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Marlin Bell Sr.


Born in Penbrook on December 2, 1918, he was the son of the late Monroe and Emma Tschopp Bell.

He retired in 1973 as an equipment specialist from the Mechanicsburg Navy Depot after 31 years of service; was a 1936 graduate of the former Swatara Township High School where he was a member of the Alumni Association; he served with the United States Army Air Corps 984th Engineer Squadron in World War II; and was a life elder and the longest living member of Swatara Church of God, Harrisburg, where he was a Sunday school teacher, served as a choir member for 56 years, was on Church Council for 25 years, was the financial secretary for 20 years, and was a member of the church’s Diamond Diners.  

He was also a member of the Hummelstown Golden Age Club, the Antique Automobile Club of America and its Hershey Region, the Antique Chevrolet Club of Gettysburg, and American Legion Post 265, Hummels-town; he was a charter member and former driver of the Hummelstown Elder Express; was an antique car enthusiast; and enjoyed playing bingo.    

He was preceded in death by his first wife Sylvia Keim Bell on November 15, 1982, a sister Alberta Brown; five brothers Edward, Floyd, Paul, Orville and Eugene; and a stepson, William H. Reed.

He is survived by his wife of 29 years Florence M. Hoover Reed Bell, whom he married on December 23, 1983; two sons The Rev. Robert L. Bell, husband of Paula of Harrisburg, and Marlin N. Bell Jr., husband of Vicki of Middletown; two daughters Virginia Lerew, widow of Glenn of Mechanicsburg; and Betty Gardner, widow of David of Harrisburg; one stepdaughter Catherine E. Eshenour, widow of Jack of Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.; one sister Bernice Hoffman; six grandchildren; five stepgrandchildren; five great-grandchildren; 12 stepgreat-grandchildren; and seven stepgreat-great-grandchildren.

A Funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, October 16, at Swatara Church of God, 4860 Lindle Road, Harrisburg, with the Rev. Robert L. Bell, his son, and The Rev. Michael Nelson, his pastor, officiating.  

Interment with military honors will be in Woodlawn Memorial Gardens, Lower Paxton Township.  

Friends are invited to visit with the family from 10 a.m. until time of the service on Wednesday at the church.

Arrangements by Trefz & Bowser Funeral Home, Inc., Hummelstown.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that memorial contributions be made to Hospice of Central PA, 1320 Linglestown Road, Harrisburg, PA 17110; or to Frey Village Personal Care Benevolent Fund, 1020 North Union St., Middletown, PA 17057.

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