David Scott Bell, 79, passed away in the arms of his wife of 35 years, Melanie, on Aug. 29 at their home on the east bank of his beloved Columbia River in Evans, Wash. He was a husband, father, brother and grandfather lovingly called BopBop.
David was born July 27, 1934 in Rockford, Ill. Following high school, he spent three years in the U.S. Marine Corps where he discovered a love of the diverse cultures of the globe and, in particular, Southeast Asia. This interest led to an undergraduate degree from Beloit College in 1961, where he served as captain of the varsity golf team, and in 1972, a Ph.D from Indiana University in Comparative Political Systems-Southeast Asia.
David’s passion for comparative politics sparked the imagination of his students during his 35 years of teaching at Eastern Washington University. Through Fulbright grants, exchange programs, sabbaticals, and other travel opportunities, he conducted research, taught classes, consulted, and led student and teacher groups to Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, South Korea, Japan, and 27 times to Thailand, a country he cherished. He had extensive professional relationships with numerous foreign ministers and other government officials throughout Southeast Asia.
After retiring in 1999, David continued to keep up with events in that part of the world through the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. He spent his leisure time reading, gardening and fishing the pristine waters of the Inland Northwest.
His mother, Violet Dahlberg and son, Scott “Scotty” Robert Bell, preceded David in death.
David is survived by his wife, Melanie; his brother, John Bell of Rockford, Ill.; four children: David Perdue, Kirsten Bell Ennis (Gordon), Brent Perdue (Kim) and Chris Bell (Tami). Additionally, he leaves a legacy of 11 grandchildren including Kylee, Lacey, Calvin, Connor, Brendan, Cameron, Garett, Brycen, Myah, Ryan and Carly.
A celebration of his life will be held at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to the Ice Age Floods Institute, Cheney-Spokane Chapter, PO Box 622, Cheney, WA 99004. Please visit the online memorial and sign the guest book at www.danekasfuneralchapel.com. Danekas Funeral Chapel and Crematory has been entrusted with the arrangements.