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Mr. John E. Bell

Online Memorials

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Wow, what a wonderful man, teacher, and coach! Mr. Bell was and always will be my favorite teacher. He always found a way to put a smile on your face. Mr. Bell would have a nickname for everyone of his students. His smile in the classrooms or in the hallways, checking for passes, will always be missed. I miss him so much. You are constantly in my prayers, Bell family. Much love, Kelly Pfleging (2004-2005)
From: Kelly Pfleging    02/27/2006 03:46 PM

Dear Mrs. Bell, Mike and Chris, My heartfelt sorrow goes out to your entire family regarding your loss. I must say that the funeral service at Mt. Carmel was just Beautiful.I am not from this area, but I learned so much about his tremendous accomplishments with the youth of our community over the last 35 years. His life was truly meaningful and your family is obviously proud! He has left a lasting impression on many students and athletes. What could be more important in life than that! If we had more people live their lives like John "Coach" Bell, it would be a much better world to live in. Ron Davignon
From: Ron Davignon    02/06/2006 11:46 AM

Dear Chris, Mike, and Mrs. Bell, Just this week I was telling a colleague about Mr. Bell and what a wonderful teacher he was. As a 7th grade teacher now myself, I am doubly thankful for him. I can't tell you how profoundly I feel the loss. My deepest condolences to your family. Sincerely, Jeannie (Denman) Redhouse, MVHS Class of '89
From: Jeannie (Denman) Redhouse    02/06/2006 09:16 AM

To the Bell Family, my deepest condolences. John and I graduated in '66 and played on the football team together. He will be sorely missed by all and in all our prayers.
From: Bill Van Sickle    02/05/2006 11:21 AM

To the family and (many) friends of John Bell.......I was saddened by the news. It's a big loss for all of us. He was a Great Guy, and a Superb Role Model. If I had to describe him to a stranger, I would say,"immediately likeable and trustworthy." My condolences to everyone who has had the pleasure to know him. Sincerely, Mike Ewanciw, Seattle, WA (MVHS - Class of 1972)
From: Mike Ewanciw    02/03/2006 06:06 PM

Dear Bell family, We send our deepest condolences at this sad time. Mr Bell. was a great man with a heart of gold.We had the honor of having him for 7th grade Social Studies and those memories are forever in our minds.He will be missed but never forgotten.Dave & Kim LeBlanc
From: Dave & Kim LeBlanc    02/03/2006 04:58 PM

Dear Bell family, I was deeply saddened to hear of John's passing. I knew John as an umpire who always had a smile on his face on the field, and he was always quick to compliment the coaches on how well their team was doing that year. He truly enjoyed what he did. He will be sadly missed by all who knew him. It won't be the same without seeing that smiling face on the softball diamond. God bless you! Sincerely, Denise Scherman Middletown Varsity Softball Coach
From: Denise Scherman    02/03/2006 10:36 AM

Dear Bell Family I am ,like many others , at a loss for words to express my deep sorrow for your loss.In my 53 years of life I have never met a man like John. His honest, sincere and pleasant demeanor is something found in only the most beloved type of people your ever have the pleasure of meeting. He was an instant friend to all and a respected coach, adversary and umpire . I knew when ever we would have the chance to play Minisink in a big game John would greet us and wish us good luck. He would also let each of our players know that he was proud of their accomplishments.There is no doubt that if the heavenly father needs someone to umpire or coach the big game John is the man who will be chosen. Mike Truncale Newburgh Softball Staff
From: Mike Truncale    02/02/2006 10:59 PM

