William John Bell

William John Bell

With great sadness the Bell family marked the passing of Jack Bell on September 4, 2014 at the age of 85. Jack is lovingly remembered by his wife; Sarah June, sons; John (Kelly), Don (Laurie), Tom (Micheline) and Clint (Mona), grandchildren; Ryan, Jean-Marc, Ian (Amanda) and Corrina (Levi) as well as two great-grandchildren. He will be sadly missed by many other family members, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Jack was known to many as a keen local historian, born in Trail and having lived his life in Park Siding on land his family farmed for over 100 years. Jack met the love of his life, June, in Trail and they were married in Maple Creek, Saskatchewan in July, 1952. Together they built their farm and home raising their sons in Fruitvale.

Having worked throughout his career at Teck Cominco, Jack’s passion was discovering historical bottles and stove plates from mine sites around the Kootenays. With his wife June, and occasionally with reluctant teenage sons, Jack hiked throughout the region covering Kokanee, Ymir, and Salmo to dig out and restore these historic pieces.

After retirement in 1987, Jack spent many hours restoring heritage cabins-two family cabins on his property and the Park Siding School-refurbishing antique furniture, rebuilding cast iron stoves, and antique wagons. He volunteered with the Beaver Valley Historical Society and was often seen giving talks about the history of the mining region at Champion Lakes Provincial Park. His collection of antiques are a testament to the heritage of the Kootenays.

Jack was never much of a traveller except to visit family, but enjoyed an adventure to the Yukon in 1974 and a cross-Canada trip in 1990 to trace family history. The Bell family farm is filled with a wealth of unique hardwood trees, lovingly grown from seed by Jack and transplanted around his property. Jack spent many hours in nature, walking the North Woods Trail and bird-watching. In his later years he used his woodworking talents to create many beautiful pieces of furniture for his family and others which remain a living memory of his spirit.

Jack is predeceased by his mother, Ida-Ray, father, James Law, and brother, James Robert.

The family invites you to join them in a celebration of Jack’s life at their home, 3371 Highway 3B on Saturday, October 11, 2014 from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

As an expression of sympathy, donations in Jack’s name may be made to the Trail Historical Society at PO Box 405, Trail, BC, V1R 4L7.

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