Gary Lee Bell

April 29, 1942 ~ July 31, 2023 (age 81) 81 Years Old
Obituary Image

Gary Bell Obituary

Gary Lee Bell, 81, of Howard passed away on Monday, July 31, 2023, at his home. Funeral services will be 10:30am, Thursday, August 3, 2023, at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Howard, with burial and Military Rites in the church cemetery. Visitation will be 4 to 6 pm, with a Prayer service to be said at 6pm, Wednesday evening, August 2, 2023.  Gary Lee Bell was born April 29, 1942, in Redfield, South Dakota to Emery (Pete) and Evelyn (Scouten) Bell. The family moved to Howard in 1953, Gary attended Howard High School graduating in 1960. In the fall of 1960 Gary attended SDSU in Brookings, studying music education and History. He played the saxophone in The Pride of the Dakotas marching band. Gary entered the Advanced ROTC program reaching 2nd Lieutenant at SDSU. After graduation from SDSU he served in the US Army till 1967, serving in the Vietnam War. In June of 1965 Gary was married to Theowne Hardick and to this union two children were born, Loren and Stephanie. After his Honorable Discharge from the Army, Gary taught band and chorus in Elk Point and Harrisburg, SD. Gary also worked for Spader’s Campers in Sioux Falls for two years, before returning to Howard to take over the Ben Franklin store in 1980 for 13 years. Before Gary retired, he managed the County Seat Bar and Steakhouse and the Howard Golf Club. Gary was a member of the St. John’s Lutheran Church, Howard, where he held various offices and sang in the church choir. Gary was very active in the American Legion Howard Post #145, serving as the Adjutant and later Commander, he also assisted in coaching the Legion baseball team for many years. Gary enjoyed golfing, watching his grandchildren participate in concerts, plays, volleyball and basketball games. He was a lifelong Vikings and Twins fan. Those grateful for having shared in his life include his wife: Theowne of Howard, SD; a son: Loren (Dianne) Bell of St. Michael, MN; a daughter: Stephanie (Quentin) Flippin of Mitchell, SD; four grandchildren: Ethan and Emery Bell; Ella and Hope Flippin. Gary was preceded in death by his parents: Emery (Pete) and Evelyn Bell.  

Condolences may be sent to the family at

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Gary Lee Bell, please visit our floral store.

Friends and family have shared their relationship to show their support.
How do you know Gary Lee Bell?
We are sorry for your loss.
Help others honor Gary's memory.


August 2, 2023

4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Willoughby Funeral Home
301 N Main St
Howard, South Dakota 57349

Prayer Service
August 2, 2023

6:00 PM
Willoughby Funeral Home
301 N Main St
Howard, South Dakota 57349

Funeral Service
August 3, 2023

10:30 AM
St. John's Lutheran Church
502 S. Main St
Howard, South Dakota 57329


© 2024 Willoughby Funeral Home and Cremation Options. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Accessibility