|Updated: December 22. 2019 - Coeur d Alene Press|
Stephen ‘Steve’ Frederick Bell, 73
Stephen ‘Steve’ Frederick Bell lived a full life that positively impacted many people and the world. He was a son, father, husband and brother, as well as a lawyer, activist, missionary and fierce individualist. In Coeur d’Alene he was known for playing music to the homeless, organizing overnight campouts to raise awareness on homelessness, wearing funny hats and tirelessly running around town, training for his next marathon or race.
Steve was born March 3, 1946, in Washington D.C., but was raised in Moscow, Idaho, by his parents, George and Maurine Bell. George was an author, lawyer and professor of law at the University of Idaho and Maurine was a devoted mother, member of the LDS church and a community member. Steve graduated from Moscow High School in 1964. He went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Idaho in 1968, and later, in 1971, a Juris Doctor from The University of Montana School of Law.
Steve dedicated his career to helping others and practiced law for more than four decades in North Idaho within the public sphere as a prosecutor and defense attorney, and then later, in private practice doing family, bankruptcy, probate, environmental and pro bono legal work. His greatest professional accomplishments are protecting Tubbs Hill and the Third Street boat launch from privatization as well as initiatives to design safer roads and promote anti-texting-while-driving laws.
Beyond his profession, Steve had four wives throughout his life, all of whom he loved. Their names are Charlotte Bouley, Betty Stone, Nancy Lee and Karen Morris, the last of whom was mother to his son, Shane Bell.
Running marathons, skiing, traveling the world, doing missions trips to Tecate, Mexico, playing his guitar at church, volunteering at soup kitchens, reading, writing, and collecting antiques were all passions of Steve’s. He was also a vocal and proud member of Alcoholics Anonymous, a paid speaker for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), and a contributor to the Coeur d’Alene Press. He loved filling his days with engaging people and his nights with good music, books and his beloved dogs, River and Bella.
Steve is survived by his two brothers, George and Dwight Bell; his niece and nephews; and his son, Shane (Rebekah) Bell. Steve died at the age of 73, while in hospice care on Dec. 1, 2019, after struggling with cancer; his son, daughter-in-law and close friends were at his side.
All who care about him and love him are invited to his funeral, which will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 21, 2019, at First Presbyterian Church of Coeur d’Alene (521 E Lakeside Ave, Coeur d'Alene, ID). In lieu of flowers, please donate in his memory to NAMI by visiting donate.nami.org/SteveBell
Below are images of the two page program from Steve's Celebration of Life. Just click on them to see a larger view of each in a new window.
|Updated: December 7. 2019|
Goodbye old friend
|February 12, 2009 Update|
I am excited about the 45th reunion. As usual, much has appened. My son, Shane, age 19, is a second year journalism-art student at the University of Montana, Missoula. He has made positive decisions in his life so far. He has avoided some of the wild college years that his dad had. Last summer, he traveled on a church mission to Africa for one month and gave support to AiDS victims.
It occurred to me that I am not getting any younger, particularly when I look into the mirror and see the wrinkles and the gray hair. I expect to see that innocent teen that attended MHS. Life was different then, probably better, there were no cell phones or IPODs. What is an IPOD? We never locked our doors and left our keys in the car.
So fast forward, for 20 years I have wanted to go on a mission. Well, after seeing my son's work in Africa, I am committed through Real Life Church in Post Falls to go on a mission to Teketa, near Tijuana, Mexico.
The church has assured us we won't get in the middle of any drug war battles.
We will stay in a church compound and will shower like once in 3 days. Life will be primitive, but that is OK....
We will deliver food and blankets to Mexicans who live in dumps. We will help them build a church. And the part that I like is that I will get to preach the gospel on street corners. I like to talk.
I will also entertain with my 12-string Martin Guitar.
Ans there are no cell phones allowed there. That is a great idea. I feel like just throwing mine away sometimes.
I will travel there in June of this year. The church assured me, that no one who has committed to going has ever had to decline because they couldn't raise the money.
I need to raise some $ 1200 and that is tough for me right now. If you know of any organization that can contribute to sending me there, please advise. My address is:
|July 29, 2004 Update|
Words can't express the moments I experienced at our reunion.
As we walked thu the halls of MHS, several of us remembered exactly where we were when we heard of the Kennedy assasination, I was in Walt Snodgrass band class, and the class ended then. It took the air out of us.
I was hesitant at first to get involved in the re union. I like to beat myself up over past mistakes. Bill Sever was the catalyst that got my interest. He asked me to write my story, and instead of giving the usual fluffy "I'm doing so great story", I wrote what was really going on. You see, I could easily not have made it to the 40th or been in a wheel chair----I truly see God's angels covering for me in that 25 foot fall.
I look forward in mid September of going to Dr. Anderson to see him about getting a ton of metal out of my foot---and then returning to do another marathon. I have 25 under my belt now.
Watching the courgage of Dave Engels come and participate in the re union. I pray for him. He has toughness. And for once I can look past my own selfish complaints. Yes I have gotten older. and my "updated photo" looks like my face caught on fire, and they put the fire out with a rake. just kidding.
As for Bill Sever; I saw him cloud up a bit, when he got a well deserved standing ovation. You see, Bill, you have given so much to us all. May God bless you. You got us together; this experience will live on. You see, those experiences of class of 64 meant something; indeed they are my roots. As Kathy Gale told me: its like a salmon returning to the same river to spawn (only I'm not coming here to die) I was so blessed by being there with all of you.
