John Harold Bell


John Harold Bell, 84, while surrounded by his family, passed from this life on May 31, 2019.  

John was born on January 27, 1935 in Memphis, Tennessee to Robert and Jessie Bell. He was the 5th of six children. He started working at a young age as a paper boy and a yard cutter. He developed a love for cars and bought his first car at age 16, when he could legally drive, but he was well experienced before then.

In 1957, at the age of 22, John enlisted in the US Navy and served four years, mostly on the USS Rochester in the Pacific. Immediately after an honorable discharge in 1961, he married his high school sweetheart, Rosemary Blackwood.  They were happily married for 58 years. 

He worked his entire career at Western Electric and AT&T Technologies as a telephone equipment installer. John and Rosemary had two sons, Allen (Marie) and Harold (Michele). John and Rosemary were blessed with 5 grandchildren:  Brandon Bell (Kailan), Megan Joines (Chad), Connor Bell (Audrey), Rebecca Bell, and Kayla Bell. They were also blessed with one great-grand-daughter: Bonnie Bell. John was preceded in death by his parents Robert and Jessie, and his brothers Bobby, Dan, and Bill. John is survived by two sisters: Jeanette Lenahan and Ann Brown (Charles). 

John was called by five names: his family called him Sonny, his co-workers called him Johnny, most others called him John, his children called him Dad, and his grandchildren called him Pop. 

After John retired in 1991, he enjoyed wood-working and made quite a few masterpieces, most of which were given away as gifts. He was talented in many areas, and gave of himself always. He was actively involved in Boy Scouts with his sons, and was the scout leader for many years. He loved camping, swimming, and just about anything outdoors.

He loved the church, and donated a lot of time behind the scenes. He was a member of Germantown Church of Christ and a resident of Kirby Pines Retirement Community and had many friends.  

A funeral service celebrating John’s life was held on Tuesday, June 4, 2019 at Memphis Funeral Home Poplar Chapel, with burial at Memorial Park Cemetery.