LODGE POLE - Thomas Joseph Bell, 83, of Lodge Pole died in Lewistown on Friday, April 21, 2006, due to natural causes.
A funeral Mass will be Tuesday at 11 a.m. in Medicine Bear Lodge. Burial will follow at the Lodge Pole Cemetery with military honors. Wake will begin this afternoon at Joe Bell's residence with rosary recited at 7 p.m. at Medicine Bear Lodge.
Joe is a descendant of John Bell, Takes the Prisoner and Little Chief, and the son of Thomas (GrosVentre) and Mary Ann (Assiniboine) (Thinker) Bell. He was raised and attended school in Lodge Pole. He served with Company M of the 163rd Infantry during World War II.
He married Vernie Chopwood on Aug. 15, 1947, in Helena. They lived there a short time. Joe ranched most of his life in the Lodge Pole area and owned and operated the reversed K bar P Ranch. He encouraged his children to work hard, and do well.
Survivors include his children, Beverly Brown of Fort Belknap, Linda Candelaira of Albuquerque, N.M., Benny (Joan) Bell of Billings, Kathy (Roland) Plain Feather of Pryor, Jerome (Desiree) Bell of Fort Belknap, Belva Bell of Hardin, Alpha (Joe) Ironman of Lodge Pole, Robert (Diane) Healy and Jerry Healy of Fort Belknap; brothers, George Bell and Terrance Bell of Lodge Pole, and Hank Bell of Fort Belknap; sisters, Leona Winn of Hays and Mona Azure of Butte; 32 grandchildren; and numerous great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Vernie Bell in 1993; son, Verdel Bell in 1957; brothers, Preston and Matt Bell; and sister, Katherine Bell Whitcher.
Arrangements are by Edwards Funeral Home of Chinook.