|Intro||Louisiana businessman and politician|
|From||United States of America|
|Birth||11 June 1932, New Orleans, Orleans Parish, Louisiana, USA|
|Death||6 September 2014 (aged 82 years)|
Clyde Francis Bel Jr. (June 11, 1932 – September 6, 2014) was a businessman from New Orleans, Louisiana, who was a Democratic member of the Louisiana House of Representatives for Orleans Parish. He served at-large from 1964 to 1968, in District 28 from 1968 to 1972 and in District 90 from 1976 to 1980 during the administrations of Governors John McKeithen and Edwin Edwards.
In 1951, Bel graduated from the Roman Catholic Jesuit High School in New Orleans and then attended Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. As a member of the Louisiana House, he pioneered legislation related to the burgeoning concern for geothermal energy and air pollution long before such matters attracted political attention. From 1953 until his death, he operated the C. Bel for Awnings Company, which his father, Clyde Sr. (1905–1990), had launched in 1926. Bel spent much much of his later years in Pass Christian, Mississippi, east of New Orleans, where he engaged in fishing, crabbing, boating, and watching the sunsets.
In 1980, Bel ran for Louisiana's 2nd congressional district seat in the United States House of Representatives, but finished with less than 5 percent of the ballots cast. Victory went handily to the incumbent Democrat Lindy Boggs; the number-two candidate was the Republican Rob Couhig, whose half-brother, Democrat Sam A. LeBlanc, III, had served in the Louisiana House with Bel.
Nearly eight years after leaving the legislature, Bel sought a comeback in the 1987 nonpartisan blanket primary in House District 78 in Jefferson Parish for the seat held by the veteran Democrat-turned-Republican Eddie Doucet. Bel, however, polled only 870 votes (6.8 percent); victory went instead in a runoff contest with Doucet to another Republican candidate, the New Orleans attorney Robert T. Garrity Jr., who served only one term in the chamber.
Bel and his late wife, the former Meryl Ann Wiedemann, had five children, the late Lynn Marie Bel Tracey, Paul Bel, Patricia Bel and husband Tom Ponthieux, Mark Bel and wife Karen, and Catherine Bel, all of whom reside in the New Orleans area. Bel had four grandchildren, Meryl Lynn Tracey Andry, Meghan Louise Tracey Eckhardt, Adam Kirk Tracey, and Juliet Miriam Bel. He also had seven great grandchildren, Mathilde Elizabeth Andry, Julia Matherne, Grace Lyons Andry, Eleanore Jane Andry, Walter Gordon Eckhardt, Jr., Adelaide Jane Andry, and Molly Jane Eckhardt.
When not working at his family business, C. Bel for Awnings, founded by his father, New Orleans Constable Clyde F. Bel, St. in 1926, Bel enjoyed boating and watching sunsets, "God's paintings" at his home in Pass Christian, MS. He was a loving father, grandfather, and great grandfather. C. Bel for Awnings is still run by Bel's family. Bel died at the age of eighty-two; his arrangements were handled by the Neptune Society of New Orleans, with offices in Kenner.