John Lambert Bell III
Tuesday 19th of January 1937 - Sunday 22nd of January 2023
Lexington native John Lambert Bell III passed on Sunday, January 22 at the age of 86 following a brief bout with cancer. His perpetually optimistic outlook and determination to keep enjoying life were apparent to the end.
John was proud of his service in the U.S. Army, both active duty and reserve, during the Berlin Wall crisis and Vietnam era. His ensuing career included roles at Kitchen Planning Center and KPC Architectural Products. He also completed a course of study at Fugazzi Business College. During his initial semi-retirement, John liked working as a greeter/doorman at the downtown Park Plaza Apartments. That affinity for positive social interaction and service then led John to spend several years delivering meals to senior citizens who could no longer drive themselves or afford in-home care. He valued the many personal connections he made with people at their front door, home, work, or in church.
Among the loves of his life, John was married to his high school sweetheart, Shirley Bell (Kersey), for nearly 50 years, until she predeceased him. A decade later, John married a Christian Towers neighbor, Lura Bell (Stone), with whom he shared day trip, sight-seeing and spiritual interests. They were separated too soon by her passing in May 2022.
Over the years, John was active in local churches, notably Southland Christian, Southern Acres Christian, and Russell Cave Baptist. Once again, he embraced the role of Sunday worship service greeter and participated in a variety of church projects. John became well-known and –liked for his cheerful disposition and engagement with others in the congregation. Consistent with his upbeat “everything will work out” attitude, John’s faith also gave him confidence in a life to come, which he sincerely hoped and believed would reunite him with loved ones.
John is survived by his son, John R. Bell, daughter-in-law Christine Bell (Soyka), granddaughters Rachel Shupe (Bell) and Emily Bell, sister Nancy Coots (Bell), along with other nieces who will miss and remember him fondly. John’s attachment to family was evident last week, especially when seeing his adult granddaughters.
To be remembered among family, friends, neighbors, and fellow Christians as “a very nice, good man” is an important accomplishment that speaks for itself. Many never earn the title. Out of necessity, John’s service to family began early in life. And he continued to make sacrifices and work hard for those he loved. John’s glass-half-full outlook sustained himself and helped others. His optimism, even in the face of adversity and loss, imparts a message anyone can take to heart.
Thanks to everyone who enriched John’s life and for paying their respects now to a life well lived.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to a charity or cause that serves Veterans.
I am a former assistant manager at Christian Towers apartments. John was always positive and upbeat. He constantly talked about his family and glowed when talking about his granddaughters. He was always helpful and nice to all he encountered! My sincere condolences and prayers to the loved ones of John.
I had the privilege and good fortune to hire John to deliver meals to homebound seniors. His pleasant personality, positive attitude and wonderful work ethic made him a valuable employee and friend. My deepest condolences to John's family and friends.