Rufus Eugene "Red" Bell

Photo of Rufus Eugene "Red" Bell
Dr. Rufus Eugene "Red" Bell died at his home in Batesville, Arkansas, on Friday, January 3, 2014. He was the fifth of nine children born to Rufus Marvin and Lizzie Cowling Bell of Mineral Springs, Arkansas, on October 27, 1922. Preceding him in death besides his parents were brothers Lonnie Bell, Louis Bell and Glenn Bell and sisters Alene Corbell and Bonnie Cowling all of Mineral Springs, Arkansas. Survivors include his wife of 63 years, Polly Lenehan Bell; three sons: David Eugene Bell (Mary Ann) of Batesville, Arkansas, Steven Lenehan Bell (Glenda) of Batesville, Arkansas, Michael Brent Bell (fiancé Debbie Dodds) of Galveston, Texas; five grandchildren: Christopher Bell (Acker) of Little Rock, Arkansas; Megan Bouchareb (Mar) of Austin, Texas; Danny Bell (Debra) of Batesville, Arkansas; Steven Bell Jr. (Ann) of Charleston, South Carolina; and John Bell of Rogers, Arkansas; three great-grandchildren, Penick, Sullivan and Rufus; two brothers, Francis Bell and Clyde Bell, both of Mineral Springs, Arkansas, and a sister Joyce Hesselbein of Benton, Arkansas. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews. After serving in the Army Air Force during World War II, he entered Arkansas State Teachers College, now UCA, where he lettered in multiple sports. He then continued on to the University of Arkansas earning a Master's Degree in Administration. After teaching and coaching basketball and football in Camden, Arkansas, for several years, he married Polly Lenehan of Batesville, Arkansas, and they moved to Kansas City, Missouri, where he entered the University of Missouri, School of Dentistry. Upon obtaining his DDS Degree in 1956, he came to Batesville and entered dental practice with Dr. R. A. Craig. Dr. Bell was an active member of the Arkansas Dental Association for many years. Dr. Bell was active in community affairs, having served for several years on the Batesville School Board, the Chamber of Commerce and other civic organizations. He was active in the First Presbyterian Church where he served as deacon, elder and member of the Board of Trustees. In the year 2000, he and his business partner Howard House were awarded the Community Development Award for the year. In 2004, he and Mr. House built The Course at Eagle Mountain, the first 18-hole golf course in Independence County. The burial service will be private. A memorial service will be held at the First Presbyterian Church, 775 E. Boswell Street, Batesville, Arkansas, on Saturday, January 11, 2014, at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made to the First Presbyterian Church, 775 E. Boswell Street, Batesville, Ark. 72501 or to the Bell-Lenehan Scholarship Fund at Lyon College, 2300 Highland, Batesville, Ark. 72501. Online guestbook:

Published January 7, 2014

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