Welcome to the memorial page for

Donald "Don" Bell

January 21, 1927 ~ August 31, 2017 (age 90)

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September 5, 2017

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
O'Leary Celebration of Life Center ~ Funeral & Cremation Services
1020 Main Street
Norwalk, Iowa 50211

Funeral Service
September 6, 2017

11:00 AM
Norwalk United Methodist Church
1801 Sunset Drive
Norwalk, Iowa 50211

Donald R. Bell, age 90, of Norwalk, died peacefully Thursday morning, August 31, 2017 at Luther Park in Des Moines.

Visitation will be 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 5th at O’Leary Funeral Services in Norwalk with Funeral Services 11 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 6th at the Norwalk United Methodist Church.  Burial with military honors will be in the Norwalk Cemetery.  Memorial to the Norwalk Fire and Rescue will be accepted.

For on-line condolences and to order flowers (from O'Lear's Flowers in Norwalk - no delivery fees) click the "send flowers" tab on this page or call (515) 981-0700. 

Don's Life Story

Don, the son of Burdette and Lois (Reed) Bell, was born January 21, 1927 in rural Clarion, Iowa.  His family moved to Woolstock, Iowa where he attended a one room school house and later graduated from Woolstock High School with the Class of 1945.  Following school he joined the United States Army Air Corps where he served state-side. 

Don married his future bride, Gloria Parrish, of Woolstock on February 26, 1947.  Together they celebrated over 70 years of marriage.  To this union they had four children, Clifford, Keith, Kathrine, and Wanda. 

Don and Gloria made their home in Norwalk where he worked at the Iowa Air National Guard, retiring as a Chief Master Sergeant in January 1982.  Don wore many hats in Norwalk.  He was one of the first volunteer EMTs with the Norwalk Fire and Rescue, served on the Norwalk Cemetery Board, was involved with the Boy Scouts Troop 103, and was a long-time member of the Norwalk United Methodist Church and the American Legion Post 562.  Don enjoyed tinkering in his garage.  He liked to whittle, doodle, and keeping his yard and flowers perfect.  He especially loved his three flavors of ice cream, white, plain and vanilla, and he loved having cherry pie every year for his birthday.  During the warmer months, Don and Gloria enjoyed camping; over the years they upgraded from tents, to trailers, and finally an RV.

Don is survived by his wife, Gloria; children, Cliff (Kathy) of Shelby, IA, Keith (Meril) of Pleasant Hill, IA, Kathy (Chuck) Fricke of Ankeny, IA, and Wanda (Todd) Nordstrom of New Prague, MN; a sister, Iris Hightower of Ft. Smith, AR; 12 grandchildren, Shawn (Amy), Shane (Jessica), Melody (Shawn), David (Amber), Christina (Kevyn), Justin (Tarah), Heather, Gloria (Mike), Jessica (Matt), Grace (Juan), Sara (Chad), and Melinda (Mychal); 40 great-grandchildren; and 3 great-great grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents; a grandchild; a great-grandchild, Breanna; a brother, Burdette; and  three sisters, Leona Gaster, Eleanor Gray, and Veda Hartman.

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