Charles Miller Bell of West Skyline Parkway passed away unexpectedly in the morning of Tuesday, February 25th. He was the son of Thomas G. Jr. and Elinor (Spicer) Bell and great grandson of Charles Miller after whom the Miller Trunk Highway was named.
Charlie was very proud to be a sixth generation Duluthian. He was born in Duluth on December 19th, 1949, 20 seconds ahead of his twin-sister Kate. Charlie grew up in West Duluth where he became an Eagle Scout at the age of 14. In 1964, he headed south to attend Shattuck School where he graduated high school in 1968. He graduated from the University of Minnesota-Duluth in 1972 with a degree in Political Science and then attended St. Cloud State University on the way to the University of Minnesota School of Mortuary Science.
Charlie was a partner with two of his brothers, Tom and Frank, in Bell Brothers/Jarvi-Dowd Funeral Homes until they sold both in 1998.
Through the tutelage of his father and grandfather, Charlie was fortunate to serve on many Boards and Committees throughout his life. He focused on youth, schools, senior living, and economic development most notably in the West Duluth area. Charlie was grateful to have the pleasure of serving with so many leaders who gave from their heart and helped define the soul of our community.
Charlie was also very proud of some experiences in his personal life. In 1992, at Jack Meade Gun Club, he shot on a perfect squad, where all five shooters scored a perfect 25. He once one-putted the first eight holes while playing a round of golf with his brother Tom and twin-sister Kate at LaQuinta CC in Palm Springs, CA, birdied holes #9 & #10 in a row while playing a round of golf at Northland Country Club with his brother Frank and son Charlie, and eagled hole #9 in another round at Northland County Club while playing with his son Charlie after going into the first sand trap on the left off the tee. A less glamorous memory came from a round of golf in Denver with his three brothers, Tom, Frank, & Steve, when he hit one of the tee markers on the tee box and the ball flew backwards across the road behind them. He was also very proud to admit that his twin sister has had 7 holes-in-one and he had none.
After completing the motorcycle training course at Lake Superior College, Charlie bought his first motorcycle (a Harley-Davidson Fatboy) at the age of 62.
Aside from his three children and one grandson, there were two honors that he was particularly proud of and that was being inducted into the Shattuck School Hockey Hall of Fame and the Duluth Hall of Fame.
Charlie was preceded in death by his parents Thomas G. Jr. and Elinor Bell.
He is survived by what he referred to as the three bonuses of his life; daughter Nicole D., son Charlie M. II, and daughter Natalie E., his grandson Ian A. Lewendowski, his brothers and sisters; Thomas G. III (Micki), Frank S., Barbara B. Gundersen, Stephen P., and his twin-sister Kate B. Johnson, what he has often referred to as the greatest collection of nephews and nieces who made him so proud and laugh so often, and of course his and his son's beloved dog River.
Charlie enjoyed many famous quotes throughout his life, one in particular was "A Faith in The Power Of Resilience And Hope", and another was a one word quote used by Sir Winston Churchill while signing his letters, where he simply wrote….."Onward".
There will be a public visitation for those wishing to say good-bye and pay their respects from 4 to 7 pm on Thursday, at the Asbury United Methodist Church at 6822 Grand Ave. There will be a private service on Friday.
The family prefers Memorials directed to the Boys & Girls Clubs - Overman Family Scholarship Fund, the Scottish Rite Foundation, the Boy Scouts of America-Voyageur Council, the Asbury United Methodist Church – Asbury Foundation, or donors choice.