Brattleboro- Howard William Bell, 87, of Hinesburg Road, a lifelong resident of West Brattleboro, died peacefully Wednesday morning, September 4, 2019 at Pine Heights Nursing Home following a period of declining health.
Mr. Bell was born in the Green River section of Guilford on October 8, 1931, the son of Frank and Ethel (Aldrich) Bell. He was raised and educated in Guilford and had attended Brattleboro High School.
He went on to proudly serve his nation in the U.S. Army, enlisting in 1952, stationed in Germany during the Korean Conflict. He was honorably discharged from active service in 1956 and returned home, later serving in the Army Reserves.
He had been employed as a truck driver for Washburn Vault Company in Brattleboro, where he retired from in 1995 following 30 years of faithful service with the company. Additionally, he worked on a part-time basis for many years opening graves for funeral homes in the greater Brattleboro area. In his younger years he logged with his twin brother, logging the old fashioned way utilizing teams of horses.
Steadfast in his walk of faith, he was a longtime member of West Brattleboro Baptist Church where he served as an Elder and Deacon. At the time of his passing, Mr. Bell was the oldest elder within the church.
He enjoyed music and playing the guitar and was a member of several area groups that included The Tracers, Maple Valley Boys, and played with a gospel band in area Nursing Homes. Additionally, he enjoyed the outdoors, cutting firewood, puttering around his home and time shared with his family.
Howard was known as a devoted family man, hard worker and will be remembered for his spirit of friendship.
On March 1, 1958 at the West Guilford Church, he was married to Ruth Putnam. His beloved wife of 43 years predeceased him on January 20, 2001.
Survivors include: two sons, Rodney (Maureen) and Randy (Shirley) Bell both of West Brattleboro; two daughters, Wendy (Fred) Kendall of Horn Lake, MS and Cynthia (Eric) Susee of West Brattleboro; two brothers, his twin brother Henry Bell of Galaton, TN and David Bell of West Brattleboro; three sisters, Dorothy Hastings of Saint Cloud, FL, Elizabeth Meunch of Hendersonville, TN and Nancy Bobee of Whitingham; 11 grandchildren, 20 great grandchildren, one great-great-grandson and many nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by three brothers, Francis, Alden and Benjamin Bell, and a sister, Eleanor Schoenert.
Funeral Services will be conducted Monday at 11:00 A.M. at West Brattleboro Baptist Church with Pastor Steve McClelland officiating. Burial with full military honors will follow in the Bell family lot in West Brattleboro Cemetery on Mather Road.
Friends are invited to call at the Atamaniuk Funeral Home on Sunday from 4 to 6 P.M.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in his name may be made to West Brattleboro Baptist Church, 978 Western Avenue, Brattleboro, VT 05301 or the Windham County Humane Society, PO Box 397, Brattleboro, VT 05302.