The Obit For Sammy Bell

John Samuel Bell Sr.

Published in Hickory Daily Record on June 8, 2010

OCALA, Fla. - John Samuel "Sam" Bell Sr., 99, passed away on June 6, 2010, at Sylvia's House, Hospice. He joins Margaret, his wife of 71 years, who preceded him in 2006.

Sam was a devoted husband, a dedicated Christian, enjoyed people and lived life to the fullest.

He was born in Charlotte, N.C., on Sept. 4, 1910. He attended Charlotte Central High School, where he excelled in athletics and was a member of the school's first state baseball and basketball championship teams.

In 1931, Sam entered Duke University, playing both baseball and basketball (voted captain of Coach Edie Cameron's 1935 basketball team).

At Duke, he was a member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity and voted by his classmates to both Red Friars and Omicron Delta Kappa leadership fraternities.

After leaving Duke, he married Margaret Elizabeth Short of Charlotte. Sam and Margaret were charter members of First Methodist Church in Charlotte and active in religious activities all of their lives.

He spent the eight seasons in the Class AAA International League with Albany, Montreal and Baltimore playing the winter of 1941 in Havana, Cuba. From 1944 until 1951, he served the New York Giants' farm system as a player/manager in Hickory, N.C., where he lived and where his daughters were born,

After his retirement from baseball, he joined Blue Cross-Blue Shield of North Carolina. Sam retired to Miami in 1975, where he pursued his lifelong passion for golf. During his retirement, he lived in Miami, Altamonte Springs, Pembroke Pines, Knoxville, Tennessee, and Ocala, Fla. Sam had been a resident of the Marion Woods Retirement Home in Ocala for the last three years.

Sam is survived by a son, J. Sam (Beth) Bell Jr. of Tallahassee, and daughters Betty (Dale) Dawson of Ocala, and Eleanor (Randy) Jones of Ocala. He is also survived by six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, the family wishes for donations to be made to Hospice of Marion County.