Kenneth Gerard “Gerry” Bello ’73 died peacefully at home while engaged in one of his favorite pasttimes, watching sports on television. He was born at Rex Hospital on July 8, 1951, to Jacqueline Hutzler Bello and Harold Lou Bello, and was named for the Duke basketball coach Gerry Gerard.
Gerry attended kindergarten at Sacred Heart Cathedral School, then went to J. Y. Joyner, Daniels Junior High, and Needham B. Broughton High School. During this time, he played Little League ball, was active in track and field, participated in Boys State, served as president of the Honor Society, and took part in his debate team. During holidays and summers, he worked at Boylan & Pearce.
Following high school, he attended Davidson College, graduating in 1973. He then enlisted in the Peace Corps and was in the group held hostage in Uganda by Idi Amin. He went on to serve in Zaire. Returning to Raleigh, he earned his Master’s at NC State. Following graduation, he worked for the State of North Carolina in the Health Department. He then took time off and traveled throughout the United States, visiting many of our national parks.
Returning to North Carolina, he decided to focus on waste-water management, working in Durham, Wilmington, Monroe, and Henderson. Like his sister, Susan, he developed lymphoma, though he worked full-time in Henderson despite his medical treatments. He retired in 2012 and shared his love of life with his family and friends. Also like his sister, he enjoyed a meaningful, enjoyable last weekend and showed no signs of imminent death.
Gerry loved his God, the Bible, his far-flung family and myriad friends, especially his buds from Broughton, Davidson, and State. He will be remembered by his family for his infectious laugh, warm personality, constant thoughtfulness in recalling everyone’s name and every milestone celebration of others, and his deep, abiding Christian faith.
He was predeceased by his father, Lou Bello; his stepfather, Robert N. Harper; and his sister, Susan Bello.
His survivors include his mother, Jackie Harper; his older brother and his wife, Tom and Judy Bello of McLean, Virginia; his stepbrother, Dr. Robert Harper of Raleigh; and two stepsisters, Billie Bellamy Harper Buie and her husband, Dr. Stephen Buie, of Asheville, and Nellie Sue Harper Potter and her husband, Steven Potter, of Toronto, Canada. In addition, he is survived by his nieces and nephews: Yeats and Justine Bello and their son Julian of Washington, DC; Pierce and Alyssa Bello of Falls Church, Virginia; Jackie Bello of McLean, Virginia; Jonathan and Madeline Harper of Brooklyn, New York; Lauren Harper of Durham, North Carolina; and Sarah, Hannah and Grace Buie.
In lieu of flowers (to which he was allergic), please offer any contribution in memory and celebration of his life to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society or other charity of your choice.
Condolences may be sent to www.BrownWynne.com