Dale H. Bell, 94, of Boise, formerly of Buhl, passed away in the early morning of January 5, 2020, surrounded by his family.
Dale was born in a one-room home on February 5, 1925, the seventh of eight children, in Albion, Idaho, to Albert and Jenny Harris Bell. Surrounded by mountains and pastures, his youth was spent herding sheep, swathing grain, and feeding cattle, even in the snowy cold winters. Dale loved sports and was an outstanding basketball and football player. After graduation in 1943, he was drafted into the U.S. Army. Upon his return home, he enrolled at the Albion Normal School and played football – well, he got to play in two football games, but when his coach told him he also had to attend class, he quit. With his meager savings, he went and did the only thing he knew to do – purchase 80 acres in Malta, clear the sagebrush by hand, and begin farming in the summers and doing odd jobs in the winters.
In 1951, a chance meeting after a Paul football game, where his brother was coach, led to him meeting Lila Bosworth, a cheerleader. Their first official date was Valentine’s Day, and they were married June 20, 1952. By the mid 1950s, Dale had been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and sold his farm to his brother. Thinking the milder weather and cattle ranching would be a better fit, Dale and Lila explored the Hagerman Valley for a farm – instead finding Banbury Hot Springs (Lila still remembers “Volare” by Dean Martin was playing on the juke box), and it was magical in every sense of the word.
The day they moved to Banbury’s, May 15th, was also the day Lila found out she was expecting their first child. Christopher was born in 1958, followed by Traci in 1963, and Michael in 1965. Dale loved their valley home and life – selling Banbury’s in 1977, they kept 2.5 acres of the land, building their “forever” home on the banks of the Snake River. This home, with his beautiful gardens and property, would create a lifetime of memories for his children, grandchildren, and extended family. He only left this piece of paradise in June 2009, due to an increasing need to be closer to medical services in Boise.
He was preceded in death by his son, Chris; parents Jenny Harris Bell and Albert Bell; sisters Melba Egbert and Chloe Warr; and brothers Floyd, Les, Leo, and Deward. He is survived by sister Althora Darrington, and sister-in-law Leah (Lynn Taggert) Bell; his sweetheart, wife Lila; children Traci (Gary) Wavra, Michael (Sara), and daughter-in-law Cathy; grandchildren Josef (Jacquie), Kayla (Cody), Kelsie (Amanda), Jake (Nessa), Makenna, Elaine, and Grady; and great-grandchildren Rylie, Ayden, Teagan, and Henry.
Services will be held Saturday, January 11, 2020, 12pm, at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 501 Main St., Buhl, Idaho, with Bishop Clay Montgomery presiding. A viewing will begin one hour prior to the services, and burial will follow at the Buhl Cemetery. During Dale’s “retirement,” he thoroughly enjoyed selling tickets (and playing bouncer) at Buhl athletic events. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Dale’s name to the Buhl Public School Foundation, PO Box 108, Buhl, Idaho 83316. Donations will be used for the athletic departments of the District.