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Old 07-09-2012, 09:49 PM
glfrdug's Avatar
glfrdug glfrdug is offline
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Manistee, MI
Posts: 182
Default Doug Bell Senior's Last Flight

Fellow builders and friends,
My dad, Doug Bell Sr. passed away on July 4th.
Many of you knew dad from a few visits to Oshkosh or met him simply from email replies. So many of you never knew him, but you all inspired him, kept him young thinking about these RV's and many of you have become customers of his tail wheel fork.

Dad was 85 yrs young and loved flying. He loved his family. He loved his wife Mary and they just had celebrated a 65th wedding anniversary.

Dad built an Acro Sport after owning a C-140 and a Piper Cherokee. He won a bronze Lindy at Oshkosh with it and played in the sky's over his current hometown of Cadillac, MI for so many years. Originally from Ontario, he was a proud Canadian too and worked on the famous Avro Arrow as a young apprentice learning his trade.

In 1999 we began the process of building an 8. It was a great 6 years and we got to know each other better than we had to that point. I wish it was still ongoing...Mom and by brother Mike were always there to lend a third or fourth hand when needed.

I attended Oshkosh as a kid with Dad all through the 70's. I flew the 8 in with Dad in the back in 2008 and we had a great last trip to Osh together. Heat and his legs did him in.
I'll remember the cold beers at the corner bar with him while staying in the dorms and the ice cream melting too fast on thise wicked hot Osh Days. So many good memories.

The Tail Wheel Fork's were never meant to be a business and he was always amazed when we received orders from all over the world. He looked at it more as helping other builders and flyers....It kept him young and thinking ahead instead of at his declining health.

His last day in his shop he was inventorying a new batch of 100 forks we had just got in. He and Mom were cleaning them up and organizing them.

Mom, my brother Mike and I will continue with this batch of 100 more forks and see where it goes from there.

To Doug, Danny, Bill, Kevin, Sam and so many others, thanks for keeping a flyers spirits up. Until his eyes gave out on him a year ago, Dad enjoyed reading the forums and seeing what news was on the front page each night before bed.

Here are a few shots of a great guy.

Tailwinds Pops....tailwinds

Doug jr.
Doug Bell
RV 8 N266WB
Grand Haven, MI
cell 231-239-3621
Bell Tailwheel Fork #1

Last edited by DeltaRomeo : 07-10-2012 at 06:18 AM. Reason: fixed pic link
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Old 07-09-2012, 09:55 PM
RV8iator's Avatar
RV8iator RV8iator is offline
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Saint Simons Island , GA
Posts: 1,635

Doug so sorry for your families loss.

I know you'll always cherish the great memories of him.
Jerry "Widget" Morris
RV 8, N8JL, 3,100+ hours on my 8.

VAF #818
Saint Simons Island, GA. KSSI
PIF 2007 - 2022

I just wish I could afford to live the way I do
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Old 07-09-2012, 09:57 PM
glfrdug's Avatar
glfrdug glfrdug is offline
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Manistee, MI
Posts: 182
Default Image trouble

Haven't posted in awile Can't get images to post
Doug Bell
RV 8 N266WB
Grand Haven, MI
cell 231-239-3621
Bell Tailwheel Fork #1
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Old 07-09-2012, 09:58 PM
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N941WR N941WR is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: SC
Posts: 12,887
Default So sorry...


I'm sorry to hear about your Father's passing! Please give our best to your Mother!

It seems like just yesterday we were up there visiting you and your entire family, picking up the fork for our RV.

Your father was one of a kind and both Nora and I are saddened by the news.

You and your family are in our prayers.
Bill R.
RV-9 (Yes, it's a dragon tail)
O-360 w/ dual P-mags
Build the plane you want, not the plane others want you to build!
SC86 - Easley, SC
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Old 07-09-2012, 10:05 PM
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Louise Hose Louise Hose is offline
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Dayton, Nevada --- A34
Posts: 1,469

I'm sad to learn that such a wonderful contributor to our community has passed. Condolences to you and your family.
Louise Hose, Editor of The Homebuilder's Portal by KITPLANES
RV3B, NX13PL "Tsamsiyu" co-builder, TMXIO-320, test platform Legacy G3X/TruTrak avionics suite
RV-6 ?Mikey? (purchased flying) ? Garmin test platform (G3X Touch, GS28 autopilot servos, GTN650 GPS/Nav/Comm,
GNC255 Nav/Com, GA240 audio panel)
RV8, N188PD "Valkyrie" (by marriage)
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Old 07-09-2012, 10:06 PM
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rv6rick rv6rick is offline
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Chesapeake Bay
Posts: 747

Hi Doug,

Thanks for a great write up on your Dad. Condolences to you and your family. You have a wonderful way of noticing what a 'memory' really is.....very nice. It's the small things in life that really count.

Best to all of you.
Rick Gray on the Chesapeake Bay - Builder Assist Center - 50+ Awards & counting


EAA Oshkosh Homebuilt Judge/Tech Counselor/Flight Advisor FAST Formation Flight Lead

2 Time SunínFun Grand Champion
F1 Rocket #1 Oshkosh Gold Lindy Grand Champion!
F1 Rocket #2
Fastback Slider RV8 -Lindy Winner
RV14 #2 flying
RV10 #7 in progress

55 RV's & Rockets

WW Prop Dealer

Love my Pitts S1S
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Old 07-09-2012, 10:06 PM's Avatar is offline
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: WA
Posts: 995
Default Doug Bell Sr

Sorry for your loss. There are a lot of airplanes that carry a piece of your dad's spirit out there and I am glad to be flying with one of them. Your relayed stories of his enthusiasm in making his forks has been inspiring. I placed my order for his tailwheel fork before I called Vans to start my empennage. I remember waiting like it was a Christmas morning when mine arrived and I raced out to he hangar to install it.

Tailwinds indeed

RV7 powered by a lycoming thunderbolt IO-390
turning a whirlwind HRT prop

with more hours flying than building... 2,535 on the hobbs!
ORCA Flight
Race 771
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Old 07-09-2012, 10:27 PM
dealfair dealfair is offline
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: George West, TX
Posts: 567

Oh Doug I am so very sorry to hear that and truly feel for you and your family. We are only issued one set of parents and you sure got a good one. I got one of his art works in either late 2007 or early 2008. I will remember him & my fun correspondence every time I preflight my plane.

Warmest regards,
Deal Fair
RV-4 (N34CB)
George West, TX (8T6)
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Old 07-09-2012, 10:39 PM
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Sam Buchanan Sam Buchanan is offline
been here awhile
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: North Alabama
Posts: 4,462
Default Mr. Bell will be missed


Your tribute to your father is a memorial not only to him but to the bonds he forged with you and the rest of your family over the course of a full lifetime. I wish I had personally known your dad, he was the type of individual I would have counted as a treasured friend.

I will think of your family every time I see your Dad's tailwheel fork on my plane and remember the kindness he directed toward our community.

May your wonderful memories bring you and your family comfort during this time of loss.
Sam Buchanan
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Old 07-09-2012, 11:39 PM
Lars Lars is offline
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Davis, CA
Posts: 1,189

Doug, here is a fixed link to your photos:

Add me to the very long list of people happily sporting your dad's tailwheel fork. Just looked at it this morning, before and after flight. Thanks for everything. I know what it feels like to lose parents. It's a feeling that you make peace with, not one that you get over. Tailwinds!
Lars Pedersen
Davis, CA
RV-7 Flying as of June 24, 2012
1120+ hours as of August 17, 2021.
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