From: Mike    02/02/2006 10:48 PM

"When I Get Where I'm Going" (feat. Dolly Parton) When I get where I'm going On the far side of the sky The first thing that I'm gonna do Is spread my wings and fly I'm gonna land beside a lion And run my fingers through his mane Or I might find out what it's like To ride a drop of rain [Chorus] Yeah when I get where I'm going There'll be only happy tears I will shed the sins and struggles I have carried all these years And I'll leave my heart wide open I will love and have no fear Yeah when I get where I'm going Don't cry for me down here I'm gonna walk with my grand daddy And he'll match me step for step And I'll tell him how I missed him Every minute since he left Then I'll hug his neck [Repeat chorus] So much pain and so much darkness In this world we stumble through All these questions I can't answer So much work to do But when I get where I'm going And I see my maker's face I'll stand forever in the light Of his amazing grace Yeah when I get where I'm going There'll be only happy tears Hallelujah I will love and have no fear When I get where I'm going Yeah when I get where I'm going
From: lyrics by Brad Paisley...thought this would help ease the pain    02/02/2006 08:38 PM

Mrs. Bell, Chris, and Mike- Like THOUSANDS of others I am sadden by the loss of such a wonderful man. I was blessed to have Mr. Bell as a teacher and mentor many years ago. Coach Bell was truly one of a kind. I know there are no words to ease your pain during this difficult time, but may you find comfort knowing that Coach Bell touched many peoples lives and had an everlasting impact on the Minisink Valley Community and beyond. May God Bless you. Rest in peace Coach Bell. Former Student
From:    02/02/2006 08:19 PM

Dear Bell Family, No words can express how sorry we are to lose such a great man like Mr. Bell. I will never forget how he would "tease me" on how high my hair was at wrestling matches or how I had to wear gum on the end of my nose when I was chewing it in class. Mr. Bell was not only a Minisink icon but he was one of the greatest men alive and will be surely missed. My deepest condolences and much love to all of the family. Take Care, Bridgette Backus (Class of '91)
From: Bridgette Backus    02/02/2006 07:58 PM

Dear Mrs. Bell and Family, There are no words that can adequately express how sorry I am for your loss. Mr. Bell was a wonderful person. I had the privilege to have him as a teacher and have very fond memories of that time. I will never forget his humor, his smile and his great personality. He had a positive attitude that influenced so many lives, including myself and my daughter. Mr. Bell was an extradordinary man, teacher, mentor, coach and he will always be remembered. I am thankful and have been blessed to know such a wonderful man. May God bless all of you and may your memories be a source of comfort. With deepest sympathy. Sincerely, Marie Ewanciw Corlett(MV '79)
From: Marie Corlett    02/02/2006 06:59 PM

Dear Bell Family, I am so sorry to hear of your loss. Mr. Bell was a great man and will surely be missed. It has been many years since my time at Minisink but I can still see John standing at the end of the hall with his yardstick in hand. He is one of those teachers that will never be forgotten and will live on in our fondest memories. Wendy Smith Atkins, class of 1987.
From: Wendy Smith Atkins    02/01/2006 11:11 AM

To The Bell Family, We were neighbors once, any my children were once students in Mr. Bell's class. His sudden death touched our hearts deeply, however, we know that only the best are called to Heaven. God Bless you all. Fides & Tony Budinich (former redidence...7 Briarwood Drive, Mt. Hope, N.Y.)
From: Fides G. Budinich    02/01/2006 10:01 AM

Dear Mrs. Bell and Family, I am so very sorry for your loss. Mr. Bell holds a very special place in my heart. He treated his students and athletes as if they were his own. He took the time to teach them about life and not just about sports. I was able to share the great memories of his career at Minisink while also being able to watch my own son grow with many of the tools that " John Bell " taught him. He taught him to have dignity and respect and always to go for it. As a result after graduating in 1995 he was able to return to Minisink Valley as a Physical Education teacher and Coach to teach with those who taught him so well and showed him the way. That is where his roots were..... John will forever live in our hearts! May God watch over you and your family and give you the strength in knowing that an angel came and took a flower away. With my sincere condolences, Ellen Gillespie
From: Ellen Gillespie    02/01/2006 08:39 AM

