John Neville Bell was born on June 13, 1947 in Ephrata and passed away on May 29 in Spokane, WA. John was the second of three sons and two daughters born to Frank A. Bell, who returned to Ephrata after serving in the Merchant Marine following WW II to become a successful businessman and prominent member of the community, and Sadie Bell, both of whom are deceased. John shared his father’s love of the outdoors becoming an expert hunter and fisherman devoting much of his life to the pursuit of his passion for nature. His knowledge of wildlife was thorough, acquired first hand through many years of experience in the fields and woods of Washington and tundra of Alaska. John was a gifted artist who enjoyed people and a good laugh. Gregarious and likeable, John made friends easily and over the course of his life met many interesting people amongst those were Academy Award winner Kevin Costner and Bill Gates. John became friends with Mr. Costner during the filming of The Postman in 1997 where John was originally in the film as an extra but became a double for Tom Petty when Mr. Petty demurred participating in scenes filmed on an open platform at a great height above the Boundary Dam at Metaline Falls. John had occasion to speak often with Bill Gates when he was employed as a shuttle driver on the Microsoft campus. The ideal combination of the frontier and a paying job brought John to Alaska where he worked on the North Slope for his older brother Bob’s surveying and engineering firm, F. Robert Bell Associates. John and Bob had many adventures together hunting and fishing some of which are retold in Bob’s books Oh no, We’re Gonna Die and Oh no, We’re Gonna DieToo. John’s dislike for the commute to work, an exciting flight from Anchorage in a somewhat vintage aircraft, to the North Slope camp eventually influenced his decision to return home to Northport where he resided for rest of his life.
John is survived by the children he loved, oldest son Cory Bell, daughters Tami (Bell) Campanoli, Jodi (Bell) Carey and husband Jesse Carey, youngest son Johnny Clyde Bell, step-son Jeremiah Scott and ten grandchildren. John was the beloved brother of two older sisters; Sali Ann (Bell) Michaels residing in Brea, CA with her husband Andrew and Frankie Jean (Bell) O’Neal who died tragically at 35 years old ; older brother Bob in Anchorage, AK with his wife Candace and younger brother Ed and his daughter Sarah, of Everett.
John spent the last years of his life in Northport with Therese Allemeier. Therese and John were a happy, contented couple who enjoyed their peaceful life together growing vegetables and planting beautiful flower gardens every year. John loved animals and in particular his much loved loyal little dog Joy, whom John hand fed as a puppy to keep her alive. John will be dearly missed by the community of Northport. A memorial to remember John is being planned for later this summer.