Michael (Mike) Charles Bell, Sr., 76, (USMC Retired) died suddenly on July 7, 2020. Formerly of Plano, Texas, Mike retired to White Bluff Resort in Whitney, Texas, in 2008.
Mike was born in Dubuque, Iowa, on September 13, 1943, to Henry Bell and Kathleen Carrigg Bell. The family moved to Pleasantville, New Jersey, when Mike was young and settled in Overland Park, Kansas, where he attended Bishop Miege High School (Class of 1961). Mike earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas in 1965 and an MBA in Finance from George Washington University in 1972.
Mike joined the Marine Corps in 1965 and served for 26 years, including two combat tours in Vietnam, where he earned the Bronze Star, and many additional assignments in the U.S. and abroad. He retired as a Colonel in 1991 after serving as the Commanding Officer of the Recruit Training Regiment at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego. Serving as the CO of RTR MCRD was one of his favorite assignments throughout his Marine Corps career as he enjoyed mentoring and working with the young Marines.
After retiring from the Marine Corps, Mike joined the American Heart Association (AHA) where he worked for 18 years. He ended his career with the AHA as the Executive Vice President of the Emergency Cardiac Care Program.
Throughout both of his careers, Mike volunteered with numerous Catholic parishes, schools, and other community organizations as well as numerous stints as coach for community softball, soccer, and baseball teams. Being passionate about watersports and boating, Mike was a natural leader of the Marina Committee of the White Bluff Property Owner’s Association where he was able to fulfill his life-long dream of running a marina.
He is survived by his wife, Kriss Gosche Bell of Whitney, Texas; daughters Kristine Bell of Houston, Texas; Karen (Johnny) Nykl of Plano, Texas, and son Michael Charles Bell, Jr (Katie), and granddaughters Julia and baby on the way of San Diego, California. Also surviving are sisters Kathleen (William) Dickinson and Maureen (Donald) Gillespie of Kansas City, Missouri, and brother Christopher Bell of Meadville, Pennsylvania. He was welcomed into Kriss’ family by her daughter Michelle (Eric) Spencer and granddaughters, Hannah, Sarah, and Rebecca of Bristow, Virginia, as well as son Matthew (Karen) Suarez and grandson Lucas of Charlotte, North Carolina.
He is preceded in death by his wife of 50 years, Linda Barlow Bell, of Overland Park, Kansas (Dec 22, 2015) and his parents Henry and Kathleen.
Services will be held at the White Bluff Chapel followed by an interment at the Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery in Dallas, Texas. Details of the services will be announced at a later time.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the American Heart Association or the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society.
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