*Mrs.Bell, Mike, and Chris, I am so sorry for your loss. I am so upset. I can't even try to understand what you all are going through. Mr.Bell was a great neighbor and I will miss him very much. He was and will always be my favorite teacher. I was very lucky to have him the last year he taught at Minisink. I was also very lucky to have had him as a neighbor even though he made fun of me more then most of the kids in my class. He always called me "Cody" or "Little Neighbor". He had a nickname for everyone. And I can remember during quiet study he checked everybodies hallpass, and whenever I was walking or riding my bike around the block he would ask me for a pass. He was a wonderful person and I miss him very much. I am keeping you all in my prayers. Love always, Jessica Cody*
From: Jessica Cody    01/31/2006 05:50 PM

Dear cecelia and michael, Our deepest sympathy on the loss of your husband and father. Our prayers our with you always.Thank you for all your kindness to us.
From: eileen and elizabeth scheibner    01/31/2006 04:16 PM

Coach Bell where do I begin. I was fortunate enough to have him as a softball coach for one year. I learned a lot and had a lot of fun. There are so many memories that we made that mean a lot to me. He had many different nicknames for me from the things I said or did; my favorite being when he called me farm girl. The stupid and silly arguments we had over nothing were very funny. I am very heartbroken at the loss of a great coach. I miss him very much. He will always be in my heart and I will never forget him. My heart and prayers are with you and your family. Kaitlyn Corlett
From: Kaitlyn Corlett    01/31/2006 02:13 PM

Dear Celie, Deepest sympathies at the loss of your husband, John. I remember you both fondly from our days at the Sports Academy in the '70's. May time ease the ache in your heart.
From: Muriel C. Birnbaum    01/31/2006 12:15 PM

From: Muriel C. Birnbaum    01/31/2006 12:07 PM

Dear Mrs. Bell, Chris and Mike, My thoughts and prayers are with you as you grieve the loss of Mr. Bell. It is amazing to think of his legacy, the thousands of people whose lives he has touched - and shaped - in ways that cannot be measured. As a coach, a mentor, a teacher, a friend, and a father figure to so many of us in our formative years, he carries with him our great respect and even greater love. The number of times he has come up, just in the conversations that I have had with my brothers Jim and Tom, about our life growing up, is uncountable. With wit, toughness, integrity and love, he helped us to set goals and strive to achieve them - coaching and teaching us all along the way. Always seeming to know when to push, when to encourage, when to offer the kind word. He will always be remembered, respected and loved. May God be with you all in your loss, Joseph Fagan
From: Joseph Fagan (MVHS '89)    01/31/2006 08:53 AM

I wish to express my deepest sympathy upon the untimely death of Mr. Bell. He was the greatest teacher. The many years he devoted to the school and community will be long remembered. May your memories be a source of comfort. My prayers and thoughts are with you all in this time of sorrow. I would like to share one of my many fond memories of Mr. Bell. I entered into the seventh grade at Minisink Valley in the middle of the school year. My last name was a little difficult to pronounce correctly. So, he made me stand up in front of the class to introduce me. He stumped on my last name and from that day forward, any time he wanted me to answer a question or I raised my hand, my "nick name" was da da, da da, da dea. It always put a smile on my face and thinking about it now, still puts a smile on my face. He was a "GREAT" man that will never be forgotten. God Bell Mr. Bell and I hope that you make your new life in heaven as well as you made it here.
From: Ann-Marie Dedea Westridge    01/30/2006 06:36 PM

Wow, it's such a loss. Mr. Bell was a great and funny teacher. He had a nickname for everyone, even if you didnt like it. Mine was "Chips". He also had some really funny habits like when the bell rang he would always say "you are...outta here". I can't believe he's gone and no one will ever forget him. I just wanted to let you know that our thoughts are with you.
From: Lauren    01/30/2006 03:07 PM

To the Bell Family. You probably have an idea now of how much of an impact Mr. Bell had on ALL of his students. He was an amazing teacher, clever and wise. He'd always figure out a way to make me smile, even on the worst of days. he would always call me "Three" because it looks like I have three dimples, and he'd call me Barbie also. He was more than a teacher to me, he was like a best friend. He taught kindness, generousity and history, of course. He encouraged me to try out for the school's JV and Varsity Cheerleading group, and entered me in a Picture Contest which I totally forgot about (which I won and got my painting published in a book). He has truely affected my lives. His article in the Times is hanging on my wall right now. He was an amazing friend, teacher and coach. My deepest sympathies to everyone in your family. He will forever remain in my heart and you and your family will remain in my prayers. With all my love, Lilly Abbamonte (Student of 2004-2005)
From: Lilly Abbamonte    01/30/2006 02:50 PM

