Robert J. "Barney" Bell was born to Robert Bell and Gertrude Maud Bell in Hailey, Idaho, on Oct. 12, 1923, where they lived for six years.
They then moved to Walden, Colo., where his dad worked in the sheep and livestock business. He graduated from high school in Walden and entered Colorado State College at Fort Collins, Colo., where he spent two years. He was active in his fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon.
He joined the 10th Mountain Division (Ski Troops) and trained at Camp Hale, Colo. During his tour of duty with the 86th Mountain Regiment on the Apennine front in Italy, he received the Bronze Star for Courage. He also won the Good Conduct Medal and the Combat Infantry Badge.
He moved to Sun Valley, Idaho, in 1946, where he met the love of his life, Shirley Mulick, from Omaha, Neb. They were married in December of 1947. They raised three children, Robby, Patty, and Danny, in Sun Valley.
Barney was an active member of the IOOF Hall, the David Ketchum American Legion Hall and the Ketchum Volunteer Fire Department. He worked for the Union Pacific Railroad for many years, and he also owned and operated Valley Security and worked at the Sun Valley Post Office until his retirement.
Dad was an avid outdoorsmen; he loved to hunt and fish and especially loved weekend getaways with the Ketchum Four-Wheel Drive Club. He loved riding his horse Brigham and rode frequently in the Wagon Days Parade next to the Big Hitch ore wagons. He was also an avid skier on Baldy, Dollar Mountain, and Kinderhorn, where he taught his children to ski.
Barney passed away at Bridgeview Care Center in Twin Falls on Nov. 29, 2007, and hung on long enough for his daughter Patty to get here from Alaska.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Robert and Gertrude Bell; wife, Shirley; and second wife, Elsie Fisher. He is survived by three children, Robby (Roxanne) Bell of Fairfield, Idaho; Dan (Sally) Bell of Hamilton, Mont.; and Patty (Dave) Anderson of Homer, Alaska; sister Mickey Mastwright of Huntington Beach, Calif.; 13 grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.
Memorial services and reception were held on Monday, Dec. 3, 2007, at 1 p.m. at Bridgeview Estates in the Great Room. Graveside services and reception will be at the American Legion Hall in Ketchum next summer. Arrangements are under the direction of White Mortuary "Chapel by the Park" in Twin Falls.