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Robert "Bob" Bell Obituary

Robert "Bob" John Bell

October 11, 1929 - August 7, 2017
Born in Pacific Grove, CA
Resided in Salinas, CA
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Robert “Bob” John Bell, husband, father, grandfather, friend and cowboy passed away Monday evening, August 7, 2017, at his home in Salinas, California surrounded by his family. He was 87 years old.

Bob was born to John “Johnny” Henry Bell and Sarah “Frances” Benson on October 11,1929 in Pacific Grove, California. His father Johnny owned the Carmel Dairy and El Rey Beer Company. Bob said his father was “before his time,” adventurous— the first person to fly an airplane under the Bixby Creek Bridge in Big Sur.

“If I had an airplane, I probably would’ve done the same thing,” said Bob.

Johnny died when Bob was just four years old. Bob was raised by Frances’s parents Lawrence “Shorty” and Neva Benson. He was extremely fond of his grandparents, especially Shorty.

“He was without a doubt, morally, the finest man I’d ever known in my whole life,” said Bob.

Bob attended Carmel High School where he played football and baseball. He was an excellent athlete with quite a leg, the Carmel football team called him “Bootin’ Bobby Bell.” Later he attended Monterey Peninsula College where he continued to play football, and for a time, he played for the Braves semi-pro baseball team.

“On Wednesdays and Sundays, we’d get paid $55.00 to play. I guess that was a good job,” he said.

His uncle Jimmy Bell and Aunt Lois owned the Bell Ranch in Carmel Valley, eventually leaving it to Bob. He spent a big part of his life at the ranch.

“We gathered cattle, or built fence, just did whatever it took to make the ranch work. Always a lot to do on the ranch,” he said. “I built a barn up there by myself. It was a hard job.”

In 1975, Bob married Francesca “Fran” Garcia.
They built an active life together riding horses, skiing, golfing and spending time with their close friends and families.

Bob was in the moving business for more than thirty years. He and Francesca owned Monterey Transfer & Storage, a Bekins Van Lines agent in Monterey. They expanded into Salinas in 1989, their business serviced customers throughout Monterey County and across the world. They eventually sold and retired in early 2002, returning to his horses and competing in team roping events.

Bob was a life time member of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, the United States Team Roping Championships, and a member of the Senior Pro Rodeo Association, roping in numerous jackpots and rodeos across the Western United States. After his roping days were behind him, he enjoyed golfing at Corral de Tierra Country Club.

A devout Christian, Bob attended St. Joseph’s Church in Spreckels. His community contributions primarily concerned his faith, the welfare of youth, and animal care, and he provided to multiple of these organizations.

He is survived by his wife Fran and his five children, Peggy Platt (Mark), Patty Selbicky (Mike), Paula Ramirez (Tony), Larry Bell (Pamela) and Michael Herriott (Tracy). He also leaves behind his grandchildren Jess, Julie Anne, Danny, Alissa, Tommy, Bri, Mikey, Jordan, Audra, Robert and Teah. And great-grandchildren Ella, Mollie, Zoie, Lola, Lane, Seth, Judah, Honor and Giacomo. He’s preceded in death by his grandson Matthew Selbicky and his brother Lee McGuckin.

There is no words to describe the sadness we felt for the loss of our family patriarch. Our lives will miss his tremendous presence, but Heaven is rejoicing at his arrival.

Special thanks goes out to his caregiver Nick Vitales and the Visiting Nurse Association, and to Hospice for their love and kindness.

Services will be held at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Spreckels, Thursday, August 17, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. Reception and celebration to follow.




St. Joseph's Catholic Church
Railroad Av and Spreckels Blvd.
Spreckels, CA US 93962
Thursday, August 17, 2017
11:00 AM