Gary N. Bell: Rest In Peace

Sometimes a blog can be really impersonal.  A writer like myself can opine about numerous subjects that never affect their life or community.  I have written on numerous topics.  In this situation, it is the first time I have written about one of my siblings.  I am listening to a Teena Marie song, Deja Vu, in which she talks about not coming back anymore.  If it was one time in which I needed to see someone another time, it would be now.  Teena Marie passed away at 54 years of age a few years ago.  My Brother, Gary N. Bell,
passed away on January 4th, 2014 at 54 years of age.  He was in hospice care only for a day when the cancer that ravaged his body took him away.

Gary had battled cancer for the last four years.  Up until the time in which he had an episode at work, he was the picture of health.  He was an Army Ranger.  He was an avid bicyclist.  He also earned his black belt in Tae Kwon Do.  He was in awesome shape and was living a great life.  He was happily married to Dr. Lynne Diggs and was a very special part of my life.  I was sorry to see the toll that the cancer had taken on him one of the last two times that I saw him alive.

Growing up as one of seven children in South Philadelphia was sometimes a precarious proposition.  My Father worked numerous jobs besides his full time job at the Navy Yard to help feed and clothe us.  My relationship with Gary was special.  He attended St. Joseph's Prep and helped me when I was adjusting to the Prep.  He attended the University of Pennsylvania and eventually graduated from the University of Scranton.  Gary was an athlete and a scholar.  He played football, basketball and baseball.  He was also a gentleman.

Note:  Gary has the Bow Tie.  He is with my Aunt Queleen and my Cousin Cory Bell!

He had a daughter, Jasmine Bell, who recently graduated from college.  Jasmine and Lynne were with Gary when he left us here on earth.  He leaves Julius, David, Brian, Gregory, myself and Joseph to continue to navigate the travails and triumphs of life.  I miss his spirit and his can do attitude.  He was able to make it to the Howard v. Morehouse game at RFK Stadium in September 2013.  We walked around and had a good time at the Tail Gate Party.  He couldn't make it to Homecoming but he called to say that he was having trouble getting out of bed.  I can imagine some of the pain he was going through.

I feel confident that Gary was met in Heaven by my Father, Julius J. Bell, Sr.  Also, my Sister Virginia and my Brother Jonathan made him feel welcome also.  My Grandparents also set the table for his entrance.  Bubbie will give him a hug for me also.  Pop Brown and Mom Keith will also visit once he gets settled in.  I have to believe in our ancestors and prepare for the time when we all transition.  Gary N. Bell, my Brother, your job here was well done.  Rest in Peace and I will see you when I get there.

P.S.  St. Rita's Church will hold a Memorial Mass for Gary on March 1st, 2014 at 10:00 AM.  St. Rita;s is located in the 1100 Block of South Broad Street in Philadelphia.

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