Deacon Samuel Bell, Sr., (known as Sam) was born in Lake Providence, Louisiana, on July 31, 1931, to Cassie Edmond and Walter Bell. At a young age, Samuel received Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior. He joined Central Baptist #1 M.B. Church, located in Lake Providence, LA, and served as a Deacon and Sunday School Teacher. Samuel faithfully and joyfully attended church services, and he contributed to the support of the church and the ministry until he was called home.
Samuel attended the East Carroll Parish Public School System. When he was a senior in high school, he was drafted to the Korean War. He answered the summon and explained that he wanted to graduate high school first. So, the draft board allowed him to complete school before reporting to duty. Two weeks after he graduated from high school, Samuel boarded an airplane to Seattle, Washington, and began boot camp in the U.S. Army. He served for two years during that conflict. During his enlistment, he and Irene Mickens wrote letters to each other and formed a bond.
After his military service, he returned home to Lake Providence, LA, and he and Irene married. From that union, nine children were born. Samuel began working and raising his family. He was known as a gentle, peace-loving man who worked hard. His most memorable work was being in business with his brother, Thornton Green, Jr. They started G&B Texaco Station, located on Hwy. 65 in Lake Providence. He told the story of how when they started the business, there were only a couple of fan belts and a tire or two in the place. With hard work, they developed that business into a full-service filling station, selling gas, tires, batteries, and hoses, and washing cars, changing oil, etc.
Sam was truly a peacemaker. Vile and profane words never passed his lips. He loved God, and he loved people. He chose to uplift men over putting them down. He would rather drop a conversation than yell and argue pointlessly. Likewise, he was a kind and gentle father at home. On New Year’s Eve, he would lead devotion at home with his family and pray in the New Year. We saw our father humble himself before his God, and we heard our father praying for his children. Samuel led by example.
Now, his course is finished, and he will dwell with his Commanding Officer—his Lord and his God. Sam has been called off the battlefield of life to a divine place where the wicked shall cease from troubling, and the weary will be at rest. At ease, good soldier!
Those who yet remain to cherish his memories are: sons, Samuel Bell, Jr., Frank Bell, Jerry Bell (Shelia), and Darrell Bell (Lawanna); daughters, Beryl Virgil (Nathan), and Lisa Cotts (Felix); 14 grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandson; a host of nieces, nephews, and cousins; and a special acknowledgment of his companion, Marie Willis, and grandson, Jarred Bell, his “partner”.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Irene Mickens Bell; daughters, Mary Louise Bell, Sharon Bell, and Sandra Bell; grandson, Stacie Bell; his mother, Sis. Cassie Green; his father, Walter Bell; his brothers, Thornton Green, Jr., and Eddie Green; his sister, Rosie Lee Bell; and nephews, Daniel Green and George Griffin.
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