Life Story / Obituary
Loving father and husband, Eric Douglas Bell, aged 71, of Suttons Bay passed away on November 2, 2022 surrounded by family and friends.
Eric, born on December 24, grew up in Connecticut and moved to Traverse City where he attended high school. He studied Forestry at Michigan State University and dreamed of being a Park Ranger. Choosing a more practical path, he went on to have a successful career as a contractor, working tirelessly in the sun or snow of Northern Michigan. When not working, he renovated each home he lived in, bringing them from tired, dilapidated properties to fine homes for his family.
At the age of 30 he married Pamela and had three beautiful children: Rob, Greta and Niel. Growing up on rural farmland, his children have fond memories of working alongside him in his workshop, learning to drive on the two-track orchard rows surrounding their home and building forts, swings, and treehouses together.
Not an engineer by trade, but certainly by heart, he could build or fix just about anything. Ever curious about how things worked, Eric was often found on ladders, under cars, in attics and especially felt at home in the outdoors. He found contentment tinkering with tools and working on projects around his home. He especially enjoyed the summers in Michigan by gardening, working in his yard, feeding and enjoying the birds and chipmunks and fishing with his grandchildren. A generous soul, he was known to dig up a plant from his yard and give it to you if you admired it.
In August 2018 Eric married Shawn Saxton after meeting her serendipitously through mutual friends. Together they lived a full life, often enjoying their two dogs and cat, cooking and gardening, and being in the company of friends and family.
He is survived by his wife, Shawn, as well as his former wife Pamela and their 3 children, Rob, Greta and Niel, and his brother, Stew. He especially enjoyed his precious grandchildren Olivia, Max, Charlie, Jude, Will, Macklin and Renly.
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