Life Story: Donald J. Bell, 86; Ex-Chief Of Middlebush Volunteer Fire Department

Donald J. Bell of Somerset passed away on March 24 at home. He was 86.

Born and raised in New Brunswick, he has lived in Somerset since 1963.

He worked as a repairman, first for GE then for his own business Mid County Repair in Somerset before retiring in the late 1990s.

Donald was a longtime active member and past chief of the Middlebush Volunteer Fire Department in Somerset. He served with the Fire Police and multiple terms as Fire Commissioner and received many awards for his community service over the years. He was also a member of the New Jersey Region Antique Automobile Club of America.

Donald enjoyed watching NY Giants football, reading and learning, boating, fishing, woodworking, HAM radio, working on his antique cars and most of all spending time with his family.

He is predeceased by his parents, Donald and Catherine Bell; his brother, Stanley Bell, and sister-in-law, Sandra Johnson.

Surviving are his wife of 63 years, Nancy; son and daughter-in-law, David Bell and Rhonda Browning of Stockton; daughters and sons-in-law, Denise and Eugene O’Bara of Manville and Janice Bell and Fabio Bonetti of Arlington, Virginia; seven grandchildren, Kristen (and her partner Trevor), Kelly (and her fiancé Charlie), Lorenzo, Sveva, Austin, Rory and Kerri (and her husband Jason); 2 great-grandchildren, Brielle and Luke; brother-in-law, James Johnson Sr., sister-in-law, Patricia Bell; nephews – Stanley, Kenn, Peter, Paul and Jimmy; great nieces and nephews; and beloved family dog, Ginger.

Visitation will be held from 3-7 p.m. March 29 at the Gleason Funeral Home, 1360 Hamilton Street. For those wishing to attend via Zoom please click HERE and enter passcode 641196.

Funeral service to be held at 10 a.m. March 30 at the funeral home with burial to follow in Cedar Grove Cemetery, Somerset.

Donations in lieu of flowers can be made to the Middlebush Fire Department, PO Box 6687, Somerset, New Jersey 08875-6687.

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