Proverbs 10:7. The memory of a good person is a blessing.
Sidney Andreas Bell was born in Jacksonville, Florida on November 1, 1935 to the late Raleigh Bell and Fay Reynolds.
Sidney completed his elementary and high school education in the Catholic school system of Jacksonville, Florida. At 17, he enrolled in the United States Air Force where he was stationed at Andrews Air Force base in Washington, D.C. He was honorably discharged from the Air Force in 1957. After his discharge, Sidney moved to Philadelphia, PA where his mother and his sister, Harriet, moved from Florida while he was in the service.
Sidney worked in a variety of jobs before joining the Philadelphia Fire Department in 1962. In 1964, Sidney met Doris Hammond in West Philadelphia. They met at a playground where she worked as a play leader while attending college. Sidney and Doris eventually married in September 1967. While working as a fireman, Sidney decided to continue his education. He enrolled in Cheyney University and eventually resigned from the fire department so he could attend college as a full time student. Sidney graduated with honors from Cheyney University in 1975. In 1976, Sidney began working for Conrail Corporation in the real estate department. After 15 years with Conrail, he retired in 1991.
Sidney was a man of many interests. He was an avid history buff with a particular interest in World War 1 and 2. If you ever needed information about the war, Sidney could give you an armchair lesson. He had an amazing recall of the dates and events leading up to important battles in the war. Sidney was also passionate about boxing. As an avid fan, he often attended boxing matches at the Blue Horizon, the Arena in West Philadelphia and Madison Square Garden. His love of the sport ran deep. Sidney watched matches like a boxing judge, assigning points for every punch, defense and knockdown. His favorite fighter was Muhammad Ali. When Ali lost his first major fight to Joe Frazier, Sidney was so upset he was almost in tears.
In the late 80’s, Sidney began playing golf after joining his father and brother on a golf outing in New Jersey. Sidney became a devoted golfer and eventually joined the Freeway Golf Club, the first African-American owned 18-hole golf course in America. He enjoyed playing in numerous tournaments and proudly amassed a collection of trophies.
We can’t talk about Sidney without mentioning his love of pinochle. Sidney was a serious pinochle player who didn’t suffer any fools. He had a fierce competitive spirit and playing cards with him meant you were in store for a raucous, lively and energetic game. He shared his love of pinochle with his daughters and eventually he taught his grandson to play the game as well.
In 1990, Sidney became a member of the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Alumni chapter. Sidney was honored and proud to be a Kappa. He was active within the organization and served on several committees. Sidney was a Life member of the Philadelphia Alumni chapter and received several awards for his service in the fraternity.
Sidney believed that his greatest achievements in life were his children and grandchildren. Sidney was the father of three lovely girls, Lisa and twins, Sydney (Vicky) and Alexis. His daughters brought him so much joy and he was proud of them and their achievements. Sidney was also blessed with five beautiful grandchildren. To say that Sidney was devoted to his grandchildren is an understatement. He always happy to take them on rides in their wagon, drive them to McDonald’s for lunch, pick them up from school and do whatever else they asked him to do. His grandchildren were the light of his life.
Early in the morning on June 6, 2020, Sidney made his transition after a long illness. He was surrounded by his loving family. Sidney leaves behind to cherish his memory, his wife Doris, daughters Lisa Sharp (Kevin), Sydney (Vicky) Scales (Frederick) and Alexis; five grandchildren: Kevin Jr., Brooke, Tyler, Kylie and Logan; his sister, Harriet Reynolds Rigby, niece Fay Dunbar (Will); brother-in-law Edwin Hammond; sisters-in-law, Sandy Bell, Virginia, Irma and Jackie Hammond; many nephews, nieces and a host of friends. Sidney was preceded in death by his brothers, Burton and Aldridge.
The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; He leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul; He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
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