Former LaRue County Circuit Clerk Larry Bell died Sunday at his residence.

He was 71.

Bell took office in November 2000 after being appointed to the vacant seat left by former Circuit Clerk Ruth Ann Brown. Bell won the election for the seat in 2000 and officially started his first term on January 2001.

Bell said his road to being a circuit clerk was not a “normal road” as he first started out wanting to pursue a career in agriculture education. Bell graduated from LaRue County High School in 1967. He then spent two years at Elizabethtown Community Technical College, one year at Campbellsville University and one year at the University of Kentucky where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in agriculture education in 1971.

“There was not a lot for an Ag. education career at Campbellsville University at that time so I finished at UK,” Bell said. “Little did I know where I would be at the end of my career.”

He said treating people fairly always was his goal.

“I can say that I have always helped everyone and treated everyone fairly,” he said in 2018. “Now I am looking forward to spending time with family on our farm.”

Bell held the office from November 2000 until his retirement on July 31, 2018. He lived in Gleanings in LaRue County.

Emily Ernst, who had worked for Bell for 10 years, succeeded him at circuit clerk.

“There’s no easy way to sum up the kind of person Larry was and what he meant. Larry Bell was one of the best — the kindest, most easygoing fellow you could ever hope to have as a friend and a boss,” she said. “He would do anything for anyone. The saying, ‘He’d give you the shirt off his back’ was definitely about Larry. And he was so genuine, so kind, so respectful, so faithful and positive no matter the circumstance, and he handled every difficulty with that Larry smile.

“He brought those traits to his years as a dedicated public servant and ran his office: God first, then family, then work. Taking care of the people in LaRue County was a mission he took to heart. He truly cared and it showed. His friendship will be dearly missed,” she added.

Funeral services were held Wednesday for Bell at Rolling Fork Baptist Church where he was a member and where he served as deacon and treasurer.

Among his survivors are his wife, Sandra Fields Bell; two sons and two grandchildren.

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