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Wilfred Robert Bell passed away on February 9, 2022, at his home in Blue Springs, Mo. Having reached the age of 99, he was born in Pleasanton, Kansas, on July 31, 1922, to Ollie Mabelle (Stepp) Bell and William Robert Bell. Though his parents resided in Kansas City, Mo., his mother wanted his birth to occur in her parents’ home.
Wilfred, who began using the name “Bill” to honor his father, William, graduated in 1939 from Northeast High School in Kansas City. He entered the Army in 1942 and achieved the rank of sergeant by the time he was honorably discharged in February of 1946.
In 1943, Bill met Laura Bellamy; they wed on April 14, 1944. In early 1950, Bill graduated from Kansas University in Lawrence with a bachelor of science degree in industrial management.
Bill worked for 24 years in management at an insurance investigation company. During those years, he and Laura moved from Kansas City, Mo., where they had a daughter, Toni Lynn, to St. Louis, Mo., where they had their second daughter, Janice Lee; then to Minneapolis, Minn.; Omaha, Neb.; Morristown, N.J.; and back to Kansas City.
Bill left private industry to work for the federal government, beginning as a claims authorizer at the Social Security Administration in Kansas City and reaching the level of module manager. He retired at the age of 65 to spend more time with Laura, who had been diagnosed with cancer. Laura died in November of 1988.
Bill married Martha Jarvis in December of 1989 and moved from Kansas City to Bolivar, Mo. Bill and Martha moved to Florida in 2001 but returned to Missouri to be closer to family. They were residing in Springfield when Martha died in July of 2012.
Bill loved music and sang in the Wesley United Methodist Choir in Springfield. He also sang with the Young at Heart Singers, which performed every week at senior centers in Springfield and at the Veteran’s Home in Mt. Vernon.
In 2021, Bill moved from Springfield to Lee’s Summit, near his oldest daughter and her family. He is survived by daughter Toni Hall and son-in-law Fred Hall, daughter Janice Kleinschmidt, grandchildren Jennifer (Jamey)Epperson and Troy Hall, great grandchildren Dylan Epperson and Colin Epperson, brother-in-law Frank (Barbara) Artz, sister-in-law Helen Miller, a cousin, and many nieces and nephews.
Services will be held at 10 a.m. on February 19 at Park Lawn Funeral Home, 8251 Hillcrest Rd., Kansas City, Missouri; burial in Green Lawn Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Semper Fi & America’s Fund https://semperfifund.org/donate/.Service Information:
Services will be held at 10 a.m. on February 19 at Park Lawn Funeral Home, 8251 Hillcrest Rd., Kansas City, Missouri; burial in Green Lawn Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Semper Fi & America’s Fund https://semperfifund.org/donate/.
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