I continue my contracting efforts with my 3 house well under way (and one on the market for $66,000) as the smelterville slum lord. My son calls, it, Smellyville. After work, our crew stops at the river where we swim and get relief from the l00 degree weather.
It's been a joy working with Bill Sever who has spent many hours putting the reunion website together. But, he ets all the fun, he's spoken with over 95 of us.
I reside in Coeur d'Alene where I raise my
beloved son Shane, 14, as a single dad. Shane is a typical teen ager, in the
last year I have gone from being very smart, to of marginal consequences in his
eyes. My son is an old soul, he is very kind, has tons of girl friends, is an
artist, plays, and drums, and skis with me.
What have I been up to? Click the camera () for pictures!
I'm a lawyer... I also work as a building contractor. Last year I remodeled for an estate sale. Ted Norgard's house on Alpowa in Moscow. I supervised the removal of his 55 foot yacht . Neighbors bet we could never get it out of the back yard . Yet, we did clear, with less than one inch clearance . Upon completion of his home, some of the old neighbors gathered at dusk to recall some memories.
I have found memories of the University Heights, and my companions Bill Junk, Rick Ross, Bob Ross, Robb Parish, Scott Walker, Bill Bailey (crank caller) and others. We played sand lot football, baseball, and cowboys and indians in the arboretum when it was safe to play there all day, and come home at dark. We didn't lock our houses then.
At the legal front I have been active in preserving the public area status of McEuen Ball fields, saving for public use the third street boat launch and saving Tubbs hill for public use... all the while fighting multi-millionaire Hagadone who wants it otherwise. (we are winning this battle as of today) I also participated in an effort to halt BN railroad from building a 1,000,000 gallon diesel fuel tank facility over our public water supply, (thus, future generations will have polluted water) at the Rathdrum aquifer... we were unsuccessful on this one.
On October 7, 2003, my life was changed significantly; I had contracted to do a very steep roof in Twin Lakes (12-12). I trusted a man named James who needed work and was just out of prison. He was to hold the ladder along the metal bracing I used on the roof. He didn't do his job, he let go, and his negligence caused me to tumble 25 feet off the roof.
As I lay in agony at the hospital with 5 fractures of my leg, the Lord told me to forgive the man who's negligence caused my fall... right then, I did.
Prior to surgery, I told Dr. Anderson, I have run 50,000 miles and competed in 22 marithons... I want to run again. Dr. Anderson couldn't even look at me, he said on a 1 - 10 severity scale, my fracture was a 9.8. And then he prayed for me.
After surgery, I went into respiratory arrest and nearly died. I vaguely remember my son's mom, Karen, taking my hand and saying, "Steve you can't let go now --- your son needs you.".
I was placed on a prayer chain at our church of 1500 people.
I was very humbled by my friends who stepped forward to help me after the hospital, meals kept coming to our house. Strangers told me their stories of their broken legs, and they gave me hope.
Dr. Anderson wondered if I would ever walk right again and he said I would certainly not run.
Eight weeks after that conversation, God answered my prayers, Dr. Anderson said my leg was healing perfectly and that I might be able to run marathons again. I will be, at least, a hear in to rehab and the credit goes to the Lord; I am a Christ follower.
When the temperatures were dipped to -20, I could feel those rods in my leg. Recovery is long and painful.
All I need is a window of hope, my goal is to race again. And to ski and hike again with my son. I had purchased back-packs for my son and I, four months before the accident. They gather dust in the closet and didn't get used, though we did go camping six times last summer. I hope to regain that opportunity to hike with Shane again.
I got into 3-wheel hand-cranked racing, with just four weeks of training after leaving the hospital. I finished the 26.2 mile Seattle Marathon on November 30, 2003.
The next weekend, I placed first over-all with 3000 other runners at the 26.2 mile marathon race in Tucson Arizona. My time was 1 hour 53 minutes and 25 seconds.
Raising Shane is my priority. I had a good teacher, my parents, George and Maruine Bell.
I am very active in my church, Lake City Community on Ramsey Road in Coeur d'Alene.. where I humbly serve as an usher and volunteer in projects such as summer camp counselor.
I am also honored and privileged to play the 6 and 12-string guitar at our worship team band at our church. It was our worship leaders, Todd Hornby and Rodney Wright that prayed over me at the hospital.
My reward playing guitar, was seeing some old faces light up, when our band did an all day tour of the nursing homes in Coeur d'Alene at Christmas. I also play at camp-outs, get togethers and funerals.
As the years go by, my friends mean more and more to me.
As for my 25 foot fall off the ladder, I have had time to ponder and realize that it was a miracle that I made it off that roof with just a broken leg. I could have landed on my head, been paralyzed, or worse. I believe God's angles guided me of the roof that day.
I look forward to seeing old friends at the reunion.
|Bell Family Photo... 1966|
|Click on the MEMORY links "" below to view more photos!|
|Dancing feet.. #1||Dancing feet.. #5|
|Dancing feet.. #2||Dancing feet.. #6|
|Dancing feet.. #3||Dancing feet.. #7|
|Dancing feet.. #4||Dancing feet.. #8|
|A Deploma.. Yup, Got one!||An Athlete!|
|Steve, Jingle & Dad - '55||Feet Ball Starz! - '58|
|Robb, Bill, Rick & Steve||Fishing with Dad - '59|
|DRESSED up Freshman||Friends partying in '61|
|Sunshine Village Ski Trip||Bells and Ardreys|
Bell works his way down Atlas Road training for the Seattle Marathon on a
borrowed Freedom Rider, a hand-cranked bike.