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April 17, 2019


John William Bell, III
December 26, 1943 - April 15, 2019

John William Bell, III was one of the last true cowboys. He lived his entire full speed ahead. You wouldn’t catch him standing by idly and he never slowed down. He was a tough hombre, playing high school football and riding bareback in the rodeo. He met the love of his life while in college and swept her off her feet then loved her until the end of his life. His life revolved around Ms. Kay, Bill, Steve and his animals.

For several years, he worked alongside his dad as an electrical engineer. He even helped build Hot Springs, AR. Along with several others, John William helped get the Franklinton Country Club up and running as he and Kay always enjoyed playing golf. John William played trumpet while touring with the Showboat Band, made a record with them and continued playing his trumpet all hours of the night. He played Taps at local military funerals several times and played at other patriotic events over the years.

He was a member of Centenary Methodist Church for many years and more recently attended Hillcrest Baptist Church.

John William fought cancer twice and won. Hel lost all hearing due to the invasive tumors. He lived by feeding himself through a peg tube for eleven years. John William won that battle too. He lifted weights, fed cows, horses and bulls and loved his little dog, Boots.

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith…2nd Timothy 4:7-8

Monday April 15, 2019, John William rode into the sunset one final time to meet the girl of his dreams. He had fought the good fight. He had finished the race. Daryl Dunigan wrote that John William will be missed-but Heaven gained a great trumpet player and choir member. Cousin Beth wrote that Kay was along with other friends and family on the other side. As Easter approaches, I take it as a blessing, peace and comfort. No longer are they sick, heartbroken, lonely and sad. They are together in the comforts of the spirit and free. What a celebration!

Survived by: Son and fiancĂ©: John William “Bill” Bell, IV and Tonya Dingler of Sherwood, AR; Grandson: John William “Jay” Bell, V of Hot Springs, AR; Brother: Richard Bell of Baton Rouge; Step-siblings and Spouses: Ginny and Bill Burris, Barry and Monica Pierce, Robert Pierce; Also survived by numerous nieces, nephews, other family members and many dear friends.

He was preceded in death recently by his beloved wife of 55 years Kay Evelyn Stephenson Bell, a son Michael Stephenson Bell and parents John William Bell, Jr. and Lynetta Pierce Bell.

Visitation will be at Crain Funeral Home Saturday April 20th from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm. A funeral service will be held in the funeral home chapel at 2:00 pm Saturday with Dr. Gene Richards and Rev. Tommy Smith officiating. Burial will follow in the Morris Cemetery.

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