Obituary of Robert Derwin Bell
Robert Derwin Bell, known as “Bob Bell” was born in Holtville, California March 6, 1931, to Robert William and Minnie Lee Bell. His family moved to Idaho, where he met and later married Faye J. Likens, October 14, 1953. Bob joined the Navy and was stationed on the U.S.S. Hamul (AD-20) in Japanese waters. While in the Navy, he received the honor of safeguarding the USS Arizona, while raising and lowering the United States flag on its memorial. After Bob received an honorable discharge, he returned to Idaho where he and his father together built Bob’s family home on Southside Blvd in Nampa, ID. Bob enjoyed his ranchette which included cattle, horses and always a dog. Dad was never happier than when he was playing with a dog or had one on his lap.
Soon after his marriage to Faye Likens, Bob adopted 2-year-old Connie Loraine. Bob and Faye then welcomed their 3 baby girls, Roberta Jeanne in 1955, Glenda Faye in 1959 and Patricia Joanne “Patty” in 1961. Bob was an master machinist, expert fabricator, and a brilliant engineer. He designed & built much of the machinery for H.H. Keim Company where he worked for many years. Bob also owned and operated Bell’s machine shop in Nampa where he designed and built many operations, machines, fabrications, etc. throughout the Treasure Valley.
Bob loved to hunt, and he loved guns. He built a large collection of rifles and pistols and even a shark gun which Dad said, “It was a great thought, but in truth, it didn’t work very well, unless you ran into a shark on dry land.” He loved telling stories, fixing anything that needed fixed for anyone who asked, and making people laugh. He shared many adventures with his daughter Patty, which included skydiving, getting in a shark cage, traveling, re-visiting the U.S.S. Arizona, hunting, building, branding, fostering kittens, getting up-close and personal with “Smiley” a famous smiling shark in Hawaii, and most any crazy thing that Patty decided they should try for fun. Dad was always game!
When Bob was in his 40’s, he lost the end of 2 fingers in a machinery accident, and he used that as an opportunity to educate many little kids in why they shouldn’t pick their nose. He created multiple other stories on how he lost them, including losing them to a shark when in a shark cage with Patty. During that time, he got his pilot’s license and flying became his passion. His favorite thing to do was to take his family for Sunday flights to discover rural towns, like where they only had 1 restaurant which served only 1 dish. He also loved flying to Paris and Rome. (Paris, Idaho and Rome, Oregon, that is.)
Prior to Bob retiring, he went to work on an Alaska fishing vessel where he ran the refrigeration for the ship. Dad’s midlife adventure included buying a motorcycle and traveling across the United States.
After retirement, Bob moved to Nyssa, Oregon where he loved living on the Snake River and watching his fishing pole bob from his private dock. There he raised goats and was recognized for having extremely rare quad-triplets born to one of his goats.
In 1999, Bob met and married the love of his life, Betty Gene Attebery who until the day he passed, he kept her ID in his wallet. Bob & Betty made their home in Payette, Idaho where they, for the next 21 years enjoyed traveling to Arizona, having pig-pit BBQ’s, bonding and telling stories outside, sitting around their wood stove that dad made out of a washing machine drum; loving on their families; and of course, dancing. Bob and Betty loved to dance!
Dad loved to ride his 4-wheeler on their grounds. The neighbors reported that after he turned 90, he shouldn’t be driving it 40 MPH on the dirt lane. Patty went to talk to him, and he insisted that he met the safety regulations because he had his cane located SAFELY at the front of the 4-wheeler.
Dad was devastated when his loving wife Betty passed at 95 years of age. When sweet Betty passed, he instructed Patty to get an RV for him to live in at her home in Nampa, Idaho but not to spend over $5,000. Patty replied, “So what you want me to buy for you is a tent, Dad?” Bob ultimately moved into Nampa beside Patty into a brand new 37’ Grand Design RV and lived there until his last few days when he was moved into Patty’s home where he ran peacefully into the arms of Jesus.
Dad lived! He lived every day of his 92 years. He lived independently and was proud of being able to drive to Boise for a mani/pedi on his 90th Birthday. At 91, he continued to work on sprinklers, back up trailers, shovel snow, and work in the yard. Bob Bell was an honest, brave, and tough old cowboy!
Bob was preceded in death by his loving wife Betty Attebery Bell (95), father, Robert W. Bell (91), mother, Minnie Lee Bell (100), infant sister, Nina Pearl, sister Irene Horn (91), Brother, Sterling Paul Bell (77), and daughter, Connie Brumbaugh (58). He is survived by his sister Melba Jo Young (96), daughters, Patty Bell (Michael MacDonald), Glenda Bell, and Roberta Bell, sons-in-law, Ron Lowry and Dave Brumbaugh, Step-Son Brad (Beverly) Attebery, step-daughters Lisa (Nathan) Allison, and Sonja (Ray) Burns, numerous nieces, nephews and grandchildren, and his incredibly special best-friend of umpteen years, John Pasqualin. A special thank you to Diane Brumbaugh and granddaughter Brandee Tenley for their special love and care of Dad. Also to granddaughter, Alexa Sterner and dear friends, Mandy Brown, Ray Spencer and JoOnni Johnson for helping dad transition to his heavenly home.
Service honoring my dear father will be held Saturday, August 26, 2023, at 11:30 a.m. at his church, Riverside Baptist Church in Weiser, Idaho. There will be a dinner offered immediately following the service.
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