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Born Oct. 7, 1931, in New York, N.Y., he was a veteran of the Korean War, where he proudly served as a member of the U.S. Navy on the USS Leyte. Shortly after his discharge, he joined the Westfield Police Department in Westfield, N.J., where he remained from 1956 until his retirement in 1988.
Officer Bell was the recipient of several honors during his tenure, including two Medals of Valor, three Command Citations and a Certificate of Merit. A true believer in the value of a good education, he interrupted his own to serve his country, but returned to obtain his degree from Union County College.
A resident of the town of Westfield for over 40 years, he married Judith Anne Lubben in 1956; Judy preceded him in death in 2002. He was a resident of Primehook Beach, Del., for a short period of time before relocating to Manning, where he married Karen Wickstrom Pleasanton in 2008.
In retirement he enjoyed being a grandpa, golf, cards, boating, water aerobics and watching his beloved New York Giants and Yankees. Karen and Bob enjoyed traveling, theater, concerts and trying new restaurants. For four years they delivered Meals-on-Wheels and attended Manning United Methodist Church.
Survivors besides his wife of Manning and her children from a previous marriage, Kelly, Eric and Robert, include a son and daughter-in-law, Robert Jr. and Jennifer Sameth Bell; a daughter, Bonnie; five grandchildren, Madeleine, Audrey and Brandon, all of Matthews, N.C., and Emiline and Lydia of Fort Washington, Pa.; a sister, Anne (Richards) Menifee of California; a sister and brother-in-law, Mary and James Nordell of Spring City, Tenn.; a sister-in-law, Louise (Galante) of New York; and several cousins, nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by a brother, Alexander.
He was a strong supporter of Westfield Athletics and, in lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in his name to the Westfield PAL, P.O. Box 873, Westfield, NJ 07090.
A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Tuesday at Stephens Funeral Home with the Rev. Dr. James C. Adams officiating.
The family will receive guests starting at 2 p.m. A private burial will take place in New York.
Stephens Funeral Home & Crematory, 304 N. Church St., Manning, is in charge of arrangements, (803) 435-2179.