Clarence D. "Butch" Bell Jr., 74, of East Nottingham Township, Chester County, a retired Army colonel who earned a Purple Heart while serving in Vietnam, died Monday, Dec. 28, at Crozer-Chester Medical Center of heart failure.
Col. Bell was the son of one of Pennsylvania's longest-serving state legislators, Clarence D. Bell, who was first elected in 1954 and represented parts of Delaware and Chester Counties for more than 40 years.
His daughter, Allison Bell Royer, was elected in November a Chester County judge.
"I'm sad to say he won't get to see me sworn in as a judge in a couple of days," she said. "But somehow I think he'll be there with us spiritually."
Col. Bell was a semiretired lawyer who practiced in Chester and Delaware Counties. He and his daughter worked together for decades.
Born on April 17, 1941, in New Orleans, Col. Bell grew up in Upland and attended Ridley High School, where he played football.
He graduated from Pennsylvania Military College in 1963 and earned his law degree from Temple Law School.
Col. Bell served two tours in Vietnam, where he earned several military honors, and later became a colonel in the Army Reserve.
He met his wife of 49 years, Mary Lou O'Hara Bell, while he was in the military. She was a nurse in Vietnam.
"We were a team for many years," she said. "I'm lucky to have had him that long."
Mrs. Bell called her husband "a very patient and loving person that enjoyed life."
In his spare time, Col. Bell enjoyed fishing and working on his farm. He coached youth football and Little League baseball for many years in Oxford.
Col. Bell always made time for those he cared about, had a great sense of humor, and would help anyone, his family said.
When the Army unit he once commanded was deployed during the Gulf War, he sent care packages to the soldiers.
In addition to his wife and daughter, he is survived by daughter Christine Mary Bell, son Kevin James Bell, and eight grandchildren.
Funeral services are scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 2, at 11 a.m. at the Edward L. Collins Jr. Funeral Home, 86 Pine St., Oxford. Friends and family may visit from 9:30 to 11 a.m.
Burial will be later at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia with military honors.
Donations may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, Box 758517, Topeka, Kan. 66675.