We Remember

BELL, Gerald McKinley

Gerald McKinley Bell passed away suddenly Thursday, March 10 in Kelowna, BC. He was surrounded by his loving wife, children, and family members. He was vibrant and lucid to the end, sharing stories with his children and wife throughout his last day. Gerry will be remembered by his wife Irene Delores, children Marni (Mike), Scott, and Tama (Jason) and grandchildren Mckenna, Flynn, and Malley Richardson, McKinley, Finbar, and Hamish Bell, Kinsey, Lexi, and Brix Corday, brother Brian Bell, his wife Patricia, and children Shawn and Kevin and their partners and children.


Gerry grew up on the family farm in Lake Errock and attended school in Deroche and Mission, all in BC’s Fraser Valley. Many of the family’s fondest memories are of holidays spent on the farm. At UBC Gerry completed his B.A. and Education degrees and soon embarked on his life’s adventure. For many reasons he had a fondness and connection to the Yukon. His earliest teaching position was in Whitehorse where he met Irene, his partner for life. Along with his teaching career, Gerry established lasting friendships through sport and his vocation.  Memories from this time include travelling by plane to Anchorage, with Irene in tow, for a basketball tournament and landing to the ruin following the March 27, 1964 earthquake.


Soon betrothed, Gerry and Irene decamped back to BC, this time to a new home in Summerland. In Summerland, he took up a post at Summerland Secondary (SSS), holding teaching, counselling, and librarian posts until his retirement. Gerry was outgoing and had a good word for everyone. Many peoples’ memories will include having him on their side, working for their betterment, and generally trying to make everyone’s day and life a little better. A landmark contribution was the development, with other close “tennis friends,” of the Lakeshore Racquets Club. It was a centre of family life for years.


Gerry spent his retirement years playing tennis, golf, and volleyball daily with friends. He loved having his grandchildren around and travelling to warmer climates, usually with friends, family, and activities on his agenda. If one thing marked his retirement, it was his capacity to maintain an extensive network of friends, including an SSS lotto group that lasted for decades. He and Irene lived happily in Kelowna, making the transition to a new community with ease.


He is loved and will be sadly missed by many. We’ll all relish the memories we have of our time with him. As his daughter Tama says, “the best man ever.”


His family thanks everyone involved in his care.


A celebration of life is planned for Saturday, April 30th at 10:00 am at the Springfield Funeral Home.   In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Cancer Centre for the Southern Interior, 399 Royal Avenue, Kelowna, BC, V1Y 5L3.  If you wish to send a condolence, post photos or share a memory, please scroll down the page to the area called “Share Your Condolences.”

Saturday, April 30th at 10:00 am

Springfield Funeral Home

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Cancer Centre for the Southern Interior, 399 Royal Avenue, Kelowna, BC, V1Y 5L3.


Service Information

Service Details

The service for BELL, Gerald McKinley is scheduled for Saturday, April 30th at 10:00 am . Below you will find the map for the service location and the contact information should you have any questions.

Address & Contact for Service Location:

Springfield Funeral Home

2020 Springfield Road Kelowna, BC


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  • Greg Gartrell says:

    I am saddened to hear of the passing of Gerry Bell, or Mr. Bell as I knew him. Mr. Bell was a major influence on my decision to enter the education profession. Mr. Bell was a teacher and tennis coach during my years at Summerland Secondary School and his outgoing and humorous nature made him a favourite among his students. Many of my favourite memories of high school include Mr. Bell and his passion for teaching and tennis. As an educator, I can only strive to impact students the way the Mr. Bell impacted me. My thoughts are with his family at this time.

    • Scott Bell says:

      Greg, thanks for the thoughtful remarks. Dad lived to help others and knowing that he might have had a small role in decisions like yours was always gratifying for him. Best to you family.

  • Cathi says:

    My heartfelt sympathies to your whole family. Gerry was a great man, a good listener, and smart too! So sorry to hear this sad news!

  • Candy Markin says:

    Dear Marnie, Scott and family…

    We were honored SSS students to have experienced the leadership and wisdom shared by Mr. Gerry Bell.
    Sincere condolences for your loss of such a positive role model and father.

  • Angela Moyls says:

    This is sad news in deed. He will be greatly missed by all his friends. I have many fond memories of our times together on the Summerland Racquets Club board of directors and on the courts themselves. He truly believed that tennis was for everyone and we should be out there on the court doing our best and having fun. My condolences to all of his family and to his many friends

  • sharron Bradley says:

    My thoughts and prayers to you Irene, Marni, Scott, and Tama, and your grandchildren.
    I have many great memories of your entire family. Gerry will always hold fond memories for me as he was my boss in the Library.
    Love from Terry and Sharron.

