OSKALOOSA — Gene Arthur Bell, 70, of Cedar Rapids and formerly of Oskaloosa, passed away Aug. 8, 2013, after an extended battle with cancer.
Gene was born Oct. 27, 1942, the son of Martin and Bernita (Woodford) Bell, in Davenport. He graduated from Davenport Central High School and attended the University of Iowa, where he played trumpet in the Hawkeye Marching Band. Gene received his bachelor of music degree from William Penn College in Oskaloosa. He served in the U.S. Army at Fort Benjamin Harrison in Indianapolis, Ind., playing trumpet and bugle in the Army band. Gene played Taps at many military funerals.
Gene married Nancy Lewis in 1968 and taught instrumental music in the Tri-County Community School District in Thornburg for 13 years. For the last 30 years, he was Iowa's First Day Cover Connection, traveling all over the United States selling stamps and covers to collectors. Gene and Nancy lived in What Cheer for 36 years and moved to Cedar Rapids in 2006.
Gene enjoyed playing pool over the years and was a member of the New Horizons Band and the Cedar Rapids Stamp Club.
He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Nancy; his children, Kristina (Marty) Vannausdle of Tiffin, Terry (Angie) Bell of Cedar Rapids and Kerry (Dr. Daniel) Branagan of Idaho; grandchildren, Jack Vannausdle, Alec and Abby Bell, Melissa, Jennifer and Daniel Branagan; sister, Sharon Pinnick of Davenport; two brothers, Monty (Becky) Bell of Florida and Ken (Jane) Bell of Wisconsin; sisters-in-law, Jan Bell of Davenport, Diana (Jim) Cain of Ottumwa and Sylvia Lewis; Aunt Susie Bell; and much-loved cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Roger Bell; and brother-in-law, Charles Lewis.
Memorial services will be held at 3 p.m. today at Murdoch-Linwood Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Cedar Rapids, where the family will receive friends from 1 p.m. until service time. Rev. Vincent Homan will officiate. Military honors will be conducted by American Legion Post 727.
Memorials may be directed to the New Horizons Band or St. Luke's Hospice in memory of Gene.
Please sign the online guest book for Gene at www.murdochfuneralhome.com under obituaries.