BELL: Keith Edward Francis Bell, at 81 years of age and a victim of meso-thelioma, passed away Saturday, July 2, 2016 at his home in Gold River, BC. He was predeceased by his wife Jacquelyn Bell. He is survived by his
son Richard Bell, ( Linda ) their two children – Christin ( Joseph Schabb ) , and son Justin Bell, daughter Bridgite Messer, ( Rick ) and their daughter Cassandra. Keith came from a family of 10 children with only one remaining sister, Barbara Holmes of Brandon Manitoba.
Keith was hardworking, and enjoyed meeting people and sharing stories. He loved his family and was deeply devoted to his wife and his children. He provided a wonderful example of identifying the important things in life.
He was dedicated to the church and the community, whether it was Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, Cooking Lake, Alberta or Gold River, B.C., the three places he called home. He gave much of his energy and time to the Boy Scouts of Canada, Toast Masters, Gold River Revellers, Knights of Columbus in Campbell River and the Catholic church of Saint Peter and St. Paul of Gold River.
He loved nature and throughout his life tried farming, enjoyed gardening and was passionate about sailing the waters of Vancouver Island. He took the time to call each of his 37 nieces and nephews each year on their birthday and was very good at keeping track and in touch with friends he met throughout his life. He was an avid reader and everyone who knew him had to taste his homemade beer.
He truly believed that if you worked hard, treated people right, and with a little help from God, you could have a good life. He showed strength and love right up until his last days. He never complained once about his fate caused by mesothelioma: pain combined with a fast track aging process.
The streets of Gold River will not be the same without Keith driving through the village in his old blue ‘ 62 Chev truck.
“Thank you’s” from Bridgite Messer and family:
There are many, but each is necessary to give credit to all who helped Dad live a life with quality right to the end.
- Firstly, once again our local Gold River Clinic has done an exceptional job:
Thank you to Dr. Yoemans, Dr. Durante, and Dr. Clark. You three are a great team, offering not only medical advice but compassion, patience and an obvious desire to always do what was right for Dad.
Thank you to all the nurses extraordinaire: Russel Sereda, Anne Marie Banas, Teresa Martin and lastly Enid Ohara, nurse and manager of our clinic. Gold River is truly blessed to have you as part of the team looking after all of us in this town.
- Thank you to VIHA – Mary Cook, Gerrie Miller, Edith Lee and Janine Naswel. Janine, he loved those foot rubs!
- Thank you to Worksafe BC. For anyone who might not realize, mesothelioma is a cancer that you can only get from exposure to asbestos. Dad’s claim was accepted based on his time in the Gold River Pulp Mill as welder. The disease often doesn’t appear for 20 to 50 years after exposure. Worksafe BC was very dedicated in their support to Dad, providing anything that helped to allow him to live the best quality of life possible and enabling his desire to stay at home. Stacy and Barry – I cannot thank you enough for all your very valuable advice. With each decline in health that Dad suffered, you were there. Thank you to Don Mann, my first contact, who convinced me that Worksafe BC was the best option for Dad, rather than getting a lawyer to try to access funds from the Mesothelioma trust funds. Your words were succinct but also compassionate allowing me to realize that Worksafe really does care about victims of workplace disease.
- Thank you to Bayshore Home Health, contracted by Worksafe BC, who provided a team of advice and the front line workers who lived with Dad for 24 hours a day with special thanks to Kymberly, Melanie, Sierra and Eric. Eric, you were Dad’s rock. He truly grew to love you like a son.
- Thank you to Super Valu and Gold River Pharmacy of Gold River who allowed me to set up accounts that allowed anyone involved in Dad’s care to be able to quickly get whatever they might need. Special thanks to Henry and Suzanne at Eagles Wings café who sent many bowls of free soup to Dad.
- Thank you to the Gold River Revellers for always including Dad in all their activities, despite his declining health. Jean – he always enjoyed having his specially made soup on potluck night.
- Thank you to all the Gold River residents who always took the time and courage to keep engaging with Dad. He was a very social guy and truly enjoyed every smile and handshake.
Lastly, I would like to thank my husband Rick, who provided love, support and understanding of the time I had to devote to Dad’s care. Rick, you are the best.