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John A. Bell

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John A. Bell Obituary
Bell, John A. Beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and innovative, award-winning Metallurgical Engineer. John A. Bell, 98, beloved husband of 70 years to Dorothy Weihler Bell, passed away peacefully at Saint Barnabas Medical Center, Livingston, NJ, on Thursday, March 21, 2014. A memorial service will be held in late May at Winchester Gardens, Maplewood, NJ. Born in Mount Vernon, Indiana, to John Raymond Bell and Rosa Margaret Lang, and raised in East Moline, Illinois, he was the fifth in a long line of John Bells, dating back to 1782, in Carteret County, NC. He attended Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois and the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, receiving a B.S. in Metallurgical Engineering and a B.A. in Chemistry. A loving husband who was devoted to his wife and family, John met Dorothy Sarah Weihler in the early 1940's and they were married in Sherrard, Illinois in 1943. Last September they celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary with family and friends at a large party in South Orange, NJ. Anyone who knew John will tell you that he was the nicest, gentlest person you would want to meet. He touched and brought joy to many lives and made the world a much better place for his being here. Even at 98, it was too early for him to go. John retired from Western Electric, Chicago, in 1981 after 38 years of service with the company. He began his career in metallurgical engineering in 1943 at W.E.'s Hawthorne Works. One of his principle career achievements was in developing a continuous copper rod casting process that revolutionized the industry. President of the Wire Association from 1973-74, and the author of award-winning technical articles, he received the Wire Association's Mordica Memorial Award (1970) and the J. Edward Donnellan Award (1980) for his leadership in establishing high principles of the wire industry. His reputation as a man of integrity and trust, led many in the industry to seek his advice and counsel. In addition to his skills as an engineer, he was also an accomplished singer who lent his talents to the Augustana Choir and then to his church choir for over 50 years. John and Dorothy resided in Riverside, Illinois from 1943 until 1951 when they moved to Naperville, Illinois, where they would live for 56 years, raising three sons. They were founding members of Our Saviour's Lutheran Church, and helped take it from a small congregation in a school gym in the 1950's to its present day congregation that encompasses two campuses, a pre-school, and an expanded ministry. In 2007, John and Dorothy moved from Naperville to Winchester Gardens in Maplewood, NJ, near their son, Richard, where they have lived for seven years, making new friends and keeping in touch with old friends. Their extended family from both the Bell and Weihler side have been a constant, loving connection throughout their lives and, along with her immediate family, continues to support Dorothy who resides at Winchester. John is also survived by his sons, John W. Bell and his wife Melissa, James E. Bell and his wife Yvonne, and Richard S. Bell and his wife Meredith. Loving grandfather of Kristina Bell, Sara Niebuhr, Deborah Bell, Jeremy and Cory Forson, Samantha, Grace, and John L. Bell; great-grandfather of Natalya and Kellen Niebuhr, and Eliana Forson; dear brother of Kenneth "Bud" Bell and his wife Dodie and the late Robert Bell. Also survived by many nieces and nephews. The date for the memorial service at Winchester Gardens in May will be forthcoming and posted on the website for Preston Funeral Home, South Orange. For more information or to send condolences please visit prestonfuneralhome.net. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to: Our Saviour's Lutheran Church, 815 S. Washington Street, Naperville, Illinois 60540.
Published in Naperville Sun on Mar. 26, 2014
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