Keith BellBELL: 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.

Funeral services will be held on Friday July 8 at 2pm at the church of St. Peter and St. Paul inKeith Bell boat Gold River presided by Fr. Jan.

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.


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34 thoughts on “Keith Bell Passes”

  1. So sorry for your loss, Keith will be missed by all who knew him. Both Steve and I had the privilege of working with him at the Pulp Mill. He had a great sense of humor and helped everyone in need. Will miss him greatly. Diane and Steve Norman

  2. So sorry for your loss, Rick, Bridgite, and Cassie.
    Your Dad and his dancing skills will be greatly missed.
    Love Deb and Mick.

  3. Sorry for your loss. Our deepest sympathies. May he RIP. Hugs.

    Phil and Tammy Lum

  4. Sincere condolences from the Sommerfeld family. Thinking of you all in this difficult time. xo

  5. I am so sad to hear this news. I always enjoyed saying hello to your father and a short chat. Hugz and prayers to your family.

  6. Ray & Nicki Hammell

    Condolences from the Hammell family. Keith was such a joy to know and such a tremendous asset to our community. Bridgite, Rick and Cassie, we send you our love and prayers.

  7. Our sincere condolences on Keith’s passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families at this time.

    Dave and Wendi Ferrero

  8. My condolences on the passing of my friend Keith. I have not been in touch for quite some time and it is with great sadness that you have left us. My thoughts are with Keith’s friends and family at this time of loss.

  9. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Keith’s family at this time. He will be dearly missed.
    Gord & Michelle Roberts

  10. My sincerest condolences to the family. He was a dear man and will be greatly missed.

  11. So very sorry for your loss Rick, Brigite and Cassie.and Jackie. Keith will be greatly missed. His ense of humour, warm smile, stories and kind spirit will live on in the memories of many ? Hugs to all of you

  12. My condolences to the family, Keith was a big part of Gold Rjver and will be missed by many!

  13. Sharron & Cal Jefford

    Sorry to hear of Kieth’s passing, he was truly a joy to talk . being from Portage La Prairie and knowing his sisters we always had a lot to talk about. We had many long telephone conversations . Our sincere condolences to all the family.

  14. Melissa Carter (Straub)

    My thoughts and prayers are with The family. I have many fond memories with “uncle” Keith. Love always xoxo

  15. Our thoughts and hearts are with you all at this very sad time. Keith always stopped on his way down the road to see how his neighbors were doing. ALWAYS got a howdy neighbors if we met him in the plaza.He will be missed, our sincere condolences from Glenn and I. Angie Frame

  16. My deepest condolences to the Family of Keith, he was always such a kind and
    gentle man. May he rest in peace.

  17. My thoughts are with you, and your families, in this time of great loss. Loved listening to his stories.

  18. So sorry for your loss. Keith was one of a kind. hugs and prayers to the entire family.

  19. With heartfelt sympathy to Bridgite and the family; your dad will be missed and Gold River will not be the same without him. Our thoughts are with you and our prayers are for you at this special time.
    Rob and Debbie

  20. Julie Schimunek

    Chamiss Crescent won’t be the same without him. He will be sadly missed. He was always ready to drop his rake and have a chat. God Bless you all. Love Julie,Ken and family

  21. Brian and Cathy Watson

    Sorry for your loss Bridget, Rick and Cassie. We had many interesting conversations with Keith whenever we brought our boat in and out of storage and he was there. We will miss him.

    Brian and Cathy

  22. Don & Deb Orchard

    Bridget, Richie & Families.. Wish we could have been there. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

    Our condolences and love.

    Don & Deb

  23. Colleen Douglas

    Bridgeton and Rick and family. Sorry for your loss. Was wonderful to have met Keith and you both.

  24. Patrick Marshall

    I was honoured to get to meet Mr. Bell and be the recipient of his many stories and experience. God Bless him and Cassie and all.

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