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Magazine writer, South Side grad dies


A former resident of northeast Indiana with a long history writing for some of the nation’s most recognizable publications died Thanksgiving Day at the age of 92.

Joseph N. Bell was born in Bluffton but graduated from South Side High School in 1938. He enlisted in the Navy during World War II and was an officer and a pilot, including duty in the South Pacific, according to a release from his family.

After graduating from the University of Missouri and a stint in public relations, Bell went on to become a freelance writer, penning articles for publications such as the Saturday Evening Post, Good Housekeeping, Reader’s Digest and the Christian Science Monitor.

He moved to southern California in the 1950s and lived there until his death.

He is survived by his second wife, Sherry Angel, as well as his three children from his first marriage to Janet Hartman – David Bell of Sacramento, Calif., Patricia Bell or Irvine, Calif., and Debby Bell of Boulder, Colo., as well as a stepson, Erik Patterson of Los Angeles. He is also survived by three grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

A private burial service will take place in Decatur and a memorial service will take place in the Newport Beach, Calif., area at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Donald A. Strauss Scholarship Foundation, 4931 Birch St. Suite 2, Newport Beach, CA 92660.