Michael J. Bell
Michael Joseph Bell, 68 of Fort Collins, Colorado, and formerly of Saranac Lake, left our world on Thursday, March 7, 2019 after a long battle with pulmonary arterial hypertension, with his wife holding his hand. He fooled all of the doctors over the last year, but his body finally gave up.
Michael was born Sept. 12, 1950 in Saranac Lake to Robert and Helen St. James Bell.
He grew up in Spencerport, where he met his future wife, Linda. It took him 40 years to marry her, but they had 10-plus good years together in Colorado. Mike had many careers in his life. He spent many years as a mason in the construction industry, worked on the family tree farm, but was most proud of becoming a fireman, EMT and OR Scrub Tech later in his life. He loved to wear his Flight for Life jacket. He loved kayaking, fishing, golf, hockey, his Yankees and Giants (despite Eli Manning), all baseball and football (the Red Zone made him very happy!), NASCAR, all Olympics but especially the winter ones, and his Adirondack Mountains.
Living near the Olympic Training Center at Lake Placid gave him the opportunity to train with the best and he became a bobsledder, which was one of his favorite accomplishments. He enjoyed all kinds of music, classical, opera, Celtic, Oldies and frequently serenaded the dog with bits of opera arias! When he moved to Colorado he became very active at City Park Nine as a golfer and marshall, got involved with his wife’s pool leagues, and then started playing in another league with some of his golfing buddies. He will be missed by all who knew him and best remembered for his quirky sense of humor and his love of talking to people and telling stories.
He leaves behind his wife Linda; his children Michael and Michelle; two brothers: Thomas (Patty) and Robert (Leslie); his step-daughter and son Katrina and Chris King; two step-sons: Steven and Dana (Carrie) VanNess; his mother-in-law Mary Graves; sisters-in-law Marilee Rice and Sue Otteman; brother-in-law Gary Graves; three grandchildren; two step-grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; nephews Christopher and Raymond Tallman; four nieces and nephews; and many other relatives here and in Canada.
He was pre-deceased by his parents, Helen and Robert Bell; his two sisters: Barbara Tallman and Patricia Rankin; and two brothers-in-law: Donny Tallman and Bruce Rankin.
So far, there is no cure for the disease that took Mike’s life. He would be very happy to have donations made in his memory to the Pulmonary Hypertension Association, https://phassociation.org/donate/ or the Saranac Lake Volunteer Fire Department or the Saranac Lake Volunteer Rescue Squad. We would like to thank his doctors, nurses and care providers for their excellent care over the last few years and everyone who helped keep him comfortable during the last few months.