Dear Bell Family, John was truly one in a million. I first met him 30 years ago when he coached MV wrestling and I at Valley Central. He was a sportsman and a most worthy opponent. When I coached the softball team at VC we always hoped we would have John as our umpire. There was no one better. The last time I saw him was when MV played VC last fall. He was talking to our AD, George ST. Lawrence, and I went over to say hello. I told them both that there was no better umpire in the state of New York, and no finer gentleman than John Bell. I will miss him greatly. Please know that those of us who knew John share your sorrow. My thoghts and prayers are with you. God Bless John Bell.
From: Sandy Strauss    01/30/2006 07:30 AM

Celie & Family, I am so sorry to hear about John. George & Susan had been keeping me updated & I was sure all was going to be ok with time. I am sure your hearts are breaking. I know when I lost Ron how hard it was. Somehow time eases the pain, but not the memories. As I read down the list you will have so many memories & a supportive team to help. Sorry I can not make the trip. I always enjoyed it when I was able to see all of you when you were in Ohio. The Lord will be with you in this time of sorrow & the days beyond. I will keep you in my thoughts & prayers. Love Peg
From: Peg Dawson    01/29/2006 10:02 PM

Coach Bell, where do I start? My favorite teacher, he always made class so much fun! I was so lucky to have him in his last year of teaching. Then there was softball, he was a great coach. We had the best time! I have so many memories and good times shared with him that I will never forget from class and on the field. He had nicknames for me from little things that happened and they just stuck. I'll never forget that he always called me beautiful. I miss him so much. My heart is breaking, and I can only imagine the pain you are going through right now. I am praying for you constantly. Carly Seagren
From: Carly Seagren    01/29/2006 08:11 PM

Mr.Bell had to be the greatest teacher of all time. He had a certain way, to make the class fun. It had to be the picking on kids, giving everyone of them a nickname. Or the 6 cups of coffee each class. He would call me layup, so i made a nicknam for him too. I would call him Mr.Ding Dong. because of the last name Bell. He hated it, but it was a way to get back at him. He was the best. He is and will forever be my favorite teacher, even though i dislike social studies the most. I am truely sorry for your loss, Bell family. He was a great teacher, friend to our family, and coach to my brother. He will alwasy be missed, and never forgotten.
From: Mackenzie Conklin    01/29/2006 06:51 PM

Dear Bell family i am truely sorry for your loss. I know how hard it has been on myself, my fellow classmates, and teacher so i cannot even imagine the pain you are going through. I was one of the many lucky students to have had Mr. Bell last year in his final year teaching at MVMS. I must say that this was truely an honor. He tought me so much about what i needed to know for the following year as well as many life lessons. He was always around with a smile on his face or there to wish me good luck in my volleyball game that day. I will never forget the countless amout of days he would pick on me for being blonde. Which i dident mind. MR. Bell has truely left his place in my heart and i will never forget him. My heart and prayers are with you and your family. Always Kaylene
From: Kaylene (student of his)    01/29/2006 06:40 PM

Dear Bell family i am truely sorry for your loss. I know how hard it has been on myself, my fellow classmates, and teacher so i cannot even imagine the pain you are going through. I was one of the many lucky students to have had Mr. Bell last year in his final year teaching at MVMS. I must say that this was truely an honor. He tought me so much about what i needed to know for the following year as well as many life lessons. He was always around with a smile on his face or there to wish me good luck in my volleyball game that day. I will never forget the countless amout of days he would pick on me for being blonde. Which i dident mind. MR. Bell has truely left his place in my heart and i will never forget him. My heart and prayers are with you and your family. Always Kaylene
From: Kaylene Pennings    01/29/2006 06:33 PM

