Warren Bell, Jr.

Obituary of Warren E. Bell, Jr.

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Warren E. Bell Jr. Ph.D., the great-great-grandson of a third-generation Santa Cruz pioneer family, peacefully passed away in his sleep on June 5, 2023 from complications of a previous stroke in June 2014. He was surrounded by his family and his favorite music in his home. Warren grew up in Gresham, Oregon, and had been a resident of Santa Cruz since 1976. As a young child, he frequently visited his grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins in Santa Cruz. He was present in Santa Cruz during the Christmas of 1955 when the entire downtown area was flooded, causing an interruption in the construction of a flood control project on the lower San Lorenzo River and lower Branciforte Creek. It took a couple more years before the water canal project was completed, ensuring that downtown Santa Cruz would never experience flooding again. Warren possessed a multitude of interests and natural talents. He was a talented singer and participated in choirs at both his church and school. During high school, he took on the lead role of Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady. At the age of 17, he climbed the tallest mountain in Oregon, joining a party of four to climb the 11,000 ft. Mt. Hood overnight to witness the sunrise. Warren enjoyed white-water canoeing on the Willamette, backpacking in the Sisters, and whitewater rafting trips throughout Oregon and California. He and his wife traveled the world, both for work and leisure, exploring hidden villages in remote areas of Japan, hiking undiscovered trails in Maui, vacationing with friends on Oregon ski slopes, and golfing throughout Scotland, uncovering his 1655 Scottish roots. He was a man of few words but a visionary who went beyond traditional boundaries to envision new ways forward. Whether it was reimagining a business, a house, a garden, or designing web-based software as the internet emerged, Warren was a pioneer in many fields. With his background in psychology, statistics, and measurement, he forged new pathways first in public schools throughout the United States, then in various businesses, government agencies, and nonprofits. He earned high regard from the United States Department of Energy, where top-level managers sought his guidance to navigate necessary changes. Warren was a tender-hearted, gentle man, known to well up in tears during a touching movie or even a TV commercial. He loved animals, including horses, and had many household pets over the years. He was even known to carry a pair of baby bunnies around in his bathrobe. Warren was a master gardener, cultivating native California plants, vegetables, and herbs. He fed the squirrels and battled the gophers. Most importantly, Warren cherished his time in Santa Cruz with his wife, children, and grandchildren. He never missed an opportunity to take his family on a hike up Fall Creek, where they would stop to play "Pooh Sticks" at the first bridge, as Winnie the Pooh was one of his favorite characters. Along the trail, he would often point out some family history, such as the remaining pilings of the old cookhouse run by his Great Aunt Nellie Rubottom, which fed the men working in the Kilns to help rebuild San Francisco after the 1906 Earthquake. After a brief pause to share these stories, the family would continue up the trail for a picnic lunch at the kilns, where the kids would play in the creek or swing from a tree limb. Warren found joy in the simple things. He and his wife embarked on many road trips throughout the Western United States, frolicking along the back roads in their sports car while listening to their favorite tunes and stopping to visit friends along the way. Warren was a man of faith. He was preceded in death by his parents, his beloved son Matthew, and younger brother Michael John. He leaves behind his wife of 44 years, Shareen, his daughter Amy, his son Robert (Julia), his brother Nathan, his nieces Meredith and Allie, and his grandchildren: Jackson, Charlie, Porter, Augie, and Noah. He loved his family dearly, and they loved him right back. He will be deeply missed. The family would like to thank Hospice of Santa Cruz County and his caregivers: Stacy, Patrick, Tom, Ernesto, Marvin and Stephanie. In lieu of flowers, consider supporting Hospice of Santa Cruz County. *For the full history of Lime Kiln Chronicles, please visit http://limeworks.ucsc.edu.
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Warren Bell, Jr.

In Loving Memory

Warren Bell, Jr.

1946 - 2023

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