William Grey Bell
COLUMBIA — William Grey Bell, known as Willie, had a consistent positive presence. He was known for never complaining and for his willingness to help others.
He died Friday, July 8, 2011, in a work-related accident. He was 23.
Mr. Bell was born June 15, 1988, to Thomas Bell and Donna Degener Bell in St. Joseph.
He graduated in 2007 from Hickman High School, where he played lacrosse. He was attending Columbia College and planned to graduate in 2012. Mr. Bell worked part time with the Columbia Parks and Recreation Department.
Faith was important to Mr. Bell. He volunteered at First Presbyterian Church, where he worked with high school boys in youth groups doing Bible study and service projects.
“He was there to support them, to be there for them and to be their friend and just to be a support system for them as they needed to grow in their faith,” said Nathan See, director of youth ministries at First Presbyterian. See had known Mr. Bell since his sophomore year at Hickman.
“He was a great individual that cared about others,” See said.
Preston Turley, director of campus ministries for the church, described Mr. Bell as a person with a “really big heart for others, a heart for service, a really hard worker and dedicated.”
Mr. Bell also enjoyed playing baseball and followed the St. Louis Cardinals. He liked history and visiting Civil War sites and museums with his father.
"He was very passionate about his schooling and very intelligent," Turley said. "He would have gone on to do great things."
Mr. Bell is survived by his parents; a sister, Katherine Bell; and grandfathers Cecil Bell and Donald Degener, all of Columbia.
Grandmothers Oleatha Bell and Clara Degener died earlier.
Visitation will be held from 10 a.m. Tuesday until services begin at noon at First Presbyterian Church, 16 Hitt St.
Memorial contributions may be made to First Presbyterian Church, 16 Hitt St., Columbia, MO, 65201.