Willie Rodney Bell was born October 16, 1964, to the late Willie Whaley and Pauline James Bell in
Belhaven, North Carolina. When they brought their little bundle of joy home, his big sister Evangeline
was there to greet him. Rodney accepted Christ at an early age at Uniontown Church of Christ. He
attended the public schools of Beaufort County and in 1982 graduated from John T. Wilkerson High
School where he played football as well as played in the band.
Rodney took his love of music to North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, North Carolina. He
not only played in the band, but joined Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity, Inc. Rodney graduated in
1986 with a bachelor’s degree in Music Education. He spent some time at home in Belhaven, but
eventually relocated to Broward County, Florida.
Rodney taught music at Plantation Park Elementary. He enjoyed the young students but found he could
use his music ability better with older students. He was the Band Director at Rickards Middle School,
William Dandy Middle School, and Arthur Ashe Middle School. He later became the music teacher at
Park Ridge Elementary.
It was in Fort Lauderdale, Florida that Rodney met and married Johnnye Fye, in December of 1991. To
this union three sons were born, William, Robert, and John. Rodney enjoyed attending family reunions.
His sons especially enjoyed the reunions in Baltimore, Maryland, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and
Orlando. He enjoyed the sports of his Florida teams, the Miami Heat, and the Dolphins. But he never
forgot about those Carolina Panthers!
In later years Rodney was able to spend time in both Florida and North Carolina. It seemed fitting that
in the early morning hours of June 10, when he was with his sister who so anxiously awaited his birth,
God saw fit to call Rodney home. He leaves to cherish his memory: Sister – Evangeline Bell, Sons –
William Rodney Fye Bell, Robert Winston James Bell, John Jazz Allen Bell, Wife-Johnnye Fye Bell, Special
friends Gerald Keyes, Tim Jenneth, Bridgette and Ted Brown, Adrian “Abe” White, Randy Moore, Special
nephew-Jerome Bailey, and nephews, nieces, cousins and friends.
Mr. Willie Rodney Bells Diary
Family, I want you all to know
Jesus whispered and said time to go.
He said I know you are tired my son
You have had your earthly fun.
The ones you are leaving behind
I promise they will be fine.
You know I had a pretty good life,
Thanks, Johnnye, for being the perfect wife.
My sons there is nothing more I can do
But please know I love all of you.
I am going to miss my nephews for sure
But now I have the perfect cure.
Teaching and playing instruments I love to do
And thanks Van for allowing me to be there with you.
I kept saying Thank you Jesus for a reason.
I was blessed to have seen so many seasons.
I know you wont forget me and my smile.
I am thankful God called me His child.
Thats about all I have time to say.
Van, Kiddo told me to tell you hi.
Love always, Rod
By Pat J. James - we are going to miss you cousin