Robert Edward Bell, 80, of Danville, passed away peacefully Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012, at home with his family by his side.
Born Aug. 27, 1932, on a farm outside Ottawa, Ill., to Roy E. and Evangeline McManus Bell, Bob was the youngest of four children. The family moved to the Roseland neighborhood of Chicago in 1933. He attended Brennan Grammar School, Fenger High School and graduated from Chicago Vocational High School in 1950.
He was a Merchant Marine on ore boats in the Great Lakes before enlisting in the Navy in 1952. He then served aboard the USS Hyman during the Korean War as a medical corpsman.
He met Patricia Grace Smith, a fellow medical corpsman, while stationed at the U.S. naval hospital in Memphis, Tenn. They married in 1955 and raised four children in Chicago and Dolton.
Bob and his family spent many happy years in Dolton before he and Pat moved to Danville in 1983 to manage Turk Furniture. In Danville, he enjoyed golfing with friends at Turtle Run and was a member of the Elks for 30 years. While golf took up a good part of his time both before and after retirement, he also enjoyed birdwatching, building bird houses and visiting Heron, Kennekuk and Kickapoo parks.
He was a thoughtful, funny, strong and handsome man whose priority was always his family.
Bob is survived by his wife, Patricia, of Danville; his daughters, Melanie Bell of Tequesta, Fla., Pamela Bell of Arcata, Calif., and Lisa Bell of Santa Rosa, Calif.; granddaughter, Raechel Koepke of Arcata, Calif.; sister, Eileen Kane of Dixon, Ill.; sister-in-law, Lee Robson of Merrit Island, Fla.; brother-in-law, Jack Smith of Oakland, Ore.; and many nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his son Patrick; sister Bette Kranenburg; brother William Bell; and his mother and father.
Visitation will be 4-6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 21, at Sunset Funeral Home, 3940 N. Vermillion St., Danville. There will be a short service at 5:45 p.m.
The family would especially like to thank the care providers of Carle Hospice for their support.
Memorial donations can be made to Carle Hospice or to the Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675, http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org.