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Ben Bellows remembered as community leader and activist

John Pye was not surprised that Ben Bellows became a strong voice for victims of moose-vehicle accidents after he was severely injured in such a collision.

TC Media file photo

Musician, community leader and activist, Ben Bellows, is seen in this April 2015 file photo. He died this week.

Mr. Bellows, who became quadriplegic after his car struck a moose in eastern Newfoundland 13 years ago, has died at the age of 60.

Before the accident, the Mount Moriah man was a well-known musician on the local scene. A talented accordionist, he played in bands and wrote his own music.

The accident happened in July 2003, as Mr. Bellows was returning from a trip to St. John’s with his daughter. After that, he became a symbol of living life despite such a devastating setback. He also became an advocate for motorists for better protection against moose collisions.

Pye got word early Wednesday that his first cousin, Mr. Bellows, had died following a bout with leukemia in addition to his other physical problems.

“He was a well-liked fella, no doubt,” said Pye, a former longtime town councillor and mayor in Mount Moriah.

“I wasn’t surprised that he took on those causes because he was like that. He was always willing to try and help someone else.”

Bellows once told The Western Star he relived his accident every time he heard of another one happening. He believed that more brush cutting along the roads and better public awareness of the hazards posed by moose were needed, but was most adamant that more fencing along highways was also needed.

"No doubt in my mind fencing is a top priority," he told The Western Star in 2011.

Mr. Bellows is survived by his wife of 37 years, Helen, and his four children, as well as a large circle of family and friends.

Visitation will take place at Fillatre’s Funeral Home on Curling Street, today and Friday between 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. The funeral service will be held at St. Mary’s Anglican Church on Saturday, at 2 p.m.

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