Longtime Avon Lake Resident, School Board Member Passes Away

Avon Lake Schools Logo_RGBLong-time Avon Lake City Schools school board member, Vance Bell, 103, passed away Nov. 27 in Fort Collins, Colo.  He was seven weeks shy of turning 104-years-old.  He was school board president in the 1950s during the first wave of new school construction, and his name is on several plaques throughout school buildings in the district.

Bell was born Jan. 19, 1912 at Bashan, Ohio (Meigs County) to Lee and Iva May Bell. His childhood was spent in Delaware, Ohio, where he attended the public elementary schools and graduated from high school. He majored in journalism at The Ohio State University. Bell was a news editor of The Lantern school newspaper at Ohio State. In June 1933, he became a reporter for his hometown newspaper, The Delaware Gazette, where he also served as farm editor.

In February 1940, Bell joined the editorial staff of The Ohio Farmer, published in Cleveland. In December 1944, he became an editorial staff member of the Penton Publishing Co.’s Cleveland-based, Steel magazine, which later became Industry Week. He retired in January 1976.

Bell was a past-president of the Cleveland Professional Chapter of Sigma Delta Chi, journalistic society.

Active in community and educational affairs, he served 24 consecutive years on the board of education in Avon Lake. In 1965 he was president of the Ohio School Boards Association, for which he authored two editions of the book “Basic Boardmanship,” a guide for school board members. He also edited and produced the book, “The Avon Lake Story.”

Bell was one of the founders, a charter member, and past-president of the Avon Lake Kiwanis Club.

Immediately upon retirement, he moved to Myrtle Beach with his wife, Anne. She died in 2008. In June 2009, he moved to Fort Collins, Colo. to be near his children, JoAnn and Charles.

He is survived by his daughter Dr. JoAnn Reckling of Fort Collins, Colo., his son Charles L. Bell of Russellville, Ark., four grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

Condolences may be sent to the children: Dr. JoAnn Bell Reckling, 3261 Nelson Lane, Ft. Collins, CO, 80525 • Charles Bell, 254 Park Road, Russellville, AR 72802

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