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friends, shooting buddies, TMCCC

Mark Bell, R.I.P.

I wrote a post a few months back regarding good friend, shooting buddy and true gentleman Mark Bell.
Sadly, his wife Cathy called me this morning to advise me he had passed away from a heart attack suddenly yesterday.  He was in good shape, and had no history of heart problems.  He was 60.
We had just attended the Central Arizona Blogshoot together this past Sunday! 
Please send Cathy and Lindsay (his daughter) your prayers.
I tried to think of something meaningful to write and decided my previous post was as good as anything.
Here it is, below, in it’s entirety.

Most of my friends are old friends.  People I’ve known twenty, thirty years or more.  My friend Jim, for example, I met when I was in the 3rd Grade, he in the 1st.  In 1960!
Mark, therefore, is, by this definition, a new friend.  I’ve only known him, what?. Fifteen years?
Mark and I met while working together at TMCCC, in the Security Investigations Department.  He’d just transferred in from another area, and befriended me.  Somewhere in this process, he had heard I was the ‘gun guy’.
Along the way he had a detour.  He was struck riding his bicycle from work by a hit-and-run driver.  One leg was seriously mangled and broken, and he wore one of those metal splint devices with pins going into the bone for some time.  I’m not a big fan of government-mandated bike helmets, but I am thankful he was wearing his.  He still has it, along with the fist-sized hole punched in one side.  He’s now completely recovered, and hikes and visits the gym regularly.
He became a shooting student of mine, then a gunnie in his own right.  A big fan of the 1911, the .357, and the 12 gauge.
And he’s one of the cadre of friends who has supported me, in spirit and sometimes, financially.  Before I was gifted Hobson (the Roomba vacuum) he came by and vacuumed my entire house!  Just because it needed it, and I was unable.
And he came by to assist Dave (the genius mechanic) when he worked on my car.
He’s had some job difficulties, of late, and took a seasonal position at an Amazon contractor’s warehouse.  Physical labor, 10 hour days!  He always seems upbeat, but, I know with his intellect, this must wear on him.
This guy reads The Economist, for chrissakes!  And even stops by this blog with an occasional snarky remark.  I’d expect nothing less.
Thank you for being my friend, Mark.

Since I wrote the above, Mark had left his contractor’s job, and was to begin a new job with AAA Insurance this coming Monday.
One of the bonds Mark and I had was we both had lost daughters.  We understood when most others do not.  I suspect he is with his beloved Kelley now.
I love you brother, and I’ll miss you.
I’ve said before, and will not stop – Go and Hug those you love, and tell them you love them!  Do it NOW!
Because you may never get another chance. – Guffaw

About guffaw1952

I'm a child of the 50's. libertarian, now medically-retired. I've been a certified firearms trainer, a private investigator, and worked for a major credit card company for almost 22 years. I am a proud NRA Life Member. I am a limited-government, free-market capitalist, who believes in the U.S. Constitution and the Rule of Law.


29 thoughts on “Mark Bell, R.I.P.

  1. My condolences and prayers to the family, and you.

    Posted by Don | February 2, 2012, 2:00 pm
  2. Words fail in times like this.My heartfelt condolences to all his friends and family.Love,Tomi

    Posted by Tomi | February 2, 2012, 2:06 pm
  3. Sounds like he was a good man. I'm really glad you got to spend some time with him (one more time) Sunday both doing what you love to do. SHOOTINGSorry for your loss, Guffaw.

    Posted by Matt | February 2, 2012, 2:08 pm
  4. The punch-in-the-chest pain of a phone call like this is so awful. My condolences.

    Posted by ProudHillbilly | February 2, 2012, 2:26 pm
  5. My condolences to you and his family.

    Posted by Keads | February 2, 2012, 2:30 pm
  6. My thanks and gratitude to you all. I'll make certain to pass your messages on to Cathy and the family.

    Posted by Guffaw in AZ | February 2, 2012, 2:44 pm
  7. Yes, Matt. I've reflected on that A LOT in the past hours. Thank you.