Dear Bell family, I had the opportunity of having Mr. Bell as a history teacher while at Minisink. He was such a nice person, always laughing and willing to help me if I had a problem. I was lucky enough to be part of the graduating class when they dedicate the field to him. It was an honor to know him. I am sending all of my best wishes to all of you and my deepest condolances.
From: David Blauvelt & Family    01/29/2006 02:18 PM

Dear Bell family, I had the opportunity of having Mr. Bell as a history teacher while at Minisink. He was such a nice person, always laughing and willing to help me if I had a problem. I was lucky enough to be part of the graduating class when they dedicate the field to him. It was an honor to know him. I am sending all of my best wishes to all of you and my deepest condolances.
From: David Blauvelt & Family    01/29/2006 02:18 PM

Dear Bell family, I had the opportunity of having Mr. Bell as a history teacher while at Minisink. He was such a nice person, always laughing and willing to help me if I had a problem. I was lucky enough to be part of the graduating class when they dedicate the field to him. It was an honor to know him. I am sending all of my best wishes to all of you and my deepest condolances.
From: David Blauvelt & Family    01/29/2006 02:15 PM

I had the honor of working with John Bell for a brief 6 weeks in 1995. I was student teaching in MVMS; What a wonderful chance it was to get to know such a great man. He always had a smile on his face, and having been raised in Port Jervis, I always knew the name: John Bell. My mother passed away suddenly during that six week assignment and John and his wife were among the mourners at her wake. That touched me greatly; his compassion was amazing for someone he knew for a brief time. I am very sad that he is no longer with us, but the influence on the lives he touched will go beyond what we can imagine. God Bless you, John. You were a good man. Fran Hicks
From: Fran Hicks    01/29/2006 12:37 PM

Celie, Chris, Mike, Ann Marie (and other family), It has only been a few years that we have come to know you and your dad. But in those years we have come to be very close to you and love you all very much. We are deeply saddened by your loss. Ashley and David loved all the times that they spent playing with John, Jack and Katie, and have even called John, Grandpa Bell on many occasions. We will always remember him for his smile, kindness and most of all his enthusiasm with the kids. He will be greatly missed. Our prayers and thoughts are with you. God Bless! Bonnie, Dave, Ashley and David Peer.
From: Bonnie and Dave Peer, Ashley and David    01/29/2006 09:08 AM

Celie, Chris, Mike, Ann Marie (and other family), It has only been a few years that we have come to know you and your dad. But in those years we have come to be very close to you and love you all very much. We are deeply saddened by your loss. Ashley and David loved all the times that they spent playing with John, Jack and Katie, and have even called John, Grandpa Bell on many occasions. We will always remember him for his smile, kindness and most of all his enthusiasm with the kids. He will be greatly missed. Our prayers and thoughts are with you. God Bless! Bonnie, Dave, Ashley and David Peer.
From: Bonnie and Dave Peer, Ashley and David    01/29/2006 09:06 AM

dear bell family, we are so very sorry for your loss. john was such a great person to know. are prayers are with you and the family.may god give you all the strenth you need at this time.he was a great person to know. our prayers are with you all. sincerely the walker family.
From: the walker family    01/29/2006 09:02 AM

Dear Cecelia and family, so sorry to hear of John passing away, my deepest sympathies in your sorrowful times - thinking of you
From: Hilde Lehn, PJ    01/29/2006 08:18 AM

Celie, Chris and Mike, There are no words that can help you heal in this difficult time. Out of all my parents friends I can honestly say that you, Celie and John are the ones I admire most. I remember when I stayed at your house in 7th grade and John took me to work with him. I had the best day that day! Maddie loved spending time with John and Mike in the pool last time you were here in Florida. All I can say is I am so terribly sorry for your loss. I loved John so much and I will miss him every day. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you.
From: Sarah (Santiago) French    01/29/2006 07:49 AM

From: Sarah (Santiago) French    01/29/2006 07:41 AM

I would like to express my deepest sympathy to the Bell family. Fellow PJHS "66" classmate. Rest in Peace
From: Christopher John Scully    01/29/2006 07:37 AM

