Alfred Reid Bell, 97
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PORTLAND -- Quotation in high school yearbook: 'Wisely and slow; they stumble that run fast.'
Alfred Reid Bell, 97, passed away with his family by his side at the Maine Medical Center on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013.
Alfred was born in Anson on the 21st of May 1916, the son of Harold Reid and Ethel M. (Baird) Bell. Due to his mother's early death from influenza, he was brought up by his grandparents, Alfred and Harriet E. (Stinchfield) Baird. He graduated from Hartland Academy in 1935.
Alfred married the 'most beautiful girl at the Olive's Dance Hall' on Broadturn Road, after a short courtship, on the 3rd of June in 1939. They were married for 73 years before Dorothy Bernice (Ahlquist) Bell's passing just a few months ago on the 24th of April, 2013.
Alfred worked several jobs over the first years of their marriage while maintaining a farm in Yarmouth. He was drafted into the Army in 1945, serving during World War II. They lost their farm during his service obligation because the crops could not be harvested since Dorothy was left to take care of a three young children, one a newborn. They moved to Scarborough and lived with Dorothy's parents until he built their home on the parent's farmland. In 1948 when they moved in, the house was not complete but met the requirements for habitation. He finished the house many years later and was very proud of the fact that he had never made a mortgage payment.
When Alfred returned after his service obligation he worked several different jobs until he took a position with the Scarborough School Department as a bus driver, also having responsibility as janitor of the Dunstan Elementary School in Scarborough. He stayed in this position for 10 years. He drove bus routes in the Beech Ridge area but took on Route 1 which included the Pine Point area during his latter years. He initiated all actions necessary to install a radio on the bus - the first in the state. The kids who used the bus donated all funds for the radio, of course, the money needed was minimal. When he had problems with one of the kids, he coordinated with the parents the cleaning of the bus, internally and externally on a Saturday.
Alfred also served several years as a Reserve Police Officer
Alfred Reid Bell
for the Town of Scarborough and was an assistant Boy Scout leader and leader of the Explorer troop. He was the Founder of Camp Scarborough which still exists today.
Later he was manager of Sani-Clean Distributers for 26 years. During these years he was involved in the building of the Big 20 Lanes. The lanes were a particular highlight during this project.
Alfred most enjoyed gardening. He had a huge vegetable garden and was known in the neighborhood for his prolific raspberries and, during the past few years, his blackberries. Although he found flowers to be a waste of space, he gladly grew an abundance of them to satisfy his wife.
Alfred's remaining family include Bruce Alfred Bell and his wife Janet, Scarborough; Jack Lloyd Bell, Dennistown; Linda Bell Ryder and her husband Scott, Owings, Md.; Joleen Bell Conner and her husband Parker, Scarborough; and also Jacquelyn Manchester Brown, who came to live with them as a young girl. Jackie, who lived in Rangeley, passed away last December. Alfred is also survived by 14 grandchildren and 14 great- grandchildren.
The family would like to particularly thank all the amazing, caring and supportive neighbors (especially the Donald, Gelinas, Gagnon and Dennison families) who cared for Alfred during these past years, helping him by providing weekly rides to the nursing home to visit Dorothy, drop offs of warm dinners and snacks, taking him shopping at all his favorite places, and for many hours of company both at home and in the hospital. Two others that must be mentioned are the pharmacy staff at OSCO, Scarborough. Thank you to Jeremy and Gavin.
Hobbs Funeral Home, 671 U.S. Route 1, Scarborough, is assisting the family with arrangements. Visiting hours are set for Saturday, Aug. 24, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., followed by a funeral service at 12 p.m. at the funeral home, and interment at Black Point Cemetery at about 2:30 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be
made to the local
P.O. Box 417005
Boston, Massachusetts 02241-7005
and make a note to credit
to the Maine Chapter
or to the national association at www.heart.org, 1-800-242-8721.
Published in Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram from Aug. 21 to Aug. 22, 2013