    Posted by Guffaw in AZ | February 2, 2012, 2:45 pm
  8. My deepest sympathies to both you and Mark's family. Something like this is never easy to take. You got to spend some quality time with him this past Sunday. And I will hug those around me tonight!!1

    Posted by Tango Juliet | February 2, 2012, 3:16 pm
  9. Thanks, TJ. And do it!

    Posted by Guffaw in AZ | February 2, 2012, 3:50 pm
  10. Thoughts and prayers sent.

    Posted by Old NFO | February 2, 2012, 5:10 pm
  11. Thank you.

    Posted by Guffaw in AZ | February 2, 2012, 5:26 pm
  12. My condolences to his family, and to you. He sounded like a great guy, and way too young.

    Posted by Rev. Paul | February 2, 2012, 6:01 pm
  13. I'm sorry to hear this. Thank you for telling us about him. That is part of him that will stay here.Take care, G.

    Posted by North | February 2, 2012, 6:12 pm
  14. Thanks North

    Posted by Guffaw in AZ | February 2, 2012, 11:03 pm
  15. Thank you, Rev. Paul

    Posted by Guffaw in AZ | February 2, 2012, 11:04 pm
  16. You wove a wonderful story of his life. We should all have such friends. May his wife find comfort in his memory and those you all retain of him.

    Posted by Brigid | February 3, 2012, 7:45 am
  17. Our condolences to the family. It was great to meet you and Mark at the CA shoot. Life is too short sometimes.

    Posted by Primeval Papa | February 3, 2012, 1:23 pm
  18. Wow. My condolences to Mark's family and to you. As Don said, life is too short.

    Posted by Kevin Baker | February 3, 2012, 7:05 pm
  19. Thanks, Brig, and for being there…

    Posted by Guffaw in AZ | February 4, 2012, 12:50 pm
  20. Thank you for your kindness.Glad we had the chance to meet you, as well.

    Posted by Guffaw in AZ | February 4, 2012, 12:50 pm
  21. Thank you, Kevin. I'm so glad he got to have such a great time last Sunday!

    Posted by Guffaw in AZ | February 4, 2012, 12:51 pm
  22. George, thank you for sharing this wonderful story of my husband, Mark. I know how much your friendship meant to Mark, and I hope to continue our friendship in his memory. Mark was a loving, wonderful, husband , father and friend. Bless you all for sharing…His loving wife,Cathy

    Posted by Anonymous | February 5, 2012, 1:14 pm
  23. You are more than welcome, Cathy. He touched many people. Anything I can do…

    Posted by Guffaw in AZ | February 5, 2012, 4:11 pm
  24. I worked with Mark at USAA for a couple of years and went out shooting with him and another coworker once.He was a class act. I was very sorry to see him leave the company and felt he was way under utilized. Mark was intelligent, articulate, and just a great guy to talk to.My condolences to his family and will keep them in my prayers.Travis

    Posted by Anonymous | February 6, 2012, 12:19 pm
  25. Thank you for your remembrance and kind remarks. He was indeed a class act. I'll pass your remarks to his family.

    Posted by Guffaw in AZ | February 6, 2012, 4:40 pm
  26. Very nicely said Guffaw. Sounds like you guys had a great friendship, the kind that is very rare. I had the priveladge of meeting Mark at USAA. We shared a cubby for over a year or more. Mark was definately a cool guy. He was a very kind and calm man. He seemed to know a little bit about everything in life. I loved that he was always wanting to learn more and was very open minded. When we talked he seemed to really listen, most people dont do that. We shared a passion for fitness and fine dining. Mark actually introduced me to one of my favorite restaraunts Capital Grille. Mark did have a passion for shooting and guns that he shared with us. He inspired me to want to learn how to shoot a gun. I am definately gonna make it a priority to get to the shooting range and check it out very soon. My condolences to you and his family. Mark definately had to leave this world way too soon. He will be missed. It was a pleasure working with him at USAA.

    Posted by Anonymous | February 7, 2012, 12:49 pm
  27. Thank you for you kind remarks and remembrance.

    Posted by Guffaw in AZ | February 9, 2012, 9:13 am


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