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Surrounded by his family Kenneth "Ken" left this world on Friday, Aug. 8, due to a rare form of cancer. He was 48 years old. Our lives fractured that day and our world will never be the same. Ken was born in Alameda and was a graduate of Alameda High School.

Ken is survived by fiancé Dr. Shailyrina Arora; mother Patricia Mitchell; daughter Patty Bell; sisters Elizabeth (Jeff Ginn), Jennifer Bell (Matt Tracy), and Cristina (Chuck Moidel); uncle James Mitchell; nephews Brandon, Erik and Kevin Ginn; plus niece Fiona Moidel, and nephew Lucas Moidel. Ken is also survived by former spouse Ana Drost and many aunts, uncles and cousins in the Bell family.

Ken worked in retail management most of his career. He later obtained a bachelor’s degree in computer telecommunications and was near completion of a master’s degree when taken ill. He was a warm, loving human being interested in numerous diverse subjects.

Ken was the family’s trivia expert on general subjects as well as the family history expert. He could always remember what the rest of the family had forgotten. Ken was passionate about music and played the piano and guitar. He studied jujitsu and played tennis. He loved good food, wine and beer, Peet’s coffee on Park Street and Lee’s Donuts on Webster. He appreciated movies, Japanese anime and Dr. Who.

He took his daughter Patty to many movies and musical events. Ken and his daughter attended the "Big Wow Comicfest" in San Jose this year and loved it. Ken enjoyed travel and exotic cultures. He could speak enough Spanish, French, Japanese and Hindi to converse with others. Ken had a unique personality and a brilliant wit that can never be forgotten. Ken was his mom’s best buddy. He will be greatly missed.  

Ken was a descendant of many early European founders of this country. He was related to a number of founding fathers, presidents, and first ladies, and a distant cousin to author Jane Austen and singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett.  

A musical memorial evening in Alameda is being planned for Ken by his friend since kindergarten, Linda Chase-Stroud. Details about the memorial will be available on his Facebook page and through Alameda Funeral & Cremation Services.

The Kenneth H. Bell Cancer Research Scholarship is being set up to help find a cure for his rare type of cancer. Information about the scholarship will be available on his Facebook page, along with information on a college fund being set up for Ken’s daughter. A private memorial was held for the family on Aug. 23, which would have been Ken’s 49th birthday.

"While we are mourning the loss of our friend, others are rejoicing to meet him behind the veil."

~ John Taylor

For more information, call Harry W. Greer, funeral director FDR-745.

Alameda Funeral & Cremation Services, FD-2139

1415 Oak St. • (510) 522-6020

A native of Italy, Joseph was born on Jan. 1, 1941, to the late Maria Columbani and Oreste Azzari. He passed away peacefully in Oakland on Oct. 20, 2014.

Joseph is survived by his beloved cousin, Albina Galetto of Alameda, and by numerous relatives in Italy. He served proudly in the United States Army.

Private services have been held with entombment at St. Joseph’s Cemetery in San Pablo.

Donations in Joseph’s memory may be made to St. Philip Neri Church, 3101 Van Buren St., Alameda, CA 94501.

Greer Family Mortuary and Cremation Services FD 1408 865-3755

Luis "Louie" Rico of Alameda passed away on Oct. 22, 2014, surrounded by his loved ones.

He is survived by his son, Louie Rico, Jr. (Isabel) of Manteca, Calif., daughters Elma Rico Kastning (Floyd) of Alameda and Veronica Rico of Hayward; his grandchildren Roman and Ryan Rico and Benjamin and Emilia Kastning and his great-grandchildren Cayden, Mariah, and Brody Rico. He was preceded in death by his loving wife, Irma, and oldest daughter Evelyn.

Luis was born in Dolores Hidalgo, Mexico, but was raised in Ciudad Juarez. He was the eldest of eight children born to Manuel and Enedina Chavez Rico. He proudly served two terms in the U.S. Army and when he received his honorable discharge in 1947, he moved to Oakland. He worked in a series of warehouse jobs, but it was from Colgate Palmolive in Berkeley that he would retire from after 35 years of employment.

While new to Oakland, Luis enjoyed going to dances, where he was a most dashing young man. One of his favorite establishments was Sweet’s Ballroom. It was at one of these dances in 1948 that he would reunite with the beautiful Irma after having been briefly introduced to her at a dance in Juarez the year before. When he saw her again, he said he would never let her go and they would remain married for nearly 64 years until Irma’s passing in 2012.

Luis was a devoted husband and father; he instilled in his children a great pride of the Mexican culture and insisted that everyone speak Spanish at home, as they would speak English outside of it. Luis was also a most talented and creative artist and craftsman.

He designed and built several cocktail bars for his home; and from behind these he would serve as bartender during many of the very festive parties he and Irma would host. He was known for his sharp wit and magnificent sense of humor.

Luis is also remembered by his children for the colorful tales of his youth, and for his chilling tales of the macabre. For many years, every May he would pack up the entire family in the car and make the three-day, two-night trek to Juarez to visit his family.

In their later years in life, Luis and Irma enjoyed getting dressed up on Saturday nights and going dancing; and even later yet in life, they were thrilled to spend time with their beloved grandchildren.

While we are happy that Luis is now with his beloved Irma and Eve, his presence is sorely missed. We take comfort in the belief that life is but a dream, and he has wakened from this dream to move on to his true destination. God bless us all.

A service for Luis and Irma will be held on Saturday, Nov. 8, at noon at Greer Family Mortuary in Alameda. A gathering at Elma’s and Floyd’s house will be held afterwards.

In lieu of flowers, we would request donations in Luis’s name to any animal organization of your choice or the Veterans Administration.

Greer Family Mortuary and Cremation Services FD 1408 865-3755