with the family at www.staufferfuneralhome.com.