Bell, Clarence "Ray" (July 19, 1934 - March 4, 2004)

Clarence 'Ray' Bell

Douglas Budget - March 17, 2004

Services and a celebration of life for Clarence "Ray" Bell, 69, of Gillette, were held March 12 at New Life Wesleyan Church in Gillette with Kenna Rose officiating. Interment was at Mount Pisgah Cemetery in Gillette.

Mr. Bell passed away unexpectedly March 4, 2004, at his home in Kingman, Ariz.

He was born July 19, 1934, in Gillette, to Mary Lee (Searcy) and Harold Bell. He was raised and educated in Campbell County, graduating in 1952 from Campbell County High School. He married Ceola Ruby on July 17, 1952.

Mr. Bell joined the Army, serving at the end of the Korean War. After his honorable discharge, he returned to Wyoming and worked on a couple of ranches in the Gillette area until 1964. While working on the ranches Ceola and Ray started their family.

They leased and operated the Jess Ruby Ranch until 1971, when they purchased what is now the Antelope Creek Ranch. Mr. Bell worked as a brand inspector for almost 30 years, and enjoyed that very much. In 1974, he bought his first piece of equipment and started Bell Construction. In 1981, he and his son, Steve, became partners in an oilfield construction company. Following Steve's death in an airplane crash, Mr. Bell started Bell's Restoration with his other son, Russell. In 1998, the Bells semiretired to Kingman, where Mr. Bell could spend more time doing what he loved-rebuilding Model T cars.

Mr. Bell loved flying airplanes, working with horses, antiques and auctions. A favorite pastime was watching old westerns on TV. He enjoyed his family and visiting with friends and had a very special spot in his heart for his granddaughters.

He is survived by his wife Ceola "Shorty"; son Russell Bell and wife Kathy of Gillette; brother Albert Bell and wife Joyce of Great Falls, Mont.; six granddaughters; and a great-granddaughter.

He was preceded in death by his grandparents, William and Alice Bell; his parents, Harold and Mary Lee; sister Ramona Bentz; and son Steven Ray Bell.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in Mr. Bell's name to benefit the Campbell County 4-H Fund. Condolences may be sent in care of Stevenson-Wilson Funeral Home, 210 W. Fifth St., Gillette, 82716, or via the internet at


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