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Whitten Timberlake Chapel

7404 Timberlake Road, Lynchburg, VA

OBITUARY

Tommy Bell

December 30, 1927February 9, 2020

Raymond Thomas “Tommy” Bell, Jr., 92, of Lynchburg passed away peacefully Sunday, February 9, 2020 at his residence.

Born in Lynchburg, December 30, 1927, he was the son of the late Raymond T. Bell and Edna Gregory Bell. Tommy was a US Navy veteran of WWII and retired from Home Beneficial Insurance Co. after 36 years of service. He was a member of BPOE lodge #321 for over 40 years and was a past Exalted Ruler. Tommy was also known by many as the “Candy Man” he loved giving away candy to friends and family and had a “free” candy store at his home. He also loved animals. Tommy enjoyed hand feeding the squirrels in his yard every day and loved his dogs Buffy, Baby, Binki and Madison.

He is survived by his wife of 34 years, Judy C. Bell; his daughter, Cathy Bell Saunders and her husband Wesley; two step-children, Edward Cash and wife Bonnie and Melessa King and husband Paul; two grandchildren, Priscilla J. Saunders and Wesley T. Saunders; two great grandchildren, Kaley Saunders and Lauryn White; three step-great grandchildren, Aalan Walker, Cody Cash and Brooke Cash and three special friends, Richard Cunningham and Mich Pettyjohn and Pastor Tom Tascone.

The family would like to gratefully acknowledge Makenzi, Melissa, Penny and Alli with Gentle Shepherd Hospice and his sitter, Tiana for the loving care and attention they provided.

A private gathering of friends will be scheduled at a later date.

The family requests memorial contributions to honor Tommy be made to the Lynchburg Humane Society.

The family requests friends go to www.whittentimberlake.com to submit tributes and your favorite stories about Tommy.

Services

No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.

Memories

Tommy Bell

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Connie Reger

February 17, 2020

Judy, Cathy and family,
When ever I think of Tommy, I smile. What a wonderful legacy to leave behind in this crazy world! I am grateful to have been able to call him my friend. Your hearts are aching, but know he's carrying on his shenanigans and handing out candy to the angels above!
What a man!!!

Jacqueline Thomas

February 17, 2020

Judy and Family,
I am so sorry for your loss. Tommy was such a kind and "sassy" man. I looked forward to my visits at the Sam's Club in Lynchburg not only to see the wonderful team at the club but also in hopes Tommy would stop by while I was there. He would always keep us on our toes and made sure we were treating his sweetheart (Judy) as she deserves. Tommy had a way of making you feel you were special. He is a special man and will be greatly missed. I know he is in a much better place and will continue to be the guardian angel in heaven as he was here on earth.
God bless you and your family,
Jacqueline

Vickie Gilbert

February 14, 2020

I want to thank you for all that you have done for me and every one else that came in to your life l will miss you laughing with me at Sam's Club thank you for your home made soup. Sending prayers to the family

Trina Long

February 12, 2020

Everytime I saw Tommy Bell he was smiling, it always made me happy. I'm 100% sure a lot of people felt the same way. Tommy was always very kind to my whole family. Prayers for you and your family Judy. Love you.

Jason Perdieu

February 11, 2020

I remember the first time I met Tommy. He was such a great helper and friend to my stepdad Richard. He became a good friend to myself and I learned that he was a good friend to everyone that he met.

I am so thankful to God for the time that I had to know Tommy. He always made me laugh and was always so encouraging.

He was a friend to my family and because of that I inherited him as a friend and I am truly blessed because of his generosity and kindness.

God blesses us in many ways. Tommy and his willingness to help others is an example of being the hands and feet of Jesus to help others.

My prayers go out to the family and extended friends. Just remember this, God is faithful.
May His peace that surpasses all understanding be upon you all and comfort you during this time.


Alice Johnson

February 11, 2020

Judy & the rest of the family: So sorry to hear of Tommy's passing. I miss the times we had at Sam's Club when he would come by & visit with us. He will be missed by everyone that knew him. RIP. Tommy

Jason Hicks

February 11, 2020

Tommy got me my first job at the Elks washing dishes and plus my parents were also practically stayed at the Elks so he put me to work he was always kind and he and Judy always treated me as if I was theirs and I just realized that he got me my second job as well at the Crown and he and Judy was there when my parents passed love you Judy will be praying for you and the family

Whitney Farmer

February 11, 2020

What I can say about Tommy Bell is that he always made me smile! I loved seeing him and helping him whenever I could. I loved the jokes and laughter between us two! I would always talk about coming swimming at yalls house but never seem to make it as an adult but remember when I was there as a child! He always brighten my day when I would see him driving the mart kart at Walmart like a speed demon and of course I would holler across the store TOMMY BELL! Oh how he will be missed. Love you Judy and Cathy prayers going up for all of yall! Till we meet again....

