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Leo Russell Bell
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Birth: Nov. 15, 1919
Cassia County
Idaho, USA
Death: Mar. 30, 2013

ALBION Leo Russell Bell, 93, of Albion, Idaho, passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by his family on Saturday morning, March 30, 2013.

He was born on Nov. 15, 1919, in Albion, Idaho, the son of Albert and Jennie Harris Bell. He was the fourth of eight children. He grew up in Albion and attended the Albion Training School where every class and subject was taught by a different student teacher under the supervision of a critic teacher. He graduated from high school in 1937.

During his teens, he worked at many different jobs including hauling firewood out of Howell Canyon, putting up hay the old fashioned way, milking cows, being a janitor at the school, or whatever else he could do to help pay the family bills. From about the age of ten, he was a working cowboy and horses continued to be an important part of his farming/ranching years.

Along with his love of horses, he had a love of the land especially the land of the Albion valley. But his greatest love he discovered at the Albion State Normal School. She was a sassy little spitfire from Burley named Merla Coltrin. They dated for about 14 months. Most of their dates were walking, talking, and ice skating on the gravel pit pond. They were married on Leo's 26th birthday, Nov. 15, 1945, in the Salt Lake LDS Temple.

They began their life together in Albion, where Leo worked for Joe Carlson on his ranch for two years. Then they had the opportunity to move to Malta and run Leo's brother's farm. After three years, Leo was able to buy the farm in Albion, where he and Merla spent the next 62 years raising five kids, crops and cattle.

Besides farming, Leo worked for the Albion Highway District for nearly 40 years. Leo taught himself to weld and repair his equipment and his philosophy was take care of what you have and if you can't pay cash for it right now, don't buy it. It was truly a family farm with everyone expected to help out and do their part as they learned the joy of hard work and a job well done together.

Leo was always an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He served in many callings beginning at the age of 16 when he served as secretary of the Sunday School. He served as counselor in two bishoprics prior to being called as bishop of the Albion Ward in 1953, where he served faithfully for nearly ten years. Part of his years of service was rather unique as he only had one counselor and they were the only two active Melchizedek Priesthood holders in the ward at that time. He also taught the teenage Sunday school class. He served in many other callings. He and Merla really enjoyed their calling as stake dance directors for two years.

Leo didn't have much spare time, but when the work was caught up, the family enjoyed rodeos, fishing, picnics on East Mountain, and trips to Banbury Hot Springs. Leo was always an honest and hardworking man. He continued to enjoy working on the family farm with his son, David, up into his late 80s.

He is survived by his children, Deidre (Vic) Warr, of Boise, Laura Lee (Mike) Archibald, of Buhl, David (Shari) Bell of Albion, Doris Elaine (Mike) Ricks, of Idaho Falls, and Dona Bell of Pocatello; 14 grandchildren; 21 great-grandchildren; a sister, Althora Darrington, of Syracuse, Utah; and his brother, Dale Bell, of Boise.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 66 years; his parents; three brothers; two sisters; two grandsons, Michael and Jeffrey Archibald; and a granddaughter, Jana Bell Thornton.

The funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, April 5, at the Albion LDS Church with Bishop Randy Brackenbury officiating. Burial will be in the Mormon Cemetery.

Friends may call from 6 until 8 p.m. Thursday, April 4, at the Rasmussen Funeral Home, 1350 E. 16th St., in Burley, and from 10 until 10:45 a.m. Friday at the church.
Family links: 
  Merla Ocea Coltrin Bell (1926 - 2012)
Albion Mormon Cemetery
Cassia County
Idaho, USA
Created by: Barb
Record added: Apr 01, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 107642325
Leo Russell Bell
Added by: Barb
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May you rest in peace.
- Barb
 Added: Apr. 1, 2013

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