Mr. James “Jim” Fredrick Bell, Sr. went to be with the Lord on April 25, 2012 ending a 93-journey of selfless service to his family, his church, his community and his country. Mr. Bell was born the second son of William Gilbert Bell, Sr. and Alice Lucile Rawlings Bell in Chattanooga, Tn. on July 15, 1918. Following the death of his father in a railroad accident in 1923., Mr. Bell’s mother moved the family to Tracy City to live with her mother-in-law, Mrs. Mary Crouch Bell widow of Mr. Allen Tribble (Tib) Bell. The house is located next to what is now the Foster-Lay Funeral Home. Mr. Bell was a member of the Tracy City Boy Scouts. Father Adamz, the Episcopal Minister, was the Scout Master who established the renowned Boy Scout Museum. Mr. Bell graduated for James K. Shook School and Grundy County High School in Tracy City. While attending high school, Mr. Bell lettered in football under Coach John Anderson. Mr. Bell’s first career job after high school was at the Crane Plant in Chattanooga. Mr. Bell left the Crane Plant after getting a job as switchman with the NC&StL Railroad at the Cravens Yard in Chattanooga in 1940. On November 9th of the same year he married Charlotte “Lottie” Elizabeth Partin of Tracy City at the Episcopal Church with Father Adamz officiating. Mr. Bell was a patriot and proud member of America’s Greatest Generation, a World War II Veteran having served in the U.S. Army in Company C of the 718th Railway Operating Battalion from Oct 1943 to Jan 1946. Mr. Bell served in France, Belgium, Luxemburg and Germany. Mr. Bell received the European African Middle Eastern Theater Ribbon with 4 bronze Service Stars, the Good Conduct Medal and the World War II Victory Medal. Mr. Bell was also awarded the “Cross of Military Service” by the United Daughters of the Confederacy. Mr. Bell flew from Huntsville, AL to Washinton DC in April 2008 as part of the “Honors Flight”. The “Honors Flight” was established to give World War II veterans a means t visit the W W II Monument (their Monument) at no cost to them. After the war, Mr. Bell returned to his previous job with the NC&StL Railroad in Chattanooga. He later transfered to the Tracy City Branch. His wife’s family lived in Tracy City and he considered this a good move for the family. He moved with his wife and two young boys back into the house where he had lived as a boy. The Tracy City branch line was known as the Mountain Goat Line. At that time the trains were pulled by steam locomotives and primarily carried coal off the mountain at Sewanee to the main line at Cowan. For years Mr. Bell would toss bubble gum to children who would run out to see the train as it passed. Mr. Bell retired from the railroad after 39 years. Mr. Bell also worked at Partin’s Store in Tracy City until the store closed in June 1976 at which time he retired to his farm on Partin’s Farm Road. Mr. Bell was a member of the Hobbes Hill Methodist Church, Tracy City where he had served in all the capacities of the church. Mr. Bell was also a member of the “Sons of Confederacy Veterans” and a member of the NC&StL Railroad Preservation Society.
Mr. Bell was preceded in death by his wife of 66 years Mrs. Charlotte “Lottie” Elizabeth Partin Bell, his parents William Gilbert, Sr. and Alice Lucile Rawlings Bell, and two brothers William Gilbert Bell, Jr. and Eugene Bell.
Mr. Bell is survived by a sister Margaret Bell Griffin of Red Bank Tn. two sons Lanny Bell of Tracy City and James Bell, Jr. of Huntsville, AL, a daughter Elizabeth Ann Bell of Tracy City; seven grandchildren Carissa Bell Callan, Mark Bell and Jason Bell of Huntsville, AL; Dr. Amy Bell Shirley and Sarah Bell Wilson of Murfreesboro; Jon Wesley Bell of Tracy City and SGT James Bell of Fort Riley, KS, 14 great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be held 2:00 P.M. Friday in the funeral home chapel with Reverend Clayton Jones and Reverend Danny Coffelt officiating. burial will be in the Plainview cemetery.
The family will receive friends Thursday from 4-8 P.M.
Funeral arrangements are made by Foster & Lay Funeral home, 96 St. Clair street, Tracy City.