Obituary for George Edward Bella
George Bella was born on June 23, 1931 to Roza (Makkos) and Gaza Bella in the family home north of Melville. He was the eldest son of seven children.
George was predeceased by a sister in infancy, his parents, his brothers Elmer, Robert and Frederick and his daughter Kathryn (1991) and son-in-law Werner Block (2018). He is survived by his wife, Anita, his daughter Elaine Bella and son-in-law Cliff Willick, and his son, David. He is also survived by his grandchildren Jennifer and Sarah Block, Tyson Willick & friend Dakota Graff, and Jessica Willick; plus two sisters Margaret and Dorothy and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
George was a worker. From an early age his mother taught him and his brothers housekeeping skills, including cooking and his dad taught farming skills. George remembers stooking for farmers at an early age – probably 10 or 11 years of age – and getting very little pay. It was just what you did.
George was employed by the CNR (as it was known in those days) for most of his working life, starting in Kindersley. Along with his CNR job, he had a side job painting houses and another side job trucking. He met and married Anita Epp in Kindersley in 1953. In 1955 he was transferred to Melville where he remained for the rest of his life.
When they moved to Melville in 1955 they lived in rented rooms. George helped his parents with their house and garden. In 1958 they moved to Dawn School (about 4 miles north of Birmingham) where Anita was employed as the teacher. George maintained the school and house and even made a rink one year, even though he had to haul the water. At this time, George was traveling back and forth from Dawn School to work in Melville on a daily basis. When they moved back to Melville in 1962, he was noted for helping neighbours and friends. When Phil Walt bought property outside of town, George was in his glory going out there and working with whatever Phil had in mind, especially anything to do with horses.
His boundless energy allowed him time for fun, too. He enjoyed square-dancing, hunting, and was one of the first to own a snowmobile. He attended the children’s events when he could (being a railroader that was not always possible). He helped to coach David’s hockey and ball teams and helped build sets for the figure skating club. George was a member of the Fish and Game League and the Elks for many years as well. When he retired in 1986 he bought a horse named Robin. He kept Robin at Phil’s place and thoroughly enjoyed all the chores, grooming and training aspects of owning a horse. Then in 1989 Anita entered him in the Senior Games in Yorkton. He was furious on the way down to the Games but was smiling on the way back having won three medals. From then on he was happy to compete. George and Anita went to the National Games in Medicine Hat, AB; Summerside, PEI; Whitehorse, Yukon; and Portage La Prairie, MB over the years. He had a box full of medals from placing in walking, running, shotput, and javelin. He enjoyed hockey and had season tickets to watch the Melville Millionaires.
His grandchildren had come along by then. He doted on them. George attended all the skating, dance and piano performances of the older two and thoroughly enjoyed the rodeo events of the younger two.
Upon retirement, he joined the Agri-Park Association. He volunteered for many jobs including cooking hamburgers at the events held there, grooming the tracks, mowing the grass, painting, welding together gates and panels, etc. He was honoured to receive the traditional salute during the RCMP Regimental March in May 2011 at the conclusion of the Musical Ride held at the Agri-Park.
Anita and George took a more active part in the church upon retirement. Once again, George’s passion for cooking prevailed as he cooked countless pancakes and cut up many turkeys for special functions. He carried bags of groceries for the UCW, peeled dozens of eggs for sandwiches, and was often chosen to pour tea.
Having laid his mother and father to rest, he was not accepting of Kathryn’s death, nor his three brothers’ deaths. “They all died on me”.
He could not accept his waning strength nor his failing memory. He was able to drive his Durango until December 18 when he came down with pneumonia. Even then, he did not want to seek medical attention but finally relented. He suffered a pulmonary embolism on January 18 and closed his eyes in death on January 22. Rest in peace – your work is done.
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Nos plus sincères sympathies à la famille et aux amis de George Edward Bella June 23 1931 –
January 22 2019..