Jeffrey Lawrence Bell, 60, suddenly went home to be with the Lord on Tuesday, January 15, 2019 in Memorial Hospital of Carbondale.
He was born in Olmsted, IL on November 24, 1958 to Robert L. Bell, Sr. and Seresta-Haggins Bell. Both preceded him in death.
He accepted Christ as Savior at an early age and possessed a keen awareness of right and wrong and justice and injustice. He received his formal education in the Pulaski County Illinois Public School System and is a 1976 graduate of Meridian High School, Mounds, IL.
After completing high school, Jeff enrolled in a vocational school in St. Louis, MO where he studied auto mechanics. Upon completion of this program, he relocated to Chicago, IL where he met and married Deborah Dean in 1980. She survives and resides in Murphysboro.
Jeff lived and worked in Chicago for many years before moving his family to Madison WI and finally to the Carbondale-Murphysboro area where he became greatly involved in the care of his aging father; and later participated in the “Feed My Sheep” ministry at Bethel AME Church in Carbondale. He understood the “golden rule” and the concept of Matthew 22:39 and tried to govern himself accordingly. He seldom met a stranger, almost never forgot a face, had a forgiving spirit, was friendly, slow to judge, compassionate, fun-loving, kind-hearted, unpretentious, and empathetic. He could be found reading and studying his Bible often as he always kept it open on a nightstand, table or dresser.
In the spirit of a true patriarch, he tended to the affairs of siblings: checking, advising, fixing, problem-solving and taking care of whatever needed to be done – all the while being careful and deliberate to put his immediate family first. In the formative years, he and Deborah made it a point to lead their children in regular prayer sessions and Bible study in the home.
In addition to his wife, Deborah, Jeff is survived by one son, Jeffrey James Bell of Murphysboro; two daughters: Jennifer Bell of Murphysboro and Starr Caldwell (Tivias, Sr,) of Bollingbrook, IL; nine grandchildren: Joshua, Starr, and Sydnei Scudder, Tivias Jr., Ronald Caldwell and Kaelin Atkins all of Bollingbrook, IL, Jenee’ Bell and Anthony Bell of Carbondale, IL and Elijah Bell of Murphysboro, IL., one great granddaughter: Milani, also of Bollingbrook, IL. Other survivors also include one brother: Robert L. (Kathy) Bell, Jr. of Hayti, MO; five sisters: Barbara Bell-Quinn, Toledo, OH, Ruth Bell-Williams, Olmsted IL, Vivian Ladd-Hatcher, Bellevue, NE, Linda Ladd-Mathis, Olmsted, IL and Leola Ladd-Harley, Indianapolis, IN; one sister-in-law: Vida Hayes, Madison, WI; one uncle, several aunts, a host of nephews, nieces, cousins and many friends.
Elder Robert L Bell, Sr., Pastor of Monument of Deliverance Church, Hayti, MO will deliver the eulogy.
Visitation is Friday, January 25, 2019 from 10:00 am to 11:00 a.m. at Walker Funeral Home in Carbondale, IL. Funeral services will be from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.