News: Neillsville – Am. Legion to Recognize Bob Bell (Jan 2020)
Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon
Surnames: Bell, Hoffman
----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI) 1/01/2020
Neillsville’s Bell to be Honored for Military Service
Bob Bell, who served in the National Guard, will be honored for his service to the U.S. at the Neillsville American Legion Jan. 6. Submitted Photo
Bob Bell is one of three veterans who will be honored by the Neillsville American legion for their service on Jan. 6.
Bell was born in Waukegan, IL. After his freshman year of high school, his family moved to rural Neillsville and purchased a farm in the Christie area. They also moved their cattle.
Bob graduated from Neillsville High School in 1955. During high school, Bell joined the National Guard.
In 1958, Bell bought his farm. He also worked at the Neillsville Co-op Milk Plant. After purchasing more cattle, Bell left the milk plant in 1960 and continued farming.
In the fall of 1961, Bell’s guard unit was called into active duty at Fort Lewis, WA due to the Berlin Crisis. Bell sold his cattle and was transferred to Fort Lewis for training. He was the weapons platoon sergeant (E-6) in Company E.
Bell’s training included night firing 81 mortars and the 105 howitzer that was mounted on Jeeps.
“My company dealt with several field maneuver problems,” said Bell. Bell’s family joined him at Fort Lewis for five months. Bell was promoted to E-7 in 1962. In August 1962, he was discharged and returned to Neillsville. He resumed farming after purchasing cattle.
In 1958, Bell married Eileen Hoffman. He sold his farm and he and his wife bought a house in Neillsville, where they still reside today. Bell worked as a self-employed carpenter until age 75. He enjoyed working in his carpentry shop adjacent to his home. He built furniture for his children as well as for his home.
Bob and Eileen have four daughters: Barbara, Linda, Susan and Cheryl. They have six grandchildren, two step-grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
“Being in the Army improved my life by teaching me responsibility and commitment, and I feel it was a great privilege to serve my country,” said Bell.
The potluck to honor Bell and the other veterans will be Monday, Jan. 6, at the Legion, 6 Boon Boulevard. There will be a social hour at 4:30 p.m. with a potluck to follow at 5:30 p.m.
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