Rex Wesley Bell died peacefully at his home in Auburn on August 2nd from heart failure. Born February 17, 1943 in Puyallup to Earl and Maryjane Bell, Rex was raised in Tukwila, graduating from Foster High School in 1961. He attended college at Seattle Pacific University, followed by theological seminary at Asbury in Kentucky. His studies cut short by the death of his father, he returned to Seattle in 1967. Rex began working at Seattle Pacific where he met his future wife, Deanna Cox. Married in 1969, he completed seminary in Dubuque, Iowa, then became assistant pastor of Bethany Presbyterian church in Seattle. In 1977, he became senior pastor of a Presbyterian church on the Auburn/Enumclaw plateau where he remained for 16 years. Rex then founded and directed Auburn Encouragement Counseling until his retirement in 2004.

A lifelong gardener and encourager, Rex enjoyed growing flowers and vegetables and mentoring youth throughout his retirement. He joined the congregation of St. Leo’s Catholic Church where he shared his warmth and love of God. He will be very missed by his wife Deanna, children Justin, Dean, and Brenna, their spouses, his five grandchildren, and the many, many other people touched by his life and love. Memorial services will be held at 12:10 pm, August 23rd, at St. Leo’s Catholic Church in Tacoma.

Donations in his memory can be made to the St. Leo’s church for their new garden. Donating information is found at