  • Janine Goodall says:

    Dear Marni and family,
    I am so glad that I got to meet your father at the Mission Tennis Club. He always had such a positive presence on the court. I loved listening to the stories that he would share about your family adventures. Cherish those memories. I am so sorry for your loss.

  • Neil & Madelaine McGill says:

    Gerry’s family – what a wonderful kind man. I met Gerry through tennis and enjoyed many games with him. We often shared stories of his life up north. I don’t think I have met anyone more accommodating than Gerry. He put everyone before himself. I will miss you Gerry.
    Neil McGill

  • Anne Davidson says:

    My heartfelt sympathy and from Edi and Lorne to you Irene, Marni, Scott and Tama and your families, at the loss of such a special person in your lives and in the lives of extended family and so many friends and colleagues. Gerry was such a fine person to work with and always one of my very favourite people. He certainly will be greatly missed.
    I will attend his service on the 30th of April. It will be a time for sharing wonderful memories. You will be in our thoughts over these next weeks.
    Love to you all. Anne, Edi and Lorne Davidson

  • Gerald Blystone says:

    RIP Gerry. You were truly a fine human being. I enjoyed every conversation we had together during the time I knew you. You truly will be missed.

  • Therese Washtock says:

    Mr. Bell was a wonderful, kind, helpful person. I moved to Summerland in 1979 and was lucky to have him at Summerland Secondary School.

    I hope your wonderful memories help to guide the family through this difficult time.

  • Charley Mayer says:

    One great man and teacher….will be missed. It was always a pleasure and privilege working with Gerry…
    Like · Reply · 2 mins

  • Frank and Jane Martens & Family says:

    It is with sadness in our hearts that we learned of Gerry’s passing. We hope that it was as painless as possible under the circumstances.
    Jane and I remember with fondness our relationship with the Bells during the time that they both lived in Summerland.
    Gerry was a competitive table tennis player and I enjoyed the many games we had at SSS while we were both there.
    We offer our condolences to the Bell family.
    Frank, Jane and family, Wendy, Graham and Brenda

    • Scott Bell says:

      Martens, thanks for the thoughts. I personally have fond memories of the time we got to spend together and the connection that Dad had with Frank and Jane and the rest of the family.

  • Sue Skidmore says:

    I remember when we lived next door to the Bells in Summerland for a short time. He was a good neighbour. So much more to be said about him, but to be thought of as a good neighbour is an honorable thing indeed. Hugs to the family..

  • Ralph Kinross says:

    Mrs Bell and family, So sorry to hear about Gerry,we will always have the great memories of way back in the 50s and Mission boys. and fun times

  • Wayne and Carla McLeod says:

    Dear Irene, please know we are thinking of you at this sad time. May you find strength in your family and comfort in your memories. I think of you often and will always remember Mr. Bell.

  • Jeff McCrae says:

    So sad to hear of Gerry’s passing. I spent many a day enjoying a round of golf with Gerry at the Quail and Bear courses. I would often go to the course early and try to sneak in a round before work and inevitably Gerry would welcome me to join his group if they had room. I will always think of Gerry especially at this time of year because we would often talk about basketball, NCAA and the Toronto Raptors, while we played and reminisce about the days when we used to play the game. Gerry was ever present at the club, even having a special breakfast named after him on the restaurant menu. A very kind and appreciative man who always remembered to ask me to say hi to my wife, Rita, who had treated him once at the cancer clinic. He will be fondly remembered and sorely missed. I will cherish the memory of his infectious laugh.

  • Heather Johnson says:

    So sorry to hear about Mr Bell. Throughout my five years of high school in Whitehorse I never heard a negative word about him. He was by far our most popular and beloved teacher and had a positive influence on his students. My condolences to his family, I am sure he was a wonderful, compassionate father and partner.

  • Jillian Belbin and Lincoln Loo says:

    Marnie – we are both so sorry to hear that your Dad passed away. We enjoyed him as a patient at our office for many years and he will be missed very much. Please know that myself Lincoln, and the entire office are thinking of you and your family.

  • KEN MCKINNON says:

    Dear Irene and family:
    Such a shock for all of your Yukon friends to hear of Gerry’s passing.
    We always thought if we could survive all of those years of basketball trips together – nothing could ever harm us!
    Gerry was such a close and intimate friend over so many years that the memories of our times together when we were both so young and carefree just won’t quit.
    He was just a wonderful and caring and special “gentle-man.”
    Now that Air North is flying direct to Kelowna I’ll try my best to make it to the memorial service.
    Yukon sends its love to all of you.

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