After going into extra innings in his battle with cancer, John Jet Bell was called home to the Lord’s house on June 14, 2019 at his home in Post Falls, Idaho.
John was born February 10, 1941 in Iowa City, Iowa to mother, Mary Jane Stump and father, Elmo Jet Bell. At a young age the family moved to Kellogg, Idaho where he ultimately met and married the girl of his dreams, Marilyn Heier. They were married July 18, 1961 and soon began their family.
He worked in the Bunker Hill Mine until 1969. He then worked in the Box Shop at Kaiser Aluminum for 28 years, retiring in 1995. During that time, thanks to Jon Prendergast, he started coaching a Post Falls Little League team in 1971. Jet proved to have a serious skill for coaching, taking his team to Regionals for the 1974 Little League World Series in San Bernardino, California. While the boys didn’t win the tournament, life-long friendships were formed. That core group of players continued to share the ball field through their Legion League years winning many games and titles together. When the boys became men, Jet began coaching them in fast pitch softball which ultimately led him to umpiring thousands of baseball and softball games. Because he umpired so many games, it is rare for a local ball player to not know “ole blue eyes”.
After retiring and finding himself idle in the wintertime, Jet found a new interest, refereeing basketball. His true passion was working with the kids on the court, but there were a few referees he coached as well; sharing his techniques and drive for keeping everyone on and off the court accountable to a high standard of sportsmanship. Jet focused his efforts to keep order on his court or field and made sure players and spectators were allowed the opportunity to show their best side or he would say, “You’re outta here!!”
John is survived by his wife of 57 years, Marilyn; his sons: Mark (Alexis), Brian (Kathi) and Rick (Kay); his daughter, Janae (Rob) Gravelle; his 8 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; brother, Arthur (Ducky) and many nephews and nieces. He is preceded in death by his parents, Mary and Elmo; his brother, Jack; and sister, Connie.
Services for John will be at 3:00 pm on Monday, July 1, 2019 at Christ the King Lutheran Church: 1700 E Pennsylvania Ave, Coeur d’Alene, ID. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to: The Schneidmiller Hospice House.
Please Visit John’s online memorial at www.englishfuneralchapel.com and leave a message of condolence. Arrangements have been entrusted to English Funeral Chapel, Post Falls.