Charles Robert Bell, Chief of the Algona Fire Department, Dies at Age 62
By Chief Duane Hendrickson
November 27, 2017

Charles Robert Bell was born July 21, 1955, in Algona, Iowa, the son of Loren and Bonnie (Ketelsen) Bell. He grew up in Algona and graduated from the Algona High School in 1974. He worked for Thermogas and in 1979, joined the Algona Fire Department as a volunteer fireman.

On May 24, 1980, Chuck was united in marriage to Mary Eileen Elbert at St. Michael's Catholic Church in Whittemore. To this union their daughter, Emily was born April 10, 1994. They lived in Algona and in April of 1999 became the City of Algona's first full time fireman. In 2000, he became Chief as well as, city building inspector, liquor license inspector and was the official chauffer of Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny. In 2002, became a board member of the Iowa Fire Chiefs Association, serving until 2013. Eileen died suddenly on September 11, 2012. In 2013, Chuck and Emily donated the memorial flags in her name that fly at the Algona Fire Department memorial. He was the recipient of the Algona Chamber of Commerce Volunteer of the Year in 2013 and in 2014 the Iowa Fire Chief's Association Roger Mooty Memorial Award, for his many years of service.

In April of 2015, Chuck was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. On August 27, 2016, Chuck was united in marriage to Colleen Leeper at St. Cecelia Catholic Church in Algona. He spent many weeks at the Mayo Clinic fighting his cancer and eventually returned to work.

Chuck along with Eileen and later Colleen rarely missed any of Emily's sporting events during high school and in college. He also enjoyed motocross racing, golfing, riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle, refereeing and spent 30 years on the Bishop Garrigan High School chain gang at football games.
He was a member of the Iowa Fireman's Association, Iowa Fire Chief's Association, Knights of Columbus, Sons of the American Legion and the Legion Riders in Whittemore.

Chuck died Friday, November 24, 2017, at the Kossuth Regional Health Center in Algona. He was 62.

He is survived by his wife, Colleen of Algona; daughter, Emily Bell of Ankeny; mother, Bonnie Bell of Algona; brother, Bill (Lori) Bell of Marshall, MN; sister and brothers-in-law, Dan (Maureen) Elbert of Whittemore; Mick (Patty) Elbert of Algona; Mary Ellen (Ron) Meyer of Whittemore; aunt, Patty Gronbach of Algona; several nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his father, Loren; wife, Eileen; father and mother-in-law, Eddie and