ForeverMissed
Rodney Conrad Bell was born on February 6, 1967 to Eleanor (nee Howard) Bell and James Bell, the youngest of five children, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was raised in the city, graduated from Benjamin Franklin High School, and received his Bachelors of Science in Medical Technology and his Bachelors of Science in Cytogenetics from Thomas Jefferson University. 


Rodney worked as a Research Scientist for Flowmetric in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. Prior to joining this company, he worked as a Research Scientist at Bristol Myers Squibb and at VaxInnate Corporation. He also held positions as a Clinical Trials Flow Cytometry Analyst at Esoteric Corporation, as a Medical Technologist at the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital’s Bone Marrow Transplant Laboratory, and as a Clinical Cytogenetic Technologist at Fox Chase Cancer Center.


Not only was Rodney a brilliant scientist, he was also a compassionate uncle and father figure to his nieces and nephews. He watched out for them and occasionally took his nieces on formal dates to the African American Cultural Museum and to dinner, to show them how valuable they are and to teach them etiquette. He loved to listen to jazz and playing darts at family gatherings.


Rodney met Annette, the love of his life, in the summer of 2000. As they were getting to know each other, Annette asked him one evening, “where do you see yourself in five years?”; to which he responded, “married to you.” She shared God’s word with him and he started attending church with her. At the conclusion of a Grace conference in September 2000, he finally understood that Christ died for his sins and he placed his faith and trust in Lord Jesus as his personal Savior. As he grew in his faith, their love deepened, and Annette became his bride on November 17, 2001.


Rodney and Annette served others together, from leading and hosting Connection Groups to serving as Sunday School teachers. Rodney was a devoted Deacon at Fellowship Bible Church in Sewell, New Jersey. In this capacity, he fulfilled his calling to serve those in need and   excelled at caring for the widows and widowers. He also managed the weekly accounting and deposits, oversaw the benevolence support for those in need, served as Usher Coordinator, distributed communion, and oversaw security.


Rodney was an avid outdoorsman. He never went anywhere without at least two knives. He loved his country and enjoyed traveling to experience its beauty. He was a master woodworking craftsman and blessed many with his talents, from building pool steps to making special furniture pieces. For a short time, he even had a side business called A Vision in Hand, where he sold his unique wood pieces at local juried craft shows. His craftsmanship graces the church altar and foyer.


Rodney loved people, easily made friends, and left a positive imprint on their lives. He was a kind man and was as comfortable conversing with a stranger as with a fellow scientist. He loved to laugh, and his smile and laughter were contagious. Rodney devoted himself to studying God’s word. He made his decisions based upon his faith. He loved the challenges of cancer research. He cared deeply for Veterans. He fiercely loved, provided for, and protected his wife.  


Rodney entered into the presence of his Savior on Sunday, October 10, 2021. He leaves a life of love and legacy of service to be cherished by his beloved wife, Annette Bell, his stepsons Jeffrey and Jordan VanValkenburg, his beloved granddaughter Harper VanValkenburg, his brother Calvin Bell, 15 nieces and nephews, and dozens of other great- and bond nieces and nephews, his church family, and countless friends near and far.


Annette and the family would like to thank everyone for their comforting words, kind deeds, and expressions of sympathy throughout this difficult time. 


In lieu of flowers, donations in Rodney’s memory can be made to Focus on the Family (8605 Explorer Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80920; www.focusonthefamily.com/) or Wounded Warrior Project (4899 Belford Road, Ste 300, Jacksonville, FL 32286; www.woundedwarriorproject.org/).


Posted by Teresa Carlton on October 14, 2021
The first thing my husband and daughter said when I told them the news, was Rodney was the friendliest and nicest person at Fellowship Bible Church. He as always smiling, joking, and ready to give a helping hand with anything you needed done. He had a strong faith and love for family. He will be missed...Our thoughts and prayers are with you, Annette, and the boys.
Posted by Julie Bick on October 14, 2021
I would always joke that Rodney's super-power was his ability to disappear in a flash (especially when QA was looking for him) but Rodney's real super-powers were his huge heart and his wonderful friendship. FlowMetric will never be the same without you. We love you Rodney.
Our heart-felt sympathy to all of Rodney's family.
Posted by Tammy White on October 14, 2021
Rodney was a teenage friend on mines a kind, and good person.
RIP my friend.
My condolences to his family you are all in my prayers
Posted by Ed Ridgeway on October 12, 2021
I'm saddened to learn of Rodney's passing. He built our honey stand at Shepherd's Watch Farm. It is a true work of art and has blessed our family and all of our honey customers from the area.
Please accept my condolences.
Posted by Doretta Martelli on October 12, 2021
Annette, Jeffrey, and Jordan, Lou and I were deeply saddened to learn that Rodney has gone home. Even though we haven’t seen you in a very long time, you are two people from our past that we hold dear. We have such fond memories of you both, and we will miss Rodney from afar. We can only imagine how much you will miss him. We love you and will keep you in our hearts and prayers.
Posted by Kathleen Schroeder on October 12, 2021
Rodney was a dedicated and gifted Scientist as well as a very kind and gentle man. I will miss his presence at FlowMetric. Please accept my sincerest sympathy.

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Posted by Teresa Carlton on October 14, 2021
The first thing my husband and daughter said when I told them the news, was Rodney was the friendliest and nicest person at Fellowship Bible Church. He as always smiling, joking, and ready to give a helping hand with anything you needed done. He had a strong faith and love for family. He will be missed...Our thoughts and prayers are with you, Annette, and the boys.
Posted by Julie Bick on October 14, 2021
I would always joke that Rodney's super-power was his ability to disappear in a flash (especially when QA was looking for him) but Rodney's real super-powers were his huge heart and his wonderful friendship. FlowMetric will never be the same without you. We love you Rodney.
Our heart-felt sympathy to all of Rodney's family.
Posted by Tammy White on October 14, 2021
Rodney was a teenage friend on mines a kind, and good person.
RIP my friend.
My condolences to his family you are all in my prayers
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