William (Bill)'s Story

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William (Bill) Thompson Bell, beloved father, grandfather, great-grandfather and friend to many, passed away in Huntsville, Texas after a short illness. Bill was born on April 3, 1928, and passed away July 28, 2017 at the age of 89.
Bill married the love of his life, Margaret Louise Nelson, on October 12, 1949. Bill and Margaret had five children and had been married 43 years at the time of her passing. Bill was predeceased by son Gary Alan Bell, daughter Elise Gaye Bell Brasic, two brothers and three sisters.
He is survived by son Vince Bell and wife Sarah, daughter Shary Bell, daughter Elaine Bell and husband Howard, three grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. He is also survived by brother Robert Bell and wife Nell of Lufkin, Texas, numerous nieces and nephews, and long-time friend Bonnie Bell of Huntsville, Texas.
Bill was born in Nacogdoches, Texas and graduated from Nacogdoches High School. He then went on to graduate from Stephen F. Austin State University with dual Bachelor of Science Degrees in chemistry and mathematics. After graduation, he joined Schlumberger Technology Company and went to work as a field engineer in South America. Schlumberger soon discovered Bill had a very creative mind and was a problem-solver, which brought him to Houston Headquarters to manage one of their engineering groups. His creativity was again quickly recognized and he was chosen to be the head of the Mechanical Engineering department. During his tenure in the engineering department, some of this creativity resulted in several United States patents. Some of the tools developed from those patents are still in use today in the oil field. In seven decades, Bill generated a total of 52 United States patents. Approaching retirement age, Bill was requested to supervise the design and building of the Schlumberger Rosharon/Sandy Point facility. After completion of this project, he chose to retire from Schlumberger after 34 years. However, Bill didn't really retire. He consulted for some years, and trained many in the industry throughout the world. He also started a business, got it making a profit, and sold it. He next began W.T. Bell International, Inc. (WTBI), which is a very successful on-going business engaged in the development and manufacturing of specialty explosive products for the international petroleum industry. Bill continued to work improving and developing new products for the company until two weeks before his passing.
Bill was a kind and very generous person both with his time and knowledge. He was always willing to lend a helping hand to someone who was down and in need. He was a devoted father and friend who loved the Lord, and will truly be missed by all who knew and loved him. We know that he is in Heaven, and is working diligently on designs to make it an even better place.
A memorial service celebrating his life will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 5, 2017 at Sam Houston Memorial Funeral Home, 1700 Normal Park, Huntsville, Texas 77340, 936-295-7300.
In lieu of customary remembrances, the family requests, with gratitude, that memorial contributions in his name be directed to the charity of their choice.
Full obituary may be viewed and memorial condolences made to the family at www.shmfh.com.
Published on August 2, 2017
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