John Samuel Bell
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
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
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.