June 27, 2015
Services for Howard Bell of Arlington and formerly of Salado will be Monday, July 6, 2015 at the pavilion at Bellwood Cemetery starting at 10 a.m. with Pastor Fox-Neulle, the Masonic burial team and military honors.
Bell died on Saturday, June 27, 2015 at his residence after a short illness. He was 95 years old.
Howard was born August 26, 1920 to Roy Lee Bell and Alice Graham Bell in Wichita, Kansas. He was the eldest of five children.
He attended Rankin High School, Rankin, Texas, graduating as a cum laude student. He entered Texas Tech University as an engineering student, but after two years, entered the military service. Upon his return from duty, he married Merlene in New Orleans, graduated from Tulane University with a BS in Mechanical Engineering and obtained his masters degree from the University of Houston.
Howard’s work experience was focused on the oil industry including many years with Shell Oil.
He rose to the rank of major before being discharged in January 18, 1946, after four years of service. Three and a half in Burma as an Aircraft Maintenance Officer. Howard’s book “The Burma Bridge Busters” was published in 2005. It told the story of the 490th Bombardment Squadron in the China-India-Burma campaign, he was awarded the following medals: Air Medal CO 129 10th AF, American Defense Service Medal, Asiatic Pacific Service Medal, American Theater Service Medal, World War II Victory medal.
Howard enjoyed reading and writing but his special love was the railroad, where he volunteered at the Santa Fe Museum many hours each year. He also had an extensive collection of model trains, taking great pride in having a Lionel train set-up in his garage so great-grandsons and visitors could watch in amazement. As the boys grew older, he would even let them run the trains!
In the last few years he and Merlene moved to Arlington, Texas to be near daughter, Chyrell. A few of the trains mounted as wall art also came and continued to be a point of conversation.
Howard is preceded in death by his father and mother, a sister Mary Mims and his beloved wife, Merlene who he never stopped missing from the day of her death in 2013.
He is survived by two brothers, Bob Bell of Synder, TX, Roy Lee Bell, Jr. of Odessa, TX, and a sister, Lurline Owens Burns of El Paso, TX, daughters, Carol Leatherwood and husband Bobby, of Pearland, TX and Chyrell Bell and husband Steven Ross of Arlington, TX, also four grandchildren, ten great-grandchildren, several nieces and nephews. Also his personal caregiver, Aurora Martinez who spent almost everyday with him since early 2014. Aurora and her father Steve sat with Howard rotating shifts several times 24/7 when he was in need of special care. And Bentley, Aurora’s 3 year old son who loved MR. BELL.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to First Presbyterian Church Belton TX or First Presbyterian Church of Arlington, TX or a charity of choice in Howard’s name.
Visitation will be from 5-7 p.m., Sunday, July 5, 2015 at the funeral home.
Broecker Funeral Home of Salado is in charge of arrangements.