Robert's Story

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Bob Bell, born on June 27, 1929, in Sterling, Illinois, passed away peacefully in Chandler, Arizona, on March 31, 2017. He was 87.
Bob was preceded in death by Betty - the love of his life and wife of 62 years - and by his parents, Milford "Bundy" and Irene Bell.
He is survived by children, Barbara Fletcher (John), of Nashville, Tennessee, David Bell (Bonnie), of San Jose, California, and Steven Bell (Karen), of Tierra Verde, Florida; grandchildren, John ("Jamie"), Kathleen and Elizabeth Fletcher, and Matthew (Brittany) and Timothy Bell; and sister, LaDonna Bell Hall.
Bob was a wonderful husband, devoted father, father-in-law and grandfather and a devoted uncle to his niece and nephews, in whose lives he made a difference. Bob's gentle nature and unwavering optimism had a profound impact on his entire family and his many friends.
While attending Iowa State University he met Betty during their time in the marching band. Bob completed his undergraduate architectural degree in 1951, married Betty that August, then entered the U.S. Air Force. After completing his military service, Bob continued his architectural training at Cranbrook Academy of Art, receiving a Master of Architecture degree in 1955.
He began his architectural career in the offices of Alden Dow, Midland. In 1961 he and Betty relocated to Traverse City, where Bob was a founder of the architectural firm GBKB Associates. Bob loved all aspects of architecture and was inspired by the works of Frank Lloyd Wright. This influence can be seen in his many projects throughout the Traverse City area.
Bob and Betty purchased a former farmhouse on the Old Mission Peninsula with a panoramic view of East (Grand Traverse) Bay. This, accompanied by Bob's belief that design should fit into its natural surroundings, provided the inspiration and vision for him to conceive and develop The Bluffs on the Peninsula.
Bob later practiced as an architect in the Tampa Bay area of Florida, then in northern California, where he and Betty spent many wonderful years on the shores of Lake Almanor. He and Betty retired to the Chandler area in Arizona, where they were active members of the Sun Lakes United Methodist Church and its choir.
His family would like to thank Lynn Netko and Cheryl Haley and the other staff of Sage Hospice, as well as the staff at The Lighthouse Manor in Chandler, all of whom cared for Bob during his battle with Parkinson's.
The family will hold a private service in Traverse City at a later date.
The family asks that any donations in memory of Bob be made to Sage Hospice (www.sagehospice.org), Rotary International or the charity of your choice.
Published on April 29, 2017
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