Clinton M. Bell Jr. of Bellingham, WA passed away peacefully on Thursday, August 22, 2019 at Whatcom Hospice House in Bellingham.
Born in Dalton, GA in 1943 to Edith and Clinton Sr., housewife and minister, he was a high school dropout who enlisted in the United States Army and proudly served his country for 25 years. One of his first assignments was to present the flag to families of fallen soldiers. Finding that too painful, he volunteered for a tour of duty in Vietnam. Until the end of his life he was unable to hear about wounded warriors without shedding tears. He himself was a wounded veteran.
He went to college on the GI Bill, earning a Bachelor and two Masters degrees in business and heath care administration, which led to a career in health care. His assignments took him around the country and the world, but his years in Belgium were the highlight, serving at SHAPE/NATO Medical Center.
Following his retirement from the Army, the family moved to Whatcom County where Clinton was first employed by Whatcom Medical Bureau and later by AON/Sterling Life. His position at WMB allowed him to greet each new physician coming into practice, personally getting to know many and considered them friends.
He was a generous, sensitive, kind, and caring soul. He had strong beliefs, strong opinions, and he was direct – no question about it! He saw the potential in people, expected them to do their best, then encouraged them to do better.
He would do anything to help, whether family, friend, or a stranger, and expected nothing in return. Clinton was fiercely protective of those he loved. His circle of friends was small and he cared deeply for them.
Clinton is survived by his wife, Wendy; daughters, Jeannou, Michelle, and Tammy; sons, Eric and Mark; sister, Regina; brother, Charlie; seven grandchildren; two (soon to be three) great-grandchildren; and a multitude of nieces and nephews.
The family wishes to thank all the medical professionals involved in Clinton’s care and asks that, in lieu of flowers, a donation be made to Whatcom Hospice Foundation.
A private service is planned for the family and close friends.