On Tuesday, February 16, 2011, at the age of 90, Thomas Antrim Bell of Montgomery, Alabama, went home to be with the Lord. Mr. Bell was born in Montgomery on November 9, 1920, to the late Newton Joseph Bell, Jr., and Georgie Maslin Coiner Bell.
He was preceded in death by his parents;
His brother, Newton Joseph Bell, III;
and his grandson, John David Bell.
Mr. Bell is survived by:
His beloved wife of 67 years, Mary Wellborn Clarke Bell;
His daughter, Mary Antrim Bell Wilson and husband Ron of Tuscaloosa, Alabama;
His son, John Clarke Bell and wife Stephanie of Montgomery, Alabama.
Survivors also include five granddaughters:
Tamara Leigh Wilson Mayhall and husband Timothy of Birmingham, Alabama;
Amy Elizabeth Wilson Quitt and husband Jon of Tuscaloosa, Alabama;
Sarah Elizabeth Bell Wills and husband Brent of Montgomery, Alabama;
Rebecca Whitley Bell of Montgomery, Alabama;
Katherine Marlow Bell of Montgomery, Alabama;
Connor Quitt and Sydney Quitt of Tuscaloosa, Alabama;
Thomas Mayhall and Foster Mayhall of Birmingham, Alabama;
A nephew, Newton Joseph Bell, IV and wife Barbara of Montgomery, Alabama;
A niece, Alsie Jane Churchman and husband Charlie of Norcross, Georgia.
Visitation was held at 11am on Friday, February 18, 2011, in The Fellowship Hall at First United Methodist Church followed by a Memorial Service in the Sanctuary at Noon with Dr. Lawson Bryan and Reverend Mary Antrim Bell Wilson officiating. Music was provided by the Reverend Ron Wilson. Private graveside services with military honors was held at Oakwood Cemetery.
Mr. Bell was an alumnus of Mrs. Buckalew's Blue Bird School, the Starke University School, and the Georgia Military Academy. In 1943, he earned a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from the Alabama Polytechnic Institute now known as Auburn University and was a member of the first class wear their uniforms instead of a cap and gown at graduation. He was among those graduates who were then immediately inducted into the United States Army and attended Officer Candidate School at Fort Belvior, Virginia, as a Second Lieutenant. He also attended the Jones School of Law.
Mr. Bell proudly served his Country as a Captain in the United States Army Corps of Engineers in the Pacific Theater during World War II and went to Tokyo, Japan, with the Army of occupation at the end of the war.
After the war Mr. Bell was the General Manager of the Whitley Hotel for many years until it was sold to Troy University. The Whitley Hotel was named after his grandmother and his grandfather Newton Joseph Bell also built the adjacent Bell Building in 1907. The Bell Buildinfg was one of the two tallest buildings in Alabama at the time it was constructed.
In recent years, Mr. Bell was honored to represent his grandfather at a reunion for The Calhoun School in Lowndes County where his Grandfather was recognized for the donation of the initial 10 acres of land for the site of the school which provided an education for black children in 1892.
Mr. Bell served as Chairman of the Alabama Bible Society for 20 years. He taught Sunday School and served on the Board of Deacons at the First Baptist Church for many years. Mr. Bell was chairman of The Montgomery City Planning Commission for eight years and was also a member of:
The Pioneer Society
The Thirteen Literary Club
The Montgomery Country Club
The Montgomery Rotary Club.
Honorary pallbearers were Dr. Bob Adams, Bobby Broach, Julius Fargis, Jack McLemore, Larry McLemore, Dee Moody, Dr. Hugh Praytor, Bruce Rinehart, Sandy Sanford, Buck Williams, and the staff of Hospice of Montgomery.
In lieu of flowers please make memorials to:
The Joseph Ministry of First United Methodist Church
Hospice of Montgomery.