Harold John ‘Bud’ Bell

Harold John “Bud” Bell, 97, of Bozeman, passed away Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018 at his home with his wife at his side. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 17 at Hope Lutheran Church, 2152 Graf St. in Bozeman.

Harold was born May 9, 1920 at Brook Park, Minnesota on a farm to John and Helen (Carlson) Bell.  He was educated in public schools in northern Minnesota and Minneapolis. He went to work in 1938 working for various companies; the first four years with Omaha Railroad Star Machine & Tool Co. Minneapolis Moline, becoming a machinist and toolmaker. In the winter of 1943, he went to work for the Becktel Corporation of San Francisco as a machinist and machinist foreman in Canada and Alaska. He returned to St. Paul for the birth of his third child and was drafted into the U.S. Navy serving as a Machinist Mate and was discharged in 1945 as a machinist Mate First Class. Upon returning he attended the University of Minnesota in mechanical engineering.

Harold went to work for the Northern Pacific railroad as a machinist in Livingston on Feb. 1, 1950.  In August of 1951, he was accepted into the special apprentice program of the NPR. After completing that training he worked in various shops for St. Paul, Minnesota to Yakima, Washington. In October of 1956, he was made assistant roundhouse foreman in Livingston. In March of 1963, he became system diesel supervisor in Livingston; in July of 1965 he became general foreman in the Livingston back-shop; on Jan. 1, 1970, he was made master mechanic at the Livingston Rocky Mountain Division; in February of 1975, he was made assistant superintendent mechanical in Havre. He finally retired Aug. 1, 1979 from the Burlington Northern Railroad.

After retiring from the railroad, he had a truck-tractor leased to International Transport of Rochester, Minnesota.  He trucked for eleven years; threee months in the fall and three months in the spring, covering all lower 48 states and most of Canada. He had his second bypass heart surgery in August 1990 ending his trucking career.

He married Verna G. Johnson in Forest Lake, Minnesota in March of 1941. To this union four children were born. In August of 1966, he married Betty Lou Caughy. In July 1984 he was united in marriage to Justine Hare Evje.

He was preceded in death by his parents, John and Helen Bell; sisters, Millicent Sever, Lillian Elmore and Harriet Hannon; stepson Jeff Bell; and son, Wayne Bell.

He is survived by his wife Justine; children, Janet Bell of Salem, Oregon; Stanley M. (Sally) Bell of Berrien Springs, Michigan; and Thomas M. (Paula) Bell of Salem, Oregon; stepsons Tim Bell of Bozeman; Gary (Andie) Evje of West Yellowstone; stepdaughter, Peggy (Bill) Strong of Livingston; six grandchildren, five step-grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren, six stepgreat-grandchildren; and brother, Dwain Bell of New Hope, Minnesota. There were also numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and dear friends.

Bud, in his retirement years enjoyed building and remodeling for his children and summers were spent golfing and keeping everything in good repair at The Cabin. He was a member of Hope Lutheran Church, American Legion Park Post #23 and the VFW.

Memorials may be directed to Hope Lutheran Church, Bozeman Health Hospice or to a charity of your choice.

Arrangements are under the care of Franzen-Davis Funeral Home and Crematory. Online condolences may be shared at franzen-davis.com.

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