Clara Leola Bell Williams
June 2, 1942 – July 30, 2020
Clara’s goal in life is stated as “To be the best that I can be, with the help of God, my family, and education. I want to help someone else along the way and do my best at all times, putting God first. Whatever I do, I want to communicate it in a manner that others can use it as a pattern.”
Clara Leola Bell Williams, the daughter of the late Clara Lucille Blue Bell and the late Trial Bishop Lee Nelson Bell, Sr. Clara, born on June 2, 1942 in Andalusia, Alabama. Leola, as referred to by most family members, felt so blessed since upon the demise of her loving “Mother Dear” in 1947, she was blessed with another wonderful mother, Margaret Christine Harrell Bell who, along with Leola’s father, Grandmother Blue, and her aunts and uncles, joined together to carry out her Mother Dear’s wishes for her and her brother Jeddo. Clara considers herself fortunate to have seven other siblings: Jeddo Bell (Deceased), John Mitchell, Dradine, Judith (Deceased), Gloria Jean, Lee Nelson, Jr., Sharon Dianne, and Jacqueline Denise.
Clara is the mother of one son Christian Williams. Christian and Clara had a special relationship like none other. Their bond was inseparable. After spending nine years in Fayetteville, NC, Christian and his family relocated back to Fort Lauderdale, FL to take care of Clara who was dealing with numerous health issues. In 1947, Clara at the age of five entered first grade at Southside Elementary School. Eager to learn, Clara enjoyed school and graduated from elementary school in 1953 as the top academic student in her class. For her efforts, the Better Day Federated Savings Club awarded her a book scholarship to purchase all the books she would need for seventh grade.
Attending high school was exciting, and opportunities to learn were greater it was so much that Clara graduated from high school as Salutatorian. After graduating from Covington County Training School in Andalusia in 1959, she entered Alabama State College-now Alabama State University- and graduated in 1963 with the Bachelor of Science Degree in English as a major and French as a minor. The Master’s Degree in Education was earned from the University in 1969, with a Concentration in English. She did further study at Florida Atlantic University, Florida International University, and Nova University, earning certification in Administration and supervision.
Clara began teaching at Mary Johnson High School in Franklin, Georgia, in 1963 and was instrumental in assisting over 100 students to register for and attend college-many becoming the first generation in their families to attend college. Through her efforts as lead English teacher and French teacher, her students advanced two grades levels on standardized tests, during her first two years there; they received high recognition in the county for this advancement.
From 1968-1970, Clara taught French to fourth and fifth graders to Georgiana Elementary School and R.L. Austin School in Butler County, Alabama. Many of her students later were taught French in high school by her brother, Jeddo David Bell. In 1970, she began teaching English at Opp High School in Opp, Alabama, where she worked until she married and moved to Fort Lauderdale, Fl. She continued helping students achieve academic success at South Broward High School from 1972 until 1975. It was at South Broward High School, and later at Hallandale High School, that Clara taught several students who attended THE HOUSE OF GOD CHURCH in the Florida East Coast Diocese. In 1975, she transferred to Hallandale High School and taught for ten (10) years and served as the English Department Chairperson. It was there that she served in several leadership roles where she was responsible for training teachers; coordinating language arts activities, including curriculum, course development, students selection of courses and textbook adoption. She also served as member of the school evaluation steering committee and the Principal’ Advisory Committee. She taught students of all academic levels, including Advanced Placement and Gifted, and served for four years as Advanced Placement Coordinator, seven years as journalism teacher and newspaper advisor; and two years as Adjunct Professor for Broward Community College. Her duties as department chairperson placed her on the District Language Arts Curriculum of the District Language Arts Writing Team to develop language arts curriculum materials.
In 1985, Clara became a Teacher on Task Assignment at the District Language Arts Office and was responsible for developing language arts curriculum. After spending the 1986 fall semester back at Hallandale High School, she returned to the District Language Arts/WSOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) Office as Teacher on Special Assignment to develop ESOL Curriculum materials. Clara Also provided service in planning foreign language meetings, recording minutes for those meetings, and proofreading and editing foreign language curriculum materials.
Clara became an ESOL Resource Teacher and spent much time in schools assisting teachers with program implementation. Additionally, she assessed the language proficiency of students whose first language was one other than English. Later, she entered the administrative realm when she, along with one other person became the first tow ESOL Educational Specialists in the District and further provided staff development activities for teachers of ESOL.
