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In Memory of Gary Bell

Memorial Service

11:00 am - 11:45 am
Saturday June 27, 2020
O'Connell Family Funeral Home
520 11th Street South
Hudson WI, 54016

Gary Lee Bell, age 58 of Hudson died unexpectedly June 10th 2020 while at work of an apparent heart attack. Gary was born during a snowstorm on April 14, 1962 in Blue Earth, MN; the son of Donald and Vernette (Vogt) Bell. He was baptized April 29th, 1962 and confirmed May 23rd, 1976 through St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Blue Earth. He was raised in Blue Earth where he graduated from high school on June 1st, 1980. He was raised on a farm where he learned the value of hard work and being a good steward of God’s earth. During his high school years, he was a member of the FFA and enjoyed playing baseball. In fact, he was the most valuable player his senior year for his pitching efforts. He farmed with his dad and brother after high school until 2002. It was then he would buy his own semi cab and began driving for Alfson’s Trucking in Blue Earth. Following this, he drove for Transport Designs in Savage and currently for Wiseway Transportation Services in Hudson. Gary has clocked over 2 million miles driving every continental state in the country, but mostly the western states.

In February of 1987, he met his wife and best friend of 33 years, Cheryl Sapa. They would be united in marriage on June 5th, 1993 to which three beautiful children were blessed. Together, Gary & Cheryl bought and operated The Derby Inn in Guckeen, MN. This was a bar/restaurant that was a special place for the area farmers to gather in their down time. Gary enjoyed playing cards and pool with family and friends. He loved baseball, whether watching the game on TV or catching a game on the radio. Being an avid Minnesota Twins fan, he rarely missed a game. He also loved westerns; all of them! His favorite was Gunsmoke but his favorite actor was John Wayne. Being he watched all of John Wayne’s movies several times, he knew what he was going to say before John Wayne did! He was a gentle giant, sometimes stubborn, mostly witty, but always right! He was good with technology and kept up to date with current events and politics. But most of all, Gary loved his family. He was so proud of his children and adored his grandchildren.

Gary will forever live on in the hearts of his wife Cheryl; children Lori (Brian) Mueller of Lake Elmo, Jessica (Lucas) Rogers of Woodbury, Michael (Ashley) Bell of Lake Elmo; nine grandchildren: Austin, Abigail, Alexandra, Emma, Matthew, McKena, Sloan, Silas, Ezra; siblings Julie (Mark) Burns of Jupiter, FLA, Trudy Allen of Savage, Nancee (Tom) Bell of Maplewood, Koni (Dave) Sjulstad of Eagan, Corey (Cathy) Bell of Fairmont; as well survived by 20 nieces & nephews; and 6 special aunts. He is preceded in death by his parents Donald and Vernette Bell; sister-in-law, Christine Wagner; brothers-in-law Michael Tines and Joseph Allen; his grandparents, one aunt and six uncles.

A Celebration of Life for Gary Lee will be Saturday, June 27th at 11AM at the O’Connell Family Funeral Home; 520 So. 11th Street in Hudson. Officiating will be Pastor Todd Stocker of Trinity Lutheran Church in Hudson. A time of fellowship will immediately follow at O’Connell’s. Social distancing and masks are requested.

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Gary's Tribute Wall

Tributes (8):

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    • My sincere sympathy to you and your family.
      You and Gary were so blessed in your marriage
      and with a wonderful family. My thoughts and
      prayers are with you. He will be missed.
      God bless.

    • Cheryl~
      So saddened to read of Gary’s passing. I remember all the happy moments you two shared…Sending you hugs and prayers..

    • Dear Cheryl & Family, Please know you are in my thoughts & prayers during this difficult period. We never know what tomorrow will bring, but I am grateful that your life with Gary brought many blessings. I ask our Lord to wrap his loving arms around each of you.

    • To Cheryl and family,
      I was shocked and saddened to hear of my cousin Gary’s sudden passing. I always loved going to the Bell farm when I was growing up and since I was a couple years younger than Gary I usually gravitated towards him.

      I haven’t seen Gary for a long time but have great memories being with him and his siblings and those memories usually centered around baseball and softball in our yards, and later, facing each other on the field during Legion Ball. The first time I faced him when he was pitching, he introduced me to his curveball. 3 of them, then I headed back to my dugout, looked back at him and he just smiled at me .

      I think that’s how I will always remember him, just smiling. Please lean on each other during this sorrowful time and always remember the parting is only temporary.

      Peter Haugh and Family
      Box Elder SD

    • What a lovely tribute to Gary’s life. I will remember Gary as the man who truly made you happy, your soul mate. Love always, girlfriend.

    • Cheryl and family,

      I’m shocked and saddened to hear of Gray’s passing.

      Although I haven’t caught up with Gary in several years I’ve always considered him a dear friend.

      While shedding some tears reading Gary’s obituary I could only smile when I got to the part of Gary being stubborn, witty and right. I guess some things in a person’s personality never change !

      Gary and I had many great times together growing up back in our Blue Earth days. I’m not sure who was the real instigator, probably both of us, but we certainly always had fun together.

      I was talking baseball with a coworker just the other day and shared Gary’s claim to fame story that he was the only person to strike out former MLB Oakland A’s and Twins catcher Terry Steinbach his senior year.

      Sending my sincere condolences to Cheryl and the entire family.

      Until we meet again ….
      May God Bless You My Friend !

      Lon Bleess
      San Antonio,Texas

    • To the family of Gary True, I’m so very sorry for your loss. I am a former 1980 Blue Earth classmate and also a 1976 St. Pauls confimation classmate. Gary was always having fun and a great classmate. After seeing the local Blue Earth newspaper, I am so very sorry to see this news. So many heartfelt condolences from the Blue Earth Class of 1980.

    • We are so saddened by the news of Gary’s death. Thinking about all of you!! Prayers Cheryl!! We are so sorry for your loss.