Jefferson Francis Bell, age 97, a lifelong resident of Mineral Springs, Ark., went home to his Lord and Savior on Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2016 at his home in Mineral Springs.
He was born Feb. 25, 1919 in Mineral Springs to the late Rufus Marvin and Lizzie Lee Cowling Bell.
He was a long time rancher, and poultry farmer. Francis was a member of the Mineral Springs First United Methodist Church. He had served his community on numerous boards: the Federal Land Bank, Mine Creek Conservation Board, PCA Board, and was a founding member of the Mineral Springs Lion’s Club, where he recently was awarded a 50-year pin for his outstanding service.
He served his country during World War II as a Captain in the United States Army Air Corps. He was a B24 bomber pilot flying the Liberator in the South Pacific being a member of the Kelly’s Kobras 494th Heavy Bomb Group. He received the Distinguished Flying Cross and a Bronze Star.
He was a man that wore many hats and carried many names: Daddy Feck, Francis, J.F. Bell just to name a few. His family meant the world to him and he dearly enjoyed every time there was a family get-together.
Preceding him in death were his wife, Cora Mae McJunkins Bell; two sons, Larry Marvin Bell and Jeffrey Wayne Bell; also four brothers, Lonnie Bell, Eugene “Red” Bell, Glenn Bell and Louis Bell; two sisters, Alene Corbell and Bonnie Cowling; a granddaughter, Nicole Summerford.
His survivors include: six daughters and their spouses, Delilah and husband, Bill Harbison of West Fork, Ark., Kay and husband, Dale Erwin of Lockesburg, Lisa and husband, Joe Summerford of Fayetteville, Ark., Pam and husband, Gary New of Texarkana, Ark., Jeri and husband, Tim Jones of Nashville, Ark., and Tracy and husband, Philip Hensley of Mena, Ark.; a brother, Clyde and wife, Beverly Bell of Mineral Springs, and a sister, Joyce and husband, Charlie Hesselbein of Bryant, Ark.
also, 14 grandchildren and their spouses, 30 great-grandchildren, and a great-great-grandchild, as well as a large host of nieces, nephews and other family and friends.
Services were Saturday, Aug. 6, 2016 at 10 a.m. at Nashville Funeral Home with Terry Bell and Mike Erwin officiating. Interment followed in Mineral Springs Cemetery under the direction of Nashville Funeral Home. Viewing was Friday from 1-4 p.m. at the funeral home. The family received friends on Friday night from 5-7 at the First United Methodist Church in Mineral Springs. You may send the family an online sympathy message to www.nashvillefh.com. Memorials may be made to the Mineral Springs First United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 298, Mineral Springs, AR 71851, or to the J.F. Bell Scholarship Fund in care of Diamond Bank in Mineral Springs.