April 14, 1946 ~ December 23, 2021 (age 75)


Joseph Lee Bell Sr.

CEDAR CREEK – Joseph Lee Bell, Sr. (USAF Ret), 75 of Cedar Creek, Texas passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family at Saint David’s South Austin Medical Center ICU on December 23, 2021.  Joseph was born April 14, 1946 in Jersey City, New Jersey to the parents of Leon Bell and Pearl Bell.

He was one of 7 sons and 5 daughters.  At the age of 19, Joseph enlisted in the United States Air Force active duty.  Throughout his illustrious military career in the United States Air Force, Joseph was an Avionics Specialist.

TSGT Bell was stationed on bases from Lackland, Denver Colorado, Italy, California, Germany, Philippines, Thailand, Okinawa, and Korea. TSGT Bell retired from Bergstrom AFB in Texas.

Joseph valued education ad was committed to education.  Joseph was one of the first airmen in the Air Force to earn an Associate in Applied Science in electronic Engineering Technology from the Community College of the Studies from Saint Edward’s University.  By continuing his education, Joseph was able to help and inspire a lot of young airmen to continue their education and earn their degrees and certifications.

While in the Air Force, Joseph earned the Meritorious Service Medal, AF Commendation Medal with One Oak Leaf Cluster, AF Outstanding Unit Award, Republic of Vietnam Service Medal ,Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm, Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon, Overseas Service Short Tour Ribbon, AF Longevity Service Award Ribbon with Three Oak Leaf Clusters, AF Good Conduct Medal with Five Oak Leaf Clusters, National Defense Service Medal.

On active duty while stationed in Korea, Joseph was injured and became a quadriplegic.  Despite his physical challenges, Joseph continue to inspire young people to go to school.  He also volunteered for the Teenage Runaway Hotline. In his spare time, Joseph enjoyed his ham radios and earned his Federal Communication Commission Amateur Extra Class Radio License (KB5YTS).

He is survived by his devoted wife of 53 years Mrs. Nellie M. Bell, his children Robin, Lisa and Joseph Jr., his very devoted sister Mrs. Elizabeth Daniels of Virginia Beach, Virginia, and a special longtime friend and brother in arms, Senior Master Sargent Haywood Bethel USAF (ret).

The Bell Family would like to extend a special appreciation to the compassionate doctors, nurses, physical therapists, and dedicated outpatient social worker of the Spinal Cord Injury Unit of the Audie L. Murphy VA Hospital in San Antonio.  Also, special appreciation to the ICU doctors and nurses at Saint David’s South Austin Medical Center for their hard work and dedication

Joseph exemplified Bible verse 2 Timothy 4:7; I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a charity of your choice.  Condolences may be sent to

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Funeral Service
January 5, 2022

10:15 AM
Fort Sam Houston Cemetery
1520 Harry Wurzbach
San Antonio, TX 78209

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