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IN MEMORIAM: Joseph BELL

Joseph BELL, age 92, of Dallas, Texas passed away on Wednesday, December 15, 2021.  

joseph bell

Joseph Bell was born on June 21, 1929 in Hartselle, Alabama to Joseph and Melweda Bell. He was raised in Birmingham and graduated from Westfield High School in Brighton, Alabama in 1946. 

Joe was the eldest of seven children; Mary Helen Bell, Robert Bell (deceased), Josephine Riley (deceased), Alice Triggs (deceased), Zilphia Carter (James), and Quannie Johnson (deceased). 

Upon graduation from high school he enlisted in the Army where he attained the rank of First Lieutenant. After serving his country he enrolled at Tuskegee Institute earning a Bachelor’s of Science in Education (‘53) and a Master’s of Education (‘56). Upon graduation from Tuskegee he served as a principal in Georgia before moving to Dallas. 

Joe also spent a summer as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Colorado-Boulder. In Dallas, Joe served as a teacher at H. S. Thompson Elementary School and assistant principal at Pearl C. Anderson Junior High School and Hillcrest High School. 

He ultimately transitioned out of education and became the program director at KDFW Channel 4 working there for 21 years. While at Channel 4 he spearheaded and served as the executive director of the first Black public affairs show, Insights. The show earned an award for the best public affairs program in the country by the National Association of Black Journalists and the Phoebe Award from the Texas Congress of Parent Teacher Associations. 

Joe was a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, NAACP, and worked as a regional president of the Tuskegee Alumni Association. He also served on the board of the local YMCA and Urban League. While at Tuskegee he met his wife, Annie Baccus, whom he remained faithfully married to for 61 years. Joe and Annie were dutiful parents to their children Steven, JoAnn (deceased), Gregory, Sarita (Mario), and Barbara (Adolphus). 

He was fiercely independent and an avid reader of history, possessing an encyclopedic memory of events and people. Joe was especially fond of speaking of all things Alabama. He was a confidante and mentor to many civic leaders in the community and a pillar of the Cedar Crest neighborhood.

Joe leaves to cherish his memory his two sisters, Mary Helen Bell and Zilphia Carter; children Steven, Gregory, Sarita, and Barbara; and grandchildren Jeremy Bell, Jamar Root, Ayaana Root, and Brooke Davis.

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