Mr. Bell didn't just teach and coach at Minisink, he made you feel like you were part of his family. My fondest memory of this is after I had broken my arm in a car accident. I called Coach Bell and told him that I wasn't going to be able to play anymore, but I wanted to stay with the team and help out anyway I could. Coach told me that I didn't have to ask to be there, he wanted me there. That's the way he was. And can anyone ever forget his smile after we ended that losing steak to Port? I never will. It was great being his student in the classroom and on the field. My thoughts and prayers are with the entire Bell Family. God Bless you Coach! Mike "Fish" Fisher (Class of '95)
From: Mike Fisher    01/29/2006 07:00 AM

To Mrs. Bell and her family. Words are not adequate to express my condolences. Mr Bell was great. I too was his 7th grade student in the old high school building on the hill. I remember Mr Bell and Mr Blake standing in the doorway before social studies class teasing all the kids as we entered. I do not remember too much history but I do remember learning to play a mean game of cards! I also remember being Mr Bell's team matmaid when he coached wrestling in MIDDLE SCHOOL! What a guy. Fun and positive! Mr Bell was always upbeat and positive. I can also remember him giving me pointers on my cheerleading jumps and routines. Every recess he would help critique me on my routines. It was on his door that my name was posted in eighth grade as making the high school cheerleading team! He was definately one of the good guys. It is no use trying to figure out why these things happen - it make no sense. Life can really come at us hard. Be gentle with yourselves. Let everyone help out and hold you during this broken time. You will be in my prayers. Sadly, Debra Gabel (maiden name: Debbie Ogden - graduated in 1979)
From: Debra Ogden Gabel    01/28/2006 04:13 PM

From:    01/28/2006 03:06 PM

Mr. Bell, You were a great Social Studies Teacher, and a Great Coach. I will never forget you calling me little Tomaszewski after my mom. God Bless your family and my thoughts and prayers are with you. Megan Harris
From: Megan Harris    01/28/2006 02:29 PM

To the dear family of our great friend, Coach John Bell-- John was and is the most beloved man we have ever had the privilege to know. For 58 years he was somebody's most trusted buddy. For nearly 20 of those last years, he certainly was mine. John will never be forgotten. We liked him and loved him for his outsize personality, warmth and humor; for his stupendous generosity with his time and possessions; and. most of all, for his enormous love of us, his colleagues, of children in general, of you, his best friend and wife Celie and your children Mike, Chris, Anne Marie and his grandchildren, brother, nephews and the rest of your family. Like all of his other multitudinous friends, I will miss him with all my heart -- even though I am certain he is working as coach "up there" with all our students and colleagues who have gone home before us. Good job, dear Coach! Sincerely, Elizabeth Murphy, husband Tom, and children Ben, Andy, and Elena
From: Elizabeth and Tom Murphy, Ben, Andy and Elena    01/28/2006 01:35 PM

From:    01/28/2006 01:32 PM

Our heart aches for all of you. We will miss his wonderful smile and his wonderful way. He was one of a kind. He was so special to our daughter, Carly. Having him in his final year of teaching will always be the best memory to her. And the opportunity he gave her in softball last year, as well. She was so looking forward to this year. Her heart is breaking. But she will always have so many lessons that he taught her, deep within her. What a special man. Our love and prayers are with you all. Glenn and Jill(Parker)Seagren, Carly, Caitlin, and Cassidy
From: Glenn and Jill Seagren    01/28/2006 11:47 AM

We send our most heartfelt condolences to the family of Mr. Bell. He was a wonderful teacher to myself and football coach to my husband. I will forever remember Mr. Bell calling me "Red"' in his social studies class because whnever he called on me by face would turn completely red. He made class interesting and put a smile on all of our faces. Mr. Bell did such wonderful things for our school and he will be greatly missed. Thank you Mr. Bell for being such a wonderful you. With our warmest regards, Mr. & Mrs. Charles Stalter
From: Melissa & Charles Stalter    01/28/2006 10:13 AM


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