James A. Bell
  • 74 years old
  • Date of birth: Oct 30, 1937
  • Place of birth:
    Montgomery, Alabama, United States
  • Date of passing: Jun 14, 2012
  • Place of passing:
    Decatur, Georgia, United States
Keep on the Sunny Side of Life!

His family called him Jimmy, his friends called him Meatball, his grandchildren called him Granddaddy and he's Dad & Duddy to Tiffany and me. 

He was loved by many and he's now gone on to a better place to be with his father, James A. Bell Jr., his mother Sara F. Bell and his sister Robyn C. Bell.

He leaves behind his daughters Heather L. Young, her husband Frank and their two children Savannah and Thompson, and Tiffany C. Michael, her husband Shawn and their children Mitchel, Rylee and Evan.

If you look in the gallery you'll find a video of one of Daddy's favorite songs. Back when he was playing with the Avondale Playboys they would close their shows with a song, it's only fitting that we share this song with you now as the closing performance of his life story - Keep on the Sunny Side Life!

Please feel free to share a story or prayer and help us honor his memory. 

Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by MARIA RODEGHIERO on 14th June 2017

"Seems like just yesterday that Jim came to Rabun County to teach driving to the daughter of a friend.  Turns out the daughter should not be driving due to a slight impairment that Jim spotted!! He probably saved her life by reporting his assessment to her parents!  He was always so good about thinking of others!  Miss him so very much!"

This tribute was added by CHERRY WARDWELL on 30th October 2016

"I think of Jimmy so often.  I always remember his birthday because it is the day before Halloween.  I miss seeing him and understand how you children must feel after losing my daddy (Pa).  There is a void in my heart for each lost loved one.  It fills somewhat when I think of them, and I look forward to the day I will see Jimmy (and our Pa) again."

This tribute was added by CHERRY WARDWELL on 16th June 2016

"I think of Jimmy quite often.  I have a video of him and Daddy (Pa) from the Thanksgiving before Jimmy passed away.  What a treasure!  I miss him and look forward to being with him again someday."

This tribute was added by MARIA RODEGHIERO on 30th October 2015

"Sure wish Jim were here so I could wish him a Happy Birthday!
I will miss him and love him forever, Maria"

This tribute was added by MARIA RODEGHIERO on 14th June 2015

"So hard to believe that it has been three years since we lost this lovely man! Seems just like yesterday! So many fond memories!  Love & Blessings to all, Maria"

This tribute was added by ara bell sanders on 30th October 2014

"I think about Jim all the time.  He was so good to my mother and such a good friend to her when she needed it most.

I will always be grateful to him for that kindness.  

Dale Hunt"

This tribute was added by MARIA RODEGHIERO on 30th October 2014

"Happy Happy Birthday to Jim! Miss him so very much!"

This tribute was added by MARIA RODEGHIERO on 30th October 2013

Miss Jim so much!
Recently met neighbors who told me that he taped her parents 50th Wedding Anniversary in Atlanta. She shared how he went above and beyond to make everything perfect and also made them a beautiful album as a gift!"

This tribute was added by MARIA RODEGHIERO on 14th June 2013

"It has been a whole year and yet it seems like just yesterday.
Dear Heather and Tiffany, I pray you are doing well,
Love you both, Maria :)"

This tribute was added by Heather Young on 30th October 2012

"Duddy loved to be the center of his daughter's attention. He loved to be pampered & indulged. Each year on his birthday his wish was for Tiffany & I to spend the night with him. ( like we were little again) Tonight, I will meet him in my dreams. We'll celebrate. Sing loud! Laugh until our cheeks hurt. Dance and twirl by his lead. Eat lemon pie from Mathews and love every moment together!"

This tribute was added by MARIA RODEGHIERO on 30th October 2012

"Happy Birthday to my Sweetheart!
Miss you so much and I will always love you! Maria :)"

This tribute was added by ara bell sanders on 23rd July 2012


I remember Jimmy as being a Christian man and a family man.  He loved God and all of the Bell family. I love him for all the visits to cheer others and share with my mother. He was endless in helping others.  He came and made my wedding video when Virgil and I married.

Virgil’s grandson, Patrick, had to have a second video remade for him as he wore the first one out watchi"

This tribute was added by joe young on 21st June 2012

"I have thought long and hard about what words I could pen that would be a true and ever lasting tribute to Jim Bell. Then it came to me as bright as day. Jim touch each of us in his own way, Heather and Tiff are his legacy, both of which he boasted with pride every time he mentioned there names. He told me once that his daughters were everything he was not, and all that he was. God Bless!"

