Elbert Ray Bell, better known as Ray, was born August 23, 1936 in Tishomingo, Oklahoma. His parents, who preceded him in death, were Raymond J. and Francis Bell. He lived in Tishomingo as a boy then moved to San Diego, California. Ray graduated from Hoover High School and was active in the youth group at College Avenue Baptists Church. He served in the US Army from 1954 thru 1958 including a tour in Korea. Ray was an avid roller skater and enjoyed playing basketball. On February 1, 1958 he married a Woodville gal, Joyce Faye Harper, while stationed at Fort Polk. After his service to the Army they moved to San Diego, California.
A man who could do anything, Ray sold insurance, owned a security service company and later owned and operated a building construction company until his retirement in 2000. After retirement, he moved to Woodville, Texas and lived in a home he built on his property. His hobbies included mechanic work, wood working, gardening, cattle, hunting, fishing, travel and spending time with his family.
Ray is survived by his loving wife of 56 years Joyce Bell; son and daughter-in-law Steve and Amy Bell of Colmesneil, Texas; daughter and son-in-law Melissa and Rodney Bendy of Chester, Texas; brother Jerry and wife Pat Bell of Yuma, Arizona; brother Wayne and wife Loraine Bell of El Cajon, California; and sister Jodi and husband Larry Linney of La Mesa, California. Grandchildren include Brendon Dorsett in Heaven; Mathew Dorsett and wife Brittany of Shreveport, Louisiana; Scott, Ronnie and Ray Bell all of Colmesneil, Texas; Jason Bendy of Doucette, Texas; Amy Bendy of Livingston, Texas; Kaleb and Cooper Bendy of Chester, Texas. Great Grandchildren are Erich Bendy, Kacen Phelps, Rayburn, Makayla, Melanie, Ryan, Emily and Jaden Bell. Nieces are Dianna Sharp, and Britney Ann Bell; Nephews are Randy, Marshall, Jim, Tim, and Tom Bell, Jeff and Jerry Linney, and a host of great nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his "Angel" Debra Walker, his care giver and her family of Woodville, Texas. His best friend and faithful dog "Butch" will see him later on and they will play in the fields of Heaven.
Visitation was held from 5-8 pm at Riley Funeral Home on Friday, February 7, 2014. Funeral services were held at 11 am on Saturday, February 8, 2014 at Riley Funeral Home Chapel with Brother Mark Martin officiating followed by burial at Mt. Pisgah Cemetery.
Pallbearers were Scott, Ray and Ronnie Bell, Mathew Dorsett, Jason, Kaleb and Cooper Bendy, Terry, Robert and Johnny Hensarling. Honorary Pallbearers were Rodney Bendy, Mathew Gill and Larry Linney.