Alma Tracy

February 11, 2020

I am so sorry to hear about the passing of Tommy. He was so funny and kind. I met Tommy at Sam's club when I worked there with his wife Judy and daughter Kathy. I always looked forward to him coming in there and making my laugh and just making our day. Well at least my day. Not to mention he would bring "goodies". I loved hearing him just tell everyday stories. When I left Sam's club I missed a lot of my co-workers but I really missed seeing him come in there.
To the family..... you are in my thoughts and prayers. May the Lord bless and keep you. Know God, know peace.

Lynda Cash

February 11, 2020

Tommy was my friend for almost 40 years. Almost 40 years ago I bought my very first horse. It was a crazy unbroken Appaloosa. And it was my hearts desire to own a horse. The horse trainer wanted $350 to break and train this horse to make him rideable. I had some cheap worthless jewelry I was trying to sell at Steak +Ale. Needless to say Tommy bought it and I got my horse trained and the rest is history. My children learn to swim in his swimming pool that he was so kind to offer. Too many memories to share here. It always made my heart happy every time I saw him. I’m so glad that I introduced him to Mich . They made quite the pair !!!!! Love forever ♥️

FROM THE FAMILY

Biography

When someone is identified as a natural leader, certain images come to mind. First thoughts are of a no-nonsense, tough-minded, dedicated and disciplined person. This description accurately fits Tommy Bell who was indeed a born manager. He will be remembered as being highly organized, practical and realistic. He was a person who always carried a strong sense of duty with him throughout his life. Possessed with traditional “old school” morals, Tommy was an individual who clearly communicated to those around him just who he was and what he was all about. Everyone acquainted with Tommy knew him as a well-respected man who was a stable force in his community.

Tommy was born on December 30, 1927 at The old Lynchburg Hospital, located on Hollins Mill Road in Lynchburg, Virgnia. His parents were Raymond T. Bell, Sr. and Edna Gregory Bell. Tommy was raised in in Lynchburg. Even as a youngster, Tommy learned to be objective and decisive. His faith in the principles of authority and dependability was something that he carried with him throughout his life.

Tommy's matter-of-fact attitude about most things was developed during his childhood. As a young boy, Tommy enjoyed being part of teams, and organizations and groups of other kids who shared similar interests. Tommy took part in very few sports. In his spare time he liked to read. He read the encyclopedias from A - Z, cover to cover, He also liked collecting stamps and Science. Tommy's memorable achievements included the fact he educated himself of the entire town of Lynchburg.

In school, Tommy was as close to being a model student as one could possibly imagine. He sought to achieve perfect attendance in all of his classes. He would eagerly complete his homework, and often put in extra study time when he felt it was necessary. A logical and focused thinker, Tommy was always good at following directions and meeting his schedules, whether they were set by his teachers or were self-imposed. Tommy’s personal motto could well have been, “Do it right the first time.” He graduated from Lynchburg High, now known as E. C. Glass High School in 1944. He enjoyed some courses more than others, having favorite classes and teachers. His favorite class in high school was science and any other class he could get away with goofing off. The teacher he enjoyed learning from the most was Ole Miss Ware.

Tommy’s practical work ethic carried over into his college years. His logical mind permitted him to work hard without succumbing to the usual distractions of college life. He would tackle an assignment and work through it before moving onto the next project. Tommy’s orderly nature gave way to establishing personal study habits and procedures that not only helped him stay on track but often put him ahead of schedule. When Tommy saw the need or benefit, he would willingly take on the extra assignment or even attend extra classes in order to learn more and become a better student. His favorite courses were business classes.

Tommy was sociable and approachable. Because he was always so straightforward in how he approached relationships, friends and family knew that what they saw was always what they got. He enjoyed the camaraderie of being with a group of friends. When Tommy was a member of a group, his interaction worked to keep the others grounded. He wasn’t afraid to confront his friends and, when necessary, he challenged them to stick to the task at hand. Those close to Tommy came to expect his high standards of performance. While growing up, some of his best friends were Jerry Falwell, Sr., several attorney's, two mayors, Red Whitten, many doctors and business owners. Too many to mention. Later in life, he became friends with Revely Coleman, Jim Camden, Richard Cunningham, Mich Pettyjohn, Roger Wade, Wayne Riddle and Boyce Allen.