This tribute was added by George Warren on 19th June 2012

"Jim, Ben and I were 1st cousins born within one year. We were the only members of the "Sly Fox Club" as youth, and he and I double dated as teenagers. I will sincerely miss his gentle spirit and good humor. We talked occasionally on the phone, and I was expecting a visit in the near future. May God hold Heather and Tiffany and their families in His hands"

This tribute was added by CHERRY WARDWELL on 18th June 2012

"Seeing your dad always made me smile.  The last time was Thanksgiving.  He called later and told me he had left $100 bill in my Jack-O-Lantern in the kitchen to help pay for the groceries--didn't know your Nana had made that Jack-O-Lantern for me years ago.  He was special and I will miss him.  You are in my prayers."

This tribute was added by Sadie Campagnone on 17th June 2012

"Jimmy's smile in the posted photo reflected his keeping on the sunny side, which he did!  Though losing Uncle James, Aunt Sara, and Robyn, he remained positive and always had an encouraging word (his spiritual gift).  From a couple of late conversations w/Jimmy, I feel he grew much closer to the reason for our hope....Jesus.  Love to the family.  You are in my heart/prayers as you morn."

This tribute was added by Gail Waldo on 17th June 2012

"Jimmy loved his family and became the official recorder for the Bell family.  He was always interested in capturing you on tape;  interviewing you as if you were special and he was the historian.  I was often caught off guard.  Now I see all of our loved ones who have left us behind and I am grateful for his persistence. I will miss Jimmy;  Sending love to his children,  Gail"

This tribute was added by MARIA RODEGHIERO on 17th June 2012

"Let's not forget those wonderful pound cakes! One year he made my favorite for my birthday!        Amaretto!                 It was the best I have ever had."

This tribute was added by joe young on 16th June 2012

"Jim truly was a one of a kind.  Take joy in his life, how he loved living it through eyes that could always shine a different kind of light in the darkest of rooms. He will live on through the memories of those who loved him the most. God bless Jim and his family and freinds!"

This tribute was added by Vernon Carne on 16th June 2012

"Jimmy was always the family cheerleader. At every Bell party he would yell loudest and would always want an encore. He was always smiling and ready for a good time. We loved him and will miss him.
Linda and Vernon"

This tribute was added by Heather Young on 16th June 2012

"My father could play the fiddle like nobodies business! I remember the pride i felt every time he played the Orange Blossom Special! He would become the music he was playing. At the end he would always smile and laugh and say "Boy, i've gotten rusty" but he hadn't. To my ears and to my eyes - he was spectacular!! I was proud as a peacock!!! I still am. I cherish that time in life with him."

This tribute was added by tiffany michael on 16th June 2012

"I also Loved holding my Dads hand. I Loved sitting next to him, he always put his arm around and gave  a peaceful feeling. He never was in a hurry & that is something we all should learn to be like. I smile thinking about his love he had for animals. When we were kids he pretended not to like our dog "sugar", then we"d catch him playing with Sugar.."dew-dee, dew-dee,dew-dee" -Good Times"

This tribute was added by Melissa Millikan on 16th June 2012

"Jim was always a smiling, story telling character.  I'll never forget the "tuna fish sandwich" story he told, to illustrate that most people don't listen to what you say. Also, the story about shaving off half of his mustache and going out in public, to make the point that most people don't pay any attention to others.  Dearest Hessie and Tippy, I am profoundly sorry for your loss. LOVE U!"

This tribute was added by DALE HUNT on 16th June 2012

"Jimmy will be greatly missed. He and I shared many long and in debth talks togather  I want to also give a "special thanks" for all he did for my mother. He visited her regularly in Florida and made some wonderful videos for us to cherish. He gave my fmaily a special gift and a lasting memory of her.He was thoughful and cared deeply about his family. I will see him again in Heaven."

This tribute was added by Terri Sloan on 16th June 2012

"Well, I just loved your dad.  He would let us do ANYTHING we wanted, and never asked questions.  Good news for him AND us, is that all WE wanted to do was go to the grocery store at 11PM and get frozen pizzas, Little Debbie's  and cokes.  :-)  And he had this great way of calling you from outside.  2 long whistles for Heather...3 short choppy ones for Tiffany.  Laughter and good times."

This tribute was added by Frank Young on 16th June 2012

"Like many people I probably have a book full of Jim Bell stories. He was full of life and always enjoyed sitting down with me to have a taste of scotch and share stories. He would show up with one of the dozens of colorful guests he seemed to have only just met and tell us a story from his life. He was funny, warm and perhaps the most eccentric man I knew. I'll cherish those memories."

This tribute was added by Heather Young on 16th June 2012

"I loved to hold my father's hand. I can still feel their warmth and strength as we would sit, laugh and tell stories about our childhood, the day I was born, his cousins and friends and life in general. He loved to laugh, and I loved to laugh with him. I will forever hold his hand in my heart."

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This memorial is administered by:

Heather Young


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