Obituary for William "Bill" Bell
Mr. William Wesley Bell III, age 72, of Jefferson City, Missouri passed away Friday, December 29, 2017 at Barnes-Jewish Hospital.
He was born in San Bernardino, California on July 18, 1945, but was proud to call Kansas City, Kansas home. He married Carol Jean Button on December 3, 1966.
Bill graduated from Wyandotte High School in 1963. He went on to graduate from Kansas State Teachers College, Emporia, Kansas in 1970, earning a Bachelor of Science in Education. After graduation he became a Biology and Life Science instructor for Unified School District 500 in Kansas City, for three years at Rosedale Junior/Senior High School and four years at Eisenhower Junior High School where he also served as the Science Department Chairman.
Bill served in the United States Army Reserve for six years. He was a graduate of the Kansas Air National Guard Officers Candidate School and was assigned to the Headquarters, 4th Brigade, 89th Division based in Kansas City. He achieved the rank of 1st Lieutenant. He was also a member of the 89th Division Pistol Team.
He spent two years as a Civilian Service Specialist for the Police Public Education Office with the KCKS Police Department. He presented more than four hundred programs on a wide range of crime prevention subjects. Bill enjoyed a special relationship with the Royals organization and the Ewing Kauffman Foundation. He worked with Paul Splittdorf, Frank White and Clint Hurdle to develop a crime prevention coloring book for children. He earned special recognition for participating in all assigned activities in the foundation's CPR Now Program and co-developed with Crowder College staff the Kauffman Foundation's Youth and Environment Program.
Bill joined the KCKS Water Pollution Control Department in 1979 serving in the capacity of Program Manager for fourteen years. Bill accepted the position of Senior Risk Management Specialist with the Missouri Department of Transportation based in Jefferson City, Missouri, where he served until his retirement.
Professional affiliations included American Society For Industrial Security, St. Louis Chapter American Society of Safety Engineers (Professional Member), past Chairperson American Society of Safety Engineers (Mid-Missouri Section), CPCU Society, Member (Central Missouri Chapter), Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, Division of Workers' Compensation, (Certified Safety Consultant), Missouri Working Terrorism Group, (Non-Law Enforcement Member), Water Pollution Control Federation, Kansas Water Pollution Control Association, (Member State Safety Committee), National Association of Biology Teachers, U.S. Army Reserve Officers Association, and American Legion Post No. 5.
Bill was a graduate of the National Outdoor Leadership School in Lander, Wyoming. He trained for five weeks in the virgin wilderness of the Wind River Mountain Range developing skills in wilderness ecology, navigation, cooking, mountain climbing, rescue and survival. He later utilized those skills as a licensed outfitter for the Sierra Club Rocky Mountain Subcommittee, leading four outings in the Bridger-Teton Wilderness Range in Wyoming.
Bill was an avid skydiver, logging in five hundred and fifty jumps. Certifications and awards included Intermediate and Advanced USPA Licenses and Star Crest Recipient, Ka-Mo First Place Hit and Run Accuracy, and USPA Falcon and Eagle Awards. He was also a twenty-year member of the United States Parachute Association.
At the age of forty Bill became a certified Open Water SCUBA Diver. He enjoyed extensive bottom time at many of the most popular diving spots in Cancun and Cozumel, Mexico.
Bill was a sixteen-year volunteer for the Wyandotte County Chapter of the American Red Cross serving as a member of the Health and Safety Services Council, Disaster Action Team and was a First Aid, Vital Signs and CPR Instructor. He was also an eight-year volunteer for the Wyandotte County United Way. He was a member of First United Methodist Church of Jefferson City and served as a volunteer for the church food pantry, substituted as the church receptionist and receptionist at their Common Ground Community Center.
Bill is survived by his beloved wife of 51 years, Carol Bell; sister, Kathy Walker; nephew, Kyle Walker and two grandnieces Lana and Caitlin Walker, all from Overland Park, Ks; his sister-in-law, Mary Davis of Jefferson City, Mo.; and six cousins.
He was preceded in death by his parents, William Wesley, Jr. and Yvonne Marie (Witcraft) Bell.
Visitation will be held at Freeman Mortuary from 10:00 until 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, January 3, 2018.
Funeral services will be conducted at 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, January 3, 2018 in the Freeman Chapel with the Reverend Daniel Hilty officiating. Graveside services and interment will follow at Riverview Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are suggested to the First United Methodist Church or the American Red Cross.
Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Freeman Mortuary.