Richard Bell

East Peoria Times-Courier
Richard Bell

WASHINGTON - Richard “Dick” Lowell Bell, 90, of Washington passed away at 12:25 AM on Sunday February 14, 2021, in Morton with his family by his side.

Dick was born on July 1, 1930, in Gertrude, WA to Elmo and Mae Smith Bell. He married JoAnn Maloney in Peoria on Feb. 15, 1964.  She preceded him in death in 2011.

Surviving are two daughters, Ann (Greg) Yakle of Williamsville, IL and their children, Eric, Zachary and Gage, and Janet (Jeff) Leman of Morton and their children Cameron, Cosette, Conner and Calvin, and one son, James Bell of Peoria.

After high school, Dick attended Drury College in Springfield, MO.  From 1951-1953, he served overseas in the Korean War, earning 2 bronze stars.  In 2018, he traveled with Janet to Washington, DC on the Greater Peoria Honor Flight, visiting many of the War Memorials and Arlington National Cemetery.

He worked for the Springfield News-Leader, later moving to Central Illinois to work for Caterpillar, Inc as a draftsman for 35 years.

Dick trusted Christ as his Saviour and was a member of Grace Bible Church in Washington.  He served in the Boys Brigade and Awana programs at the church.  He was also a board member of Land O’ Lincoln Camp Cherith for several years.

Along with JoAnn, he owned and operated Bell’s Art Seller where he framed her artwork along with other pieces of art for their customers.  He always enjoyed woodworking and made many toys for his grandchildren.  He also spent countless hours reading them their favorite books.  One of his most loving acts was to provide a loving home to three fatherless children through adoption. His dry sense of humor and kind and gentle spirit touched so many throughout his life.

Funeral services for Dick will be held on Wednesday February 17, 2021 at 11 AM at Grace Bible Church in Washington with Pastor Adam Kipp officiating. There will be a visitation for Dick one hour prior to the service at the church.  Burial will follow in Hillcrest Memory Gardens, south of Washington.

Calvert & Metzler Memorial Home in Bloomington is handling arrangements.

In lieu of flowers, memorials for Dick may be made to Land O’ Lincoln Camp Cedarbrook at 610 W. Jefferson, Washington, IL 61571 or online at

Condolences to the family may be made online at