David Bell

Obituary of David Procter Bell

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David Procter Bell, “D”, husband of Elizabeth Shaw Bell (Betsy), slipped away peacefully on April 4, 2024, one week after celebrating his 91st birthday.  He passed in the home he had lived in since 1965, with family by his side.

Born in Manhattan to the late Haughton and Helen Bell, he was raised in Brooklyn Heights and summered in Easton, CT.  He attended Poly Prep Country Day School and graduated from Bowdoin College in 1955. He began his career in the mailroom of Batten, Barton, Durstein & Osborn (BBDO) Advertising Agency in Manhattan, worked his way up to account executive and then moved to the Thomas J. Lipton Company where he spent the remainder of his career as a marketing executive. 

He married Mary Shute in 1960 and had two children, Leslie Stoddard and Wendy Vanderlyn. In 1965, he moved his family to Wilton, CT.  For the past 42 years, he was married to Betsy and continued living in Wilton and commuting to Englewood Cliffs, NJ until his retirement in 1990. He was a longtime member of the Wilton Riding Club and past Club president, where he played competitive tennis and paddle for many years, joining some of the most fearsome members on the court.

After retiring, he found his passion as a volunteer at Stamford Hospital where he served from 1994 until 2017, accumulating over 23,000 hours.  He spent the majority of his time supporting doctors and nurses in the emergency department and also served on the hospital’s Institutional Review Board. In 2011 he was recognized as a “Hometown Hero” for his volunteer service. D was kind, fair, loyal and quietly engaging. Never judgmental and a friend to all who knew him. Nothing brought him more joy than family and his sun rose and set on his wife Betsy, “B”. He was a devoted husband, father, step-father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend. He took great pride in his children and grandchildren’s accomplishments, and always offered support and a listening ear to anyone who needed it, never disappointment. 

He enjoyed simple pleasures like tennis, paddle and the annual family softball game at Camp Merryweather in his active years; and loved long walks, the NY Times, The NY Giants, Mets and Knicks, cinnamon rolls, his woodpile and always a Budweiser. While he was somewhat more reserved himself, he got a kick out of Imus in The Morning and Eddie Murphy movies. This past year when he spent the majority of the day in his recliner, he’d look forward to the daily check-in for the latest family news and he’d ask about everyone by name.

He leaves behind his adoring wife, Betsy, his daughter Leslie S. Bell of Pine Plains, NY, his daughter Wendy Bell Bentivegna and husband Michael of Southport, CT, his step-daughter Laura Billington Helmig and husband Timothy of Newtown, CT, his step-daughter Hilary Billington-Powell and husband Scott of Portland, OR, and his 8 grandchildren/step-grandchildren; Kevin, Brittney, Elizabeth, Aidan, Quinn, Shaw, Alexandra and Carleton. He is also survived by an older brother, Malcolm (Nancy) of Randolph, VT and a younger brother, Richard “Tigger” (Craige) of San Jose, Costa Rica.

The family would like to extend a special thank you to Cindy, Janet and Veronica for their tremendous care and support during the last few weeks of David’s life.

There will be a celebration of life at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made in David’s memory to The Stamford Hospital Emergency Department Stamfordhospitalfoundation.org or the Wilton Fire Department, 236 Danbury Road
Wilton, CT 06897

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