David Walter Bell died in Davis, CA on April 10, 2020 at the age of 88. He had been suffering from Multiple System Atrophy, a Parkinson’s like syndrome, for the last few years.
Born on November 12, 1931 in Tacoma, Washington, Dave was the second child of Charles Langdon Bell and Barbara May Bell. He grew up in Oakland where he was part of the proud ‘49er class of Fremont High School. Dave served as a Navy pilot in the early 1950s, and often entertained his friends and family with stories of landing planes on aircraft carriers. After his Navy service, he earned a degree in architecture at UC Berkeley.
He married his wife, Pearl, in 1965 and moved to Napa, CA in 1968 where he lived for 48 years. Dave enjoyed working for himself in the Gordon Building above Bookends Bookstore downtown. He designed buildings, up and down the valley, until he was almost 70 years old. In his free time he enjoyed reading books written in French and growing fruits and vegetables in his garden. Over the years, he won a few prizes for his vegetables at the Town and Country Fair and delighted visitors with cured olives and fig jams from his many trees.
Dave was active in the Kiwanis Club of Napa for many years teaching children how to fish and building numerous playgrounds around the valley. Four years ago, as Dave’s mobility decreased, he moved to Davis to be closer to his daughter and her family. He was one who always told a good story. He will be dearly missed.
He is survived by his brother, Robert Bell (Joan), and sister, Barbara Jean Brecheen; his loving wife of 55 years, Pearl Bell; his daughter, Charlotte Acharya (Govind) of Davis, and his two granddaughters.
A memorial service and celebration of Dave’s life will be held when his friends and family are able to gather safely.
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