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Burnie Lee Bell
April 8, 1949 ~ September 28, 2023 (age 74) 74 Years Old
15 Trees, Flowers, or Condolences have been shared with support of Burnie's family - View on Tribute Wall
Brother Burnie Bell was 74, and departed this life Thursday September 28, in Florence County. He was the father of Burnie Bell Jr., Damone Bell and Bridgette Bell. You may visit the family at 516 Peachtree Rd. Marion, between the hours of 5:00 pm -8:00 pm daily. Please follow COVID-19 precautions.
Funeral services are scheduled to be held at the Pleasant Grove Baptist Church on Friday October 6, at 2:00 pm. He will be laid to rest at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church Cemetery. Services will be live-streamed on the Jackson & McGill Facebook Page.
“And the God of grace, who called you to his eternal glory after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” 1 Peter 5:10
“The idea is not to live forever but to be something that will…”
Burnie left a legacy that will live on forever. He became an illuminating torch bearer whose light radiated brightly and ascended as high as the sun. The sun rose on April 7, 1949, when Mr. Burnie Lee Bell, Sr. was born to the late Reverend Phillip Bell, Sr. and Louise Barber Bell. He stepped out if this mortal body into immortality with the sun setting on September 28, 2023.
Burnie was united in holy matrimony to the late Blondell Godbolt Bell on June 1, 1976, and their union was blessed with four children. His youngest daughter, Rhonda preceded him in death.
Burnie graduated from Terrell’s Bay High School in 1966. He continued his love for learning by obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Studies from Morris College. While matriculating at Morris College, he provided excitement on the basketball court, acquiring the nickname “Sure Shot” from his basketball coach. Burnie furthered his education by receiving a Master’s Degree in Administration from the University of South Carolina. In 1970, his intrinsic passion for teaching led him to begin his career as a physical education teacher at Britton’s Neck High School. Burnie shared his passion for education with his wife who was a Britton’s Neck High School legend. During his tenure, he also taught science and social studies. Burnie served as a baseball coach and served as a basketball coach for the boys’ and girls’ basketball teams. He transitioned into administration as an assistant principal at Britton’s Neck High School. Burnie accepted the full principalship at Britton’s Neck High School in 1984. With the consolidation of Britton’s Neck High School and Terrell’s Bay High School, he became the principal of Creek Bridge High School where he served until his retirement in 2010. While principal, he inspired many young minds with his motivational quotes: “If you carry your books now, they will carry you later,” and “The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.” It took incredible wisdom and sometimes just pure grit and determination to lead at the schools and believe in the mission. Burnie was up to the task of completing the mission. His deeds, booming voice, noble demeanor, intelligence, presence of mind, and coat of armor are attributes which many leaders should hope to emulate. The indelible mark left on the hundreds of lives he touched could only be done “The Burnie Bell Way.”
Burnie not only understood the importance of education but also understood the necessity of developing relationship with God. He was a member of Pleasant Grove Missionary Baptist Church where he served as a trustee. He enjoyed good singing and good preaching. If he was not attendance, he would frequently inquire about the services asking about the pastor: “Can he preach?” or “How was the preaching?” Caring and God-fearing are words that could be used to describe him. These are also traits that created an everlasting love for a family of his own.
Burnie was preceded in death by his sister Daisy Mae Legette. He also had step brothers and step sisters with whom he was very close. Those who preceded him in death are Minnie Wilson, Betty Jo Smith, Sarah Mae Woodberry, and Sonya Belin.
Evidence of a life well lived is found in those who love you. Burnie leaves to cherish is love and legacy: two sons Burnie Bell Jr. (Shannon) and Damone Bell (Monique); one daughter Bridgette Bell: two granddaughters A’Bria Howard and Monisha Bell; one grandson Damone Bell II; one great-granddaughter Novah Legette; one great-grandson Brendon Bell; three brothers Phillip Bell, Sr., Willie Joe Bell, and Holland Dean Bell (Linda); two sisters; Deloris Bell Eaddy and Lula Elaine Bell; step siblings Velma Graves, Lee Grant Smith, Lela J. Leach, and Algeir Belin; one sister-in-law Earnestine Godbolt; and a host of precious nieces, nephews, special cousins, and dear friends.
Please adhere to all COVID-19 precautions and masks are required during visitation and funeral services.