In the fall of 1991, she was accepted into the Middle School Assistant Principal Intern Program and trained first semester at Pompano Beach Middle School. Back at her regular job site while the program continued second semester, she coordinated the ESOL Audit and led the audit presentation when the Department of Education representatives came to the Distract for Audit. In late June 1992, Clara was appointed the Language Arts Curriculum Specialist for Middle and High School Language Arts. She served in that capacity for four and half years.
After spending 21 months on disability due to complications from diabetes from 1997 to September 1998, Clara returned to work as Curriculum Specialist for Multicultural Education, in Bilingual/Foreign Language/ ESOL Education Department. She works directly with a team of four Resources Teachers and a Curriculum Development/Training Specialist to assist teachers in implementing the state multicultural Mandates (The Holocaust, African American History, Hispanic Contributions to the United States, Women’s Contributions to the United States).
While serving various capacities at the District level, she was appointed by the Governor(s) and Commissioner(s) of Education to serve on several Task Forces and committees that dealt with language arts courses, state tests, state adopted textbooks, and performance standards. She was also appointed to serve on the committee for improving the quality of life of Floridians. She currently serves on the State of Florida Commissioner of Education’s Task Force on African American History. Their task is to make recommendations to the commissioner to help all Florida public schools infuse the history of African Americans, including African peoples, into the curriculum at all grade levels and in all subjects areas. Culminating forty-one years (41) in Education on June 30, 2004, Clara spent twenty-two (22) years as a classroom teacher and nineteen (19) years in student support at the District level.
Clara leaves behind one son Christian Williams, her beautiful daughter-n-law Azina Williams, four blessed granddaughters Ashely, Christina, Krislyn, & Destiny; and one great-grandson Lil Frank Alexander, Jr. Brothers: John Mitchell, Lee Nelson, Jr. (Shirley). Sisters: Dradine Crenshaw (Edward), Gloria Jean Arnold, Sharon Dianne Polion (Lloyd), and Jacqueline Denise Wytche. She leaves behind a host of loving family and friends and her adored church family "The House of God which is the Church of the Living God the Pillar and Ground of the Truth without Controversy, Keith Dominion." Clara will be missed, but we know she is with her Heavenly Father looking down cheering us on!
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Clara Leola Bell Williams
Cynthia ReGina Johnson-Roberson
August 9, 2020
My sincere condolences to Clara Bell-Williams Family.
Heaven has gained another faithful soldier.
August 8, 2020
It was such a pleasure and joy - and an incredible learning experience- to have worked with Clara at the District ESOL department. She was a woman of faith, professionalism, and integrity. You will be missed. Thank you for sharing so much of your knowledge. Rest in peace.
August 8, 2020
I was privileged to join Clara’s team of Resource Teachers in 1999 to implement the required instruction of the Holocaust! Together, with the others, we were able to impact Multicultural Education in Broward Schools! You were a knowledgeable mentor and a thoughtful friend! I will always be grateful to you for including my son in your prayer circle when he was sick and facing surgery! Rest In Peace, dear Clara!
Elizabeth Watts Bromery
August 8, 2020
I am so grateful that Marion Williams and I were able to work with you for a number of years and had the pleasure of seeing you in December 2019. Thank you for being a blessing to me and for being a role model of true womanhood in Christ. I love you.
August 8, 2020
To my friend, I remember our laughing and working together on the African American project for the State of Florida. We were the first to be drafted by the governor to work on the most noble of ventures. You were so classy and spoke with the voice of a person aglow with wisdom. I am grateful for our time together. Rest with your dreams now. Blessings,
August 8, 2020
Elder Clara Bell-Williams was a SWEET woman of God. She was full of knowledge, patience, and understanding. Elder Williams had a special love for young people and she always encouraged them to pursue an education. I'm so glad that I had the opportunity to meet her. She will never be forgotten. My sincerest condolences to Christian, his family, and the entire House of God Church family. May God continue to comfort, keep, bless, and strengthen you.
August 8, 2020
Clara will be truly missed. I remember our Missionary work in Belle Glade, Daytona and Fort Lauderdale, FL, I remember her traveling with me and my husband from Nashville TN. We visited with her on numerous occasions, sitting and tslking about God and life. She always had much to share. Clara always greeted us with a big smile. We loved her dearly! Rest in the Lord, Clara, your work is done. Love always, Gino & Jacquelin Jamison. 💔😘❤💯
August 7, 2020
Ms. Clara was refreshing peace for weary souls. When she spoke, we listened. Her words were always soft spoken, but enlightening. We pray continued strength for Christian, Azina and the kids. We Love you!
August 7, 2020