Theresa Sherrer Bell Sullivan

September 9, 1946October 31, 2018
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Theresa “Terri” Sherrer Bell Sullivan was born on September 9, 1946 in Nashville, Tennessee to Mary Theresa Davidson Bell and Eric Bell, Jr. M.D., who preceded her in death. She passed away on Wednesday, October 31, 2018 at Vanderbilt Medical Center after an extended battle with Acute Myeloid Leukemia.

Terri is survived by son, Robert “Bobby” Eric Sullivan (Cindy), grandson, Logan Bailey Sullivan, two sisters, Lucile “Lucy” Wilmot Bell Negin (Gary) of Redlands, California and Mary “Molly” Patton Bell Kirkpatrick (Danny) of Rock Hill, South Carolina; and brother, Eric Andrew Bell of Maryville, Tennessee.

After graduation from St. Cecilia Academy, Theresa attended Saint Mary’s College in South Bend, Indiana, where she obtained a BA degree with a double major in Philosophy and English. She and her family moved back to Tennessee after her father’s death in 1975. Ironically, she passed away on his 100th birthday. She later went to school and obtained her Certificate in Paralegal Studies. She worked in insurance and finance for most of her career and retired from Ford Motor Credit.

Theresa’s favorite activities included spending time with her beloved grandson, Logan, son and daughter-in-law, reading, gardening and caring for her animals. She also enjoyed spending time with her treasured friends until she became too ill; however, she followed and stayed in touch by phone and through social media which uplifted her spirits. Throughout her life she volunteered when she could at the Nashville Humane Association. She will be remembered for her wise counsel, generous spirit, and her love for all creatures great and small. All of her beloved pets through the years were rescued or adopted. Her quick wit and keen sense of humor as well as her ability to tell stories both factual and embellished, will be remembered.

The family sincerely appreciates the genuine love and care of the staff and physicians at Vanderbilt, including: Palliative Care, Intensive Care, Hematology, Pulmonology and Infectious Disease. We are grateful for the time we were able to spend with Terri knowing she was in capable hands. We deeply appreciate the love and support of her devoted friends who came to visit and support her family.

Visitation will be Sunday, November 11, 2018 from 3:00-6:00 pm at Marshall Donnelly Combs Funeral Home. A funeral Mass will be held in the chapel at Saint Henry Church on Monday, November 12, 2018 at 11:00 am.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Nashville Humane Association.


  • Visitation Sunday, November 11, 2018
  • Funeral Service Monday, November 12, 2018

Theresa Sherrer Bell Sullivan

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John Walset

January 3, 2019

My wife Joan and I shared many fun times together with Terri while we lived in Nashville. We managed to stay in touch every Christmas after we moved and often talked about Bobby and my Jack, especially about their years in Troop 6 at St. Henry’s. Loved all of her dogs and especial the live Christmas trees she always had! My prayers are with you Bobby and your family. Your mom was one of the best!

Angela Sewall

November 10, 2018

Terri and I were classmates at SMC and fellow philosophy majors. What a wonderful, exuberant and kind person she was. Terri and her family are in my thoughts at this difficult time.

Catie Condran Geist

November 10, 2018

I was in Terri's class at Saint Mary's College and I always enjoyed interacting with her whenever we would meet on campus. Thank you for sharing all of these beautiful photos of Terri from throughout her life. I hope that our happy memories of Terri will bring comfort and peace to her family and friends.
Catie Condran Geist (Palm Bay, Florida)

Zip Largey Basile

November 10, 2018

When I see Terri’s picture I am reminded of her lovely voice and ever present smile. Enjoyed knowing her at St. Mary’s .
Sounds like she brought much joy and love to her family and friends.
Condolences to all who miss her.
May she Rest In Peace.

Karen O'Donnell Thorpe

November 10, 2018

We met one of the first days of college at St. Mary's. Her freshman year, she roomed with Bobbi Clinton, Mary Paul and Kathy Walsh. Their quad had a great view of the SMC boulevard and we gathered in their room often.

What was she like? Well, she always had that wonderful smile and her husky voice. She giggled and enjoyed our college life.

Late in the fall of our senior year, she gathered a small group of us together and shared her good news that she was now married and going to graduate early. She was a good student, a kind person and a beautiful soul.

Jeanie Brehl

November 9, 2018

Terri and I have been friends since we were students at St. Mary's College. There was awhile when we were raising our children we didn't keep up so well.
But when we became comfortable with email we were in frequent conversations. Terri was very courageous the way she faced adversity in her life. She was always positive and even maintained a sense of humor.
She is a role model for me. She faced life bravely and with a smile on her face.
Barney and I were fortunate to host Terri and her sisters here twice for a wonderful visit.
We wish her family loving sympathy.

Angie Krawczyk

November 8, 2018

As a Nurse at Vanderbilt Hospital I had the privilege of caring for Theresa during her many stays on our unit. She was a wonderful soul and fought so hard to make it through her Cancer journey. It was with a heavy heart that I heard of her passing. I will always remember her sweet smile and the courage she showed. Rest in peace sweet lady.

Shannon McKinnon Philbin

November 8, 2018

Terri was a classmate of mine at St. Mary's Notre Dame. She was always full of fun, sprint, joy and love for all. We had some wonderful times in South Bend. Sorry we lost touch over the years but I will always remember her fondly. I know that all of the family will treasure the wonderful Sister, Mother and Grandmother that she was with wonderful memories. May she rest in peace.

Debbie Zepeda

November 8, 2018

From those of us in California, we only knew Terri through her sister Lucy but would like to extend our condolences love hugs and prayers to the entire family and pray God surrounds you all with his great love and grace and comfort your hearts at this difficult time with loving memories

Marge Bowers

November 8, 2018

I did not know Theresa very well, but when I would see her at St. Henry's Church, she always had a pleasant smile and a wonderful greeting for me. We became acquainted because she had the same name as my daughter who lives in Chicago. We would laugh about our Mother-Daughter bond. Rest in Peace, Theresa