Randall (Randy) John Bell was born in Hood River, Ore. on March 15, 1957, to Vernon Thomas Bell and Florabelle Northern Bell. He passed away unexpectedly on Nov. 14, 2019, in Hood River, Ore. Randy joined three older brothers.
He grew up on Dee Highway and attended the local public schools. He was always a “class clown” and made many friends playing school sports, fishing, zipping around on his Mustang bike, and every summer goofing off in the strawberry patch.
Randy lost his father at an early age and was a big support for his mother. They had a special bond and he adored her. She played guitar and passed her passion for music on to Randy. At age 13, he got a drum set for Christmas and that was the beginning. He also played guitar and had the unique ability to pick up on just about any instrument. Throughout his life, he played in a variety of bands, mostly rock ‘n’ roll and country. In his ripening age, he rarely set up his kit, as he had bought a cajone and began playing more mellow sounds with his beloved friend, Kay Floria.
Randy was selfless. He enjoyed lending his time to play in school programs and high school musicals. He also loved supporting local theatre and being involved with the Hood River Lions Follies. He was always a stand-up volunteer, becoming PTA president, coaching community youth sports, and being the town MC at many events. His favorite though was getting to see children’s faces light up at Christmas time when he played Santa.
As a young man, Randy worked in the food and beverage industry, did building and construction, became a Port employee, and eventually worked for the City of Hood River. But his true calling and gift was caring for others. He worked for the Klahre House and The Next Door, mentoring troubled youth. At the time of his passing, Randy worked for the Brokerage, caring for his clients who were developmentally challenged adults. He truly had a heart for those he took care of.
What Randy loved most though, was being a husband and father. He married his wife Susie at age 31, his childhood friend since first grade. He says he fell in love with her while he watched her sew up the torn butt of his jeans after a bicycle wreck by her house. They were just young “pups,” their nickname for each other since the day they got together. After seven years together, they had a shot gun ceremony. To this day, they can’t remember if their anniversary fell on the 28th or 29th of October, something they always laughed about. They were married for 31 years at the time of Randy’s passing.
Randy was a proud father and mentor…always listening to his children. He lit them up and gave them unconditional love. He jumped at the chance to go on field trips, coach teams and never missed a play or event, and supported them in all of their interests. He loved animals, and always had a beloved family dog, Shredder being his first. Together the family enjoyed reunions and get togethers, camping, the beach, kayaking and Disneyland vacations.
Randy loved playing music, taking care of his yard and riding his Harley. He waxed it to a high shine every Spring and enjoyed cruising over to Pepp Mann field for a cherry snow cone. He was a dreamer and loved to ride on the wild side.
Randy was a man of faith. Below is the scripture he lived by:
James 1:27 “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained from the ways of the world”
Randy saw the best in everyone and lived life like “Every day’s a holiday!” He will be forever in our hearts and dearly missed by all the lives he touched.
Randy is survived by his loving wife of 31 years Susie Bell; children Andrew and Kelli; his dog Nellie (his bay bay); brothers Mike Bell of Keizer, Ore., Pat Bell (Billie) of Challis, Idaho; aunt Jody Northern of Phoenix, Ariz., aunt Jackie of Mount Vernon; sisters by marriage Peggy Arthur (Mike) of Portland, Ore., Karen Timm (Dwight) of Eagle Creek, Ore., Lori Fortune (Gene) of Hood River, Ore.; his beloved in laws Nate and Bernice Arthur of Hood River, Ore.; and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his father Vernon; mother Florabelle; brother Vernon; brother-in-law Ron (Bud) Arthur; and brother from another mother Kelly May.
Services to celebrate Randy’s life and mourn his passing are planned for 11 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019, at The Bowe Theater at Hood River Valley High School, 1220 Indian Creek Rd, Hood River. At 2 p.m., a time of continued sharing, food and fellowship will be held at The Hood River Elks Lodge, 304 Cascade Ave., Hood River.
Arrangements are under the direction of Anderson’s Tribute Center, Hood River.
Visit www.AndersonsTributeCenter.com to leave a note of condolence for the family.