Calvin Bell pauses just offshore of the A.P. Bell family fish company he co-owned.
Calvin Bell and his boat Jewel Ann were featured in the former Islander newspaper in 1985.
Calvin Edison Bell, 82, died Aug. 31. He was born Nov. 14, 1929, in Cortez Village to Aaron Parx Bell and Jessie Blanche Fulford Bell.
Mr. Bell was part owner of A.P. Bell Fish Company and a proud commercial fisherman. He also was an avid collector of all things nautical. Most of his years were spent on the surrounding waters or working on his many boats in the village.
Mr. Bell served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. Upon completion of his duty, he returned to the village and way of life he loved.
He often devoted his energy and vigilance toward educating Manatee County Code Enforcement officials about the differences between salvaged marine equipment and what the officers often considered old junk.
He also had a deep appreciation for God’s many creatures, raising greyhounds in his younger years and, in more recent times, he fed and cared for wild birds and feral cats.
Known to be strong and healthy, he was as hard worker and could typically be found dragging pilings around his yard, moving nets from one corner to the other or scraping and cleaning boat bottoms. He spent most of his days keeping up a fleet of historic wooden fishing boats.
When diagnosed with bone cancer two years ago, he continued to ride his bike daily to the shoreline to keep up with what was going on among his friends the village.
As his health deteriorated in the past month, one family member said his dear friend Junior Guthrie told him everything was going to be all right.
In good humor and like a true Cortezian, he replied, “How ya reckon?”
A graveside service will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, Sept. 7, at Manasota Mermorial Park in Oneco.
Calvin Bell is survived by brothers Walter, Chester and Doug and a host of family members throughout Cortez and beyond.