|Birth: ||Dec. 16, 1934|
|Death: ||Jul. 8, 2011|
Rex A. Bell Jr., 76, retired Clark County District Attorney, of Las Vegas, passed away from cancer July 8, 2011.
He was born Dec. 16, 1934, in Santa Monica, Calif., to Rex Bell, cowboy actor and two-term lieutenant governor of Nevada, and Clara Bow, the original "It" Girl of silent film fame. Rex and his brother, George, were raised on the Walking Box Ranch near Searchlight.
He attended the University of Notre Dame and graduated from the University of Nevada at Reno, then received his law degree from Williamette University in Salem, Ore.
After serving as a deputy district attorney in Pendleton, Ore., Rex joined the district attorney's office in Las Vegas under George Franklin and then Roy Woofter and was legal advisor to the Clark County sheriff and Las Vegas Police Department, which merged in 1973. Six years later, newly-elected Clark County District Attorney Bob Miller hired Rex as his assistant district attorney. After two terms in this capacity, Rex ran for district attorney, won, then was re-elected for a second term.
Upon his retirement from public service in 1994, Rex returned to his cowboy roots thanks to Michael Gaughan, who appointed him as Gold Coast Hotel representative for the National Finals Rodeo. Rex also opened his own law firm, assisted by longtime secretary and friend Marlene Luna. He continued to practice until illness overtook him.
Rex epitomized all that is good about "the good old boys," treating everyone with decency, honesty and respect. If he felt someone deserved a break and he could help get it, he did. His door was always open, and although you might not get out as fast as you thought -- Rex was a natural-born conversationalist -- you were sure to leave with at least one good story. A gifted athlete and avid sports fan, Rex played basketball, football (from Notre Dame's varsity team to the annual Las Vegas Police/Firefighter match at age 55), softball, racquetball and golf. For the past two decades, he bowled in the Lawman's League in season and the Nevada Power League each summer. He was especially proud of coaching the women's Police Olympic softball team, which competed in Australia in 1988 and came home with the gold medal.
Rex treasured his friendships, maintaining contact with classmates from Las Vegas High School, Elsinore Military Academy, college (he still hosted the annual send-off of Las Vegas students to Notre Dame), and law school, as well as fellow members of the National District Attorney's Association, and his many other interests and activities.
He is survived by his loving wife, Dorothy; brother, George; son, Michael Bell; daughter, Michelle Bell-McKinney (Michael); stepchildren, Jolene Culver, Shawn Wellington and Marc Bever; and three granddaughters of whom he was extremely proud, Nicole Rosenblum, Brittany Bell and Brooke Bell. Additionally, he leaves behind extended family members and innumerable friends from all walks of life who are sure to miss his friendly greeting and everpresent smile.
There will be celebration of life noon-3 p.m. Saturday, July 23, at the South Point Hotel - Sonoma Conference Rooms A and B, 9777 Las Vegas Blvd. South. Donations can be made to Standing Tall, c/o Fr. John Smyth, 1100 N. River Road, Des Plaines, IL 60016; Flagstaff Mission to the Navajo's, P.O. Box AA, Flagstaff, AZ 86002; Salvation Army, P.O. Box 28369, Las Vegas, NV 89126.
Published in Las Vegas Review-Journal from July 15 to July 16, 2011
Rex Bell (1903 - 1962)
Clara Bow (1905 - 1965)
Created by: Scherrie Adams-Ambré
Record added: Jul 11, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 73185860