REMEMBERED: The Coles Creek community is reeling from the shock loss of grandfather William James Bell (known as James). He's pictured with his grand-daughter Avis last year.
REMEMBERED: The Coles Creek community is reeling from the shock loss of grandfather William James Bell (known as James). He's pictured with his grand-daughter Avis last year. Contributed

Devoted dad killed at Wolvi was a larrikin who loved fishing

WILLIAM James Bell (known as James) was a devoted father, grandfather, brother and friend who was adored by those who knew him.

His little sister Maree described her brother as a bit of a "larrikin" who had been excited by the news of another grandchild coming in March.

But tragedy struck for the 59-year-old, who died on Tagigan Rd, Wolvi on January 10 as he returned from a fishing trip.

 

FOREVER REMEMBERED: William James Bell (known as James) will always be remembered for his love of fishing and his family.
FOREVER REMEMBERED: William James Bell (known as James) will always be remembered for his love of fishing and his family. Contributed

It was the same day his granddaughter Avis was to celebrate her first birthday.

Maree said she was "beyond devastated" when told her brother had passed away.

"My older brother called me up and said he was no longer with us," she said.

"I was shocked and I'm still lost for words - it's like a horrible nightmare."

William's two children, Cassie and Jesse, are struggling with the loss of their father.

"He adored them to bits, family meant everything to him," Maree said. "He enjoyed life and he loved his kids."

William grew up on a property in Maryborough along with his six siblings: Diane, Terry, Wayne, Vaughan, Maree and Loretta.

"We grew up on a property 42 miles (67km) from town so there wasn't many days off school," Maree said.

"We would go to town once a month. He was a hard worker who worked on the farm and later became a truck driver for many years.

"His love of fishing came from Dad. At holidays we'd spend most of our holidays at the Barron River, where we'd catch cod bigger than I am.

"Often he'd spend his time at Tin Can Bay with a fishing rod."

Maree has many fond memories from growing up with her brother.

"When we'd have an argument, we'd both get a good flogging," she said jokingly.

"He once saved a young girl after being bitten by a snake in Dalby.

"As we got older we weren't always in contact but we would often think about each other. We would call or text to see how each other was going."

The pain two weeks later is still evident, with the family unable to organise a funeral as forensic police investigate the cause of death.

"We were told it could take several weeks until we can organise his funeral," Maree said.

"I'll miss our many conversations."

Gympie Times


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