John Wade Bell III | Obituary

JOHN WADE BELL III, of Lewisburg, West Virginia, passed away peacefully at his home on June 10, 2021 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina following a long illness. He was surrounded by his loving family. Son of Wade and Eleanor Bell, John Wade was born in Charleston, WV on November 19, 1940. He was educated at Greenbrier Military School and West Virginia University.

He married Ann Tate, of White Sulfur Springs, in 1961, and together they raised two children, Kinsey and John, in Lewisburg, WV. He was a man of very diverse passions. His fascination with the weather led him to an early career in aviation as a pilot for Greenbrier Airlines, and his love of history and antiques ultimately called him to his true calling as a builder and restorer of beautiful historic properties.

John Wade was in every essence a passionate and motivated designer. From his tireless quest for rare antiques, to cultivating huge vegetable gardens to share with friends and family, to restoring buildings and homes that no one else could envision saving, he was fully invested in everything. what he was doing. Once he decided to accomplish something, the mountains were moved. He and his kids even started a hobbyist maple syrup business on Washington Street.

As a builder, he was a tough man to beat, and his artistic legacy can be seen throughout Greenbrier County. The principles of conservation and preservation formed his guiding constellation, and he enjoyed sharing his work with anyone who was interested. His mentorship to many people in the construction industry is evident to this day, as learned from him by many of the region’s top craftsmen and builders.

Along with his professional and professional accomplishments, John Wade was an exceptionally generous and loving man, father and husband. He loved to pass on his wisdom and knowledge to others, whether it was a family member, employee, friend or stranger. “Papa John”, as he was known to all the little “possums” (his grandchildren), devoted countless hours to them – sharing his passion for travel, telling family stories and a whole lot of sweet teasing. and hilarious blunders.

He was a member of the Greenbrier Historical Society, a founding member of the West Virginia Home Builders Association, and a member of St. James’s Episcopal Church.

He is survived by his wife Ann, his daughter Kinsey Mitchell (Alex), his son John Wade Bell IV (Grecia) and his grandchildren, Will, Ben, Catherine and Andrew Mitchell, and Olivia Bell. His siblings, Linda Ogburn (Charlie), Anne Carper (Kent), Cam Bell (Linda) and Andy Bell, his sister-in-law, Kathleen Tate (Gene) as well as many nieces and nephews, whom he all loved dearly , also survived. .

Services will be held at St. James’ Episcopal Church in Lewisburg, West Virginia on June 26 at 10:30 am, followed by a reception. In lieu of flowers, gifts may be given on her behalf to St. James’ Episcopal Church or the North House Museum in Lewisburg.


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