Born in Columbia, SC, Bill was a direct descendant of one of the earliest innkeepers of Fountain Inn, Zion Massey and Elizabeth Massey Nelson. He was the nephew once removed of Mark Nelson, later printer and editor of The Tribune.
In 1968 after returning from his Tour of Duty in Vietnam, he received the Navy Commendation Medal “for meritorious service while serving as a 60mm Mortar Section Leader with Company A, First Battalion, Third Marines, Nineth Marine Amphibious Brigade in connection with operations against insurgent communist (Viet Cong) forces in the Republic of Vietnam from May 18 through September 11, 1967."
Bill was a resident of Fountain Inn and member of the Fountain Inn Presbyterian Church for 52 years. He was a proud Vietnam Veteran, having served in the A13, suffering exposure to Agent Orange. He was a 1972 graduate of Clemson University but a lifelong fan of the Carolina Gamecocks. He was a super supporter of Hillcrest Wrestling and our state freestyle program SCUSA. He was a Recreational Therapist at Marshall I. Pickens Behavioral Health Center for 34 years. He was a 43-year member of our American Legion Post 123 having served as its commander in the 80s. Bill loved being a part of the Senior Golfers when not seeking donations for one his favorite causes.
In addition to his wife Elizabeth, who grew up in Green Pond, Mr. Bell is survived by his children Lt Colonel William “Bill” Thomas Bell, III and his wife, Morgan, of Mt. Pleasant, Thomas “Tommy” Mitchell Bell and his wife, Amanda, of Simpsonville and Robert “Robby” Nelson Bell and his wife, Andrea, of Simpsonville and seven grandchildren, Ronan, Cian, Anaston, Kaylin, Hayden, RJ and Jase Bell.
Medal with one star