Dan Gino (nee D’Arca) Bell, 70, passed away August 18, 2023, in the loving arms of his wife Patty (nee Lenz) Bell, and daughters, Rachael (Dale) Tazbier and Bridget (Ryan) Keepman. In his last days, Dan recited his mother’s favorite verse John 3:16, For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Dan was born on April 24, 1953, in Chicago, IL, the son of the late Vera “Ronnie” (nee DiMito) Bell and John D’Arca, and later stepson to James Bell bringing his family to reside in Rolling Meadows, IL. He had a full childhood – his mom prioritized exploring the US, engaging him in the Scouts, and following his father’s footsteps in musical theater in his younger years. He graduated high school from Forest View High School Class of ’71, Arlington Heights, IL and went on to DeVry Technical Institute in Chicago, later earning a BA in Applied Behavioral Science from National Louis University. He and Patty raised their daughters in Palatine, IL.
Dan came from humble beginnings, yet he had tenacity inherited from his mother, and worked hard to reach great heights in his career. He was an executive for companies such as Honeywell, Xerox, Apple Computer, US Robotics, and 3Com, and retired from his career as President of Canon Information Technology Services in Chesapeake, VA – Dan and Patty have greatly enjoyed their Hampton Roads community. There are many colleagues and peers whose friendships Dan has cherished over the years.
Dan had a heart to give back with focus was on regional business leadership, workforce development, and housing for the homeless. He was the Vice-Chairman of Innovate Hampton Roads. Previous to that, he was the Chairman of the Hampton Roads Innovation Collaborative, Executive of the Chesapeake Alliance, and President of Future of Hampton Roads, while also volunteering with other area organizations such as the Virginia Supportive Housing Project. He was the founder of Hampton Roads Business Education Collaborative and Chesapeake Technology Business Consortium targeting academia, and Mobile America targeting jobs for veterans.
You could find Dan riding his motorcycle, driving his vintage cars, on walks or e-bikes with Patty, or on his computer recording cover songs. He was a storyteller, going as far as sending custom birthday songs, and also wrote a book titled, Rungs not Wrongs: Steps for Your Career Ladder. Although Dan had many life achievements, he would tell you his greatest accomplishments were bringing his daughters into this world and watching them grow and lead fruitful lives with their husbands and children. Dan’s absolute favorite was to travel to Illinois and Florida to love on his kids and grandkids, Harrison (13), Simone (11), Gavin (8) and Amelie (5), and nurture his friendships, many of which he has cherished since early childhood. Family was so important to Dan, King of the “Action Shot.” He loved his extended family immensely and took so much joy in bringing us all together.
Dan is also survived by brothers Rick (Denni) D’Arca, Dave Bell, Brian (Liz) Bell and sister Gia (Jay) Winker, sisters-in-law Lin Griesmeyer, Mary (Rich) Richards, and Diana Layden. He is a special uncle to Jason (Erin) Richards, Darcy, Dylan and Isaac DeFabio, Paul (Eliza) D’Arca, Tim (Jenna) Layden, Veronica, Joseph, Anthony, and Mondie. He is preceded in death by his parents, parents-in-law Al (Millie) Lenz, brothers-in-law John Lenz, Mick Layden, Leigh Kollmer, and nephews Tony D’Arca and Kevin DeFabio.
Visitation is Tuesday, September 5, 2023, beginning at 4pm until time of service at 6pm, at Meadows Funeral Home, 3615 Kirchoff Rd., Rolling Meadows, IL (847)253-0224. A Hampton Roads Celebration of Life will be held at the Norfolk Botanical Garden, on Sunday, September 24, from 2pm to 5pm with a service at 3pm. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the American Cancer Society, P. O. Box 6704, Hagerstown, MD 21741. Please feature “Metastatic Bone Disease” on the Memo line.
The Alliance acts in a business advisory capacity to the city of Chesapeake (staff and City Council) representing the opinion of the city’s business leaders on several key initiatives undertaken by the city.
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