Omergene “Gene” Bell, 89, of Winona, died Sunday, January 27, 2013, at Winona Health.
Omergene Columbus was born June 3, 1923, in DeQueen, Arkansas, to Luther and Mildred (Smith) Bell. He graduated from Clayton High School, Clayton, Oklahoma.
He served in the United States Navy during World War WII in the Naval Armed Guard. On February 25, 1946, he married Louise Heston in San Francisco, Calif., and they were married for 61 years. She preceded him in death October 12, 2007. He was formerly employed at J.C. Penney, Kewanee, Ill., and Muscatine, Iowa, and retired as the manager for Tradehome Shoes after 25 years of service. Gene was a member of Wesley United Methodist Church, Winona. He was a very loving, caring and jolly man and would strike up a conversation with anybody who was around him. He enjoyed keeping busy, dancing, playing cards, traveling, fishing and playing golf.
He is survived by his son, Dennis (Rocky Haddorff) Bell, Salisbury Beach, Mass.; a daughter, Bonnie (John) Ruben, Winona; three grandchildren: Mike (LeRoy) Ruben-Schmitz, Sara Ruben and Andrew Ruben; a brother, Phil (June) Bell, Cody Wyoming; nine nieces and nephews; a sister-in-law, Anne (Jim) Kerns, Chariton, Iowa; a special friend and fiancée, Lorraine Orr, Winona; and her children: Sandra (Dave) Brown, LaCrosse, Wis.; Wayne (Patricia) Brown, Fort Collins, Colo., Dennis Brown, Winona; Nancy Frankum, Minnesota City, Min.; and Sharon (Peter) Woyczik, Trempealeau, Wis.; many grandchildren great-grandchildren and other relatives.
He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Louise, and Lorraine’s two sons: Rick and Gale Orr.
Services to remember Gene will be 10:30 a.m. Monday, February 4, 2013, at Wesley United Methodist Church, Winona, with Rev. Justin Halbersma officiating. Military burial honors will be provided by the American Legion Leon J. Wetzel Post 9, Winona at the church after the service. Placement in the niche will be at Woodlawn Cemetery, Winona, Minn.
Visitation will be from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, February 3, at Fawcett-Junker Funeral Home, Winona, and Monday at the church beginning at 9:30 a.m.
Words of sympathy or remembrance may be left at www.fawcett-junkerfuneralhome.com. Services entrusted to Fawcett-Junker Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Winona.