William Bell

Obituary of William Dudley Bell

A multi-talented, Christian man who served his family and his country faithfully for all of his adult life, one who has been loved and cherished by all who have known him, has entered Eternity. William Dudley Bell, known as "Bill" to most, passed away on Wednesday May 6, 2015, at the Pavilion Rehabilitation and Long Term Care Center in Lebanon, TN, at the age of eighty-four. Bill was born March 13, 1931, in Macon, Mississippi to Claude Atheraton Bell and Lilly Katherine Bell. He was preceded in death by his parents and his siblings, including four sisters (Vivian Dawson, Helen Gabor, Jean Downer and Bess King) and one brother (Hermise Bell). He is survived by his wife of fifty-four years, Nancy Martin Bell, and his children and their wives, Dudley and Suzi Bell of Cashiers, North Carolina, and Martin and Weslea Bell of Lebanon, TN. He is also survived by five grandchildren, Amanda, Chapel, Addison, Heather and Jaimee; four great-grandchildren, Layla Lynn, Daniel, Anslee, Mary Ratcliff and Emerson; and a number of nieces and nephews. Bill graduated from Mississippi State University with two undergraduate degrees and a master's degree. He received a Doctorate of Philosophy from Louisiana State University in 1963. His educational career, which spanned 30+ years as a history professor, included an 8 year stint at Athens State College in northern Alabama. The remainder of his teaching career was at his beloved Alma Mater Mississippi State University. He held the position of Head of the Arts and Sciences Department at the MSU Meridian campus for a number of years. Bill served in both the Air Force and Army in a career lasting 28 years and retired as Lieutenant Colonel from the Army Air National Guard where he was a helicopter pilot. He served as commanding Officer with the 123rd Medical Company - Air Ambulance in Meridian, MS, for many years. Bill was a deacon at First Baptist Church in Macon, Mississippi and taught a men's Sunday school class for thirty-three years. He also sang in the choir. He was on the City Board in Macon. He was a woodworker whose craftsmanship included furniture and artistic pieces. At his passing he was a member of Immanuel Baptist Church in Lebanon, Tennessee. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the charity of your choice.