An objective and conscientious individual, Tommy reveled in the security of his family. On September 2, 1987 Tommy exchanged wedding vows with Judy Darlene Lockhart Cash, and his first wife was the late Dorothy Napier Bell who passed away August 26, 1971. One of Tommy’s most endearing qualities was his uncanny ability to remember important dates and anniversaries, and his unending enthusiasm for organizing a celebration for his family and friends.

Tommy was ever watchful of his children. He worried about them and was deeply concerned for their development as they grew up. He maintained a firm hand in their upbringing. Tommy would give his stamp of approval to their requests, as long as he could see how they might benefit. He also had the ability to enforce the rules as needed to ensure that his children were properly raised. Tommy was blessed with one child, Cathy Lynn Bell Saunders. They were also blessed with two grandchildren and three step-grandchildren, Prisilla, Thomas, Aalan, Cody and Brooke.

Being a hard worker who praised efficiency, Tommy was always striving to make improvements where they were necessary. He was able to analyze situations and problems, keeping everything and everyone on track. An excellent project supervisor, Tommy was a person who could quickly make decisions based on the information available. He worked cooperatively and expected the same from his colleagues. In both his personal and professional environments, Tommy upheld his standards. His primary occupation was Insurance. He was employed for 36 years with Home Beneficial Insurance Company. Tommy was a team player who certainly lived out the motto of “give me a job, and I will get it done.”

Tommy was a veteran of the US Navy. His sense of duty helped lead him into the military where his understanding of rank, his willingness to abide by rules and regulations and his desire to follow orders was admired by his fellow service men and women. He was in Annapolis, Maryland. Tommy saw action for World War II. Through his hard work and dedication, he achieved the rank of Seaman Apprentice, E-2.

Tommy approached his leisure time in the same manner that he approached his life. A person who enjoyed being neat and orderly and one who understood the nature of things, he appreciated the hours he was able to devote to his various hobbies. His favorite pursuits were stamp collecting and he loved to build. Tommy was content to enjoy his favorite pastimes alone but was also willing to share his interests with others.

Playing by the rules was a natural thing for Tommy to do in life and that carried over to his enjoyment of sports. Recreational sports included golf. He also was something of a sports fan and enjoyed watching his favorite events whenever he got the opportunity. Tops on his list were football and golf.

Being generous with his time and energy, Tommy liked to belong to a variety of groups and organizations. He was a vocal leader who enjoyed being a part of things. His desire to uphold traditions and his ability to take charge of any type of project made him a tremendous asset. Throughout his later years, Tommy was an active member of the Lynchburg Elk's Lodge #321.

A civic-minded person, Tommy was usually ready to jump in and help with community activities. He was the type of person who could masterfully organize events and projects and then see to it that they were run in an efficient and timely manner. Tommy was a member of several community groups, including serving on committees for the Elks Lodge, He was the sole person responsible for bringing the Clyde Beaty - Cole Brothers Circus to Lynchburg. He also was a past Exaulted Ruler. Politically, Tommy was independant. During these years, Tommy applied his analytical intellect to problem solving and so was an asset on most committees.

Faith was important to Tommy. He held high moral standards and was worried about the moral decay he saw around him. For that reason he held deep spiritual beliefs that he was willing to share. He was a life long member of College Hill Baptist Church.

When it came time to travel or take a vacation, Tommy used his scheduling expertise to make sure everyone and everything was ready to go. That also meant that he made certain no single person was overworked in putting the trip together. Tommy had a knack for making sure that everyone who was involved had their specific tasks and that those tasks were completed. Favorite vacations included Myrtle Beach.

Tommy was a lover of animals and cherished his pets. One of Tommy’s favorites was Buffy, Binki & Madison. They were best friends for 13 years. His family was rounded out by his two dogs Piddle and Buffy. He also loved to hand feed the squirrels in his yard every day.

When Tommy’s retirement finally arrived in 1990, he was well prepared. He used his critical evaluation skills to make sure that every detail had been preplanned and attended to. His new life involved relaxing in Lynchburg. In retirement, he found new pleasure in golf and building. In many ways, Tommy loved retirement. It provided him with the opportunity to catch up with his friends, attend functions and group outings, and tackle new interesting activities.

Tommy passed away on February 9, 2020 at his home in Forest, Virginia. He is survived by his wife Judy and daughter Cathy.

All who knew him would agree that Tommy was a pillar of the community. He lived his life with his feet firmly on the ground. He had a strong work ethic, was pragmatic in his thoughts and acts, and constantly sought the means for self-improvement. He was willing to share his ideas and knowledge for the benefit of others, so that they could accomplish more in their lives. Tommy Bell did his best to ensure that his family, friends, loved ones, co-workers, and everyone whose life he touched was given the chance to become a better person.