Velon Augustus Bell

Mt. Zion Baptist Church Cemetery

U. S. Veteran

You wonder why I went away, and didnít say goodbye,
I couldnít bear to tell you, for it hurts to see you cry.
My ship came home at evening time, and it was beautiful to see,
For the Captain was King Jesus, and he softly beckoned to me.
I ran across the leeway, and fell down at his feet
He gently took me in his arms, my rest became complete.

        On Tuesday morning, October 25, 2005, God in his infinite wisdom, called our loved one home from labor to reward, bringing to a close an inspiring and fruitful life.

        Velon Augustus Bell, son of the late Deacon George W. and Nannie Johnson Bell, was born February 23, 1926, in Powhatan, Virginia. He was the tenth of 11 children: Helen, Irvin, Alma, Leah, George, Ivory, Josephine, Elizabeth, Paul, and Webster.

        He accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Savior at an early age and was baptized into the fellowship of Mount Zion Baptist Church, where his membership remained until his death.

        Velon received his education in Powhatan County Schools and his Professional Locksmithing Diploma from the Locksmithing Institute in Little Falls, New Jersey.

        He courageously served in the United States Army and received an honorable discharge.

        Velon was employed with the Virginia Highway Department, as well as the State Police Department. In addition, he was employed for many years at St. Emma Military Academy. In later years, he became an employee of the United States Veterans Affairs and served as a carpenter and locksmith at McGuire Veterans Hospital for numerous years until his retirement.

        On March 27, 1948, he married Ruth Virginia Morris and their 57 year union was blessed with five children, June, Deborah, Darrick, Chandra, and Keisha. Velon was a loving and supportive husband, father, and grandfather. Together with his wife, he taught his children to love the Lord and to show their faith through good deeds. Velon never stopped dreaming of a better life for his children and grandchildren. He was active in the civil rights movement and fought to bring about integration in the Powhatan County school system. He participated in the March on Washington in 1963 when the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr, gave his I Have A Dream speech. His older children vividly remember him telling them that if he did not safely return from the March on Washington that they were to still get on the bus and integrate the school system the next day. Indeed, Velon instilled the importance of education in his children, as well as his grandchildren and encouraged them to pursue their dreams. His encouragement and support played an integral role in their lives and most of his children and grandchildren have received their undergraduate and graduate degrees, accomplishments that filled Velon with pride.

        Velon was an avid hunter, fisherman, and gardener; he often shared his harvest with the community. he also enjoyed carpentry, brick masonry, auto mechanics, plumbing, locksmithing, as well as electrical work. His mother frequently stated that "most people are a jack of all trades and master of none, but Velon is a master of all trades." Velon's heart was filled with a strong desire to help others and throughout the years most of his family, friends, and neighbors benefitted from his exceptional skills and abilities. He routinely provided his services for the improvement of the building structure of Mt. Zion Baptist Church. Indeed, Velon spent most of his life utilizing the talents bestowed upon him by the Heavenly Father to benefit those around him.

        He loved all sports, especially baseball, and spent a lot of time discussing sports with his brothers, children, and friends. He was often in friendly, but heated debates concerning the Giants and the Dodgers. Of course, Velon insisted the Giants was the best team.

        Velon was preceded in death by his parents, George W. and Nannie Johnson Bell; five sisters, Helen, Alma, Leah, Josephine, and Elizabeth; three brothers, Irvin, Ivory, and Webster.

        Cherishing his memory are his loving and devoted wife, Ruth; his children, June C. Best, Deborah Bell-Feddiman, Darrick H. Bell, Chandra C. Bell, and Keisha Dawn Bell; four grandchildren, Kimberly Johnson, Cornell E. Lawrence, Jr., Kiva Rogers, and Kanika Gorham; five great-grandchildren, Christian Best, Kenya Gorham, Karis Gorham, Marcus Gorham, Jr., and Jeremiah Johnson; two sons-in-law, Thomas Best and Sewell Feddiman, Jr.; one daughter-in-law, Alice Bell; three grandsons-in-law, Edward Johnson, Taurus Rogers, and Marcus Gorham, Sr.; two brothers, George and Paul Bell; nine sisters-in-law, Willie Sue, Bessie, and Florine Bell; Carrie Smith, Cardell Daniels, Lena Johnson, and Karen, Julia and Geraldine Morris; five brothers-in-law, Otis Goodman, Silas Smith; Eddie Daniels, and George and Clarence Morris; a "dutiful soldier," Mary Jones; as well as a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

All the pain and grief is over,
Every restless tossing passed;
Our loved one now at peace forever
Safely home in heaven at last.

The Family

To My Dad

I sit here and grapple
With pen and ink.
I've never had such trouble
To pen the words I think.
I want to talk of yesterday
But I just draw a blank.
I want to talk of fishing
And the fun we always had.
My thoughts stray to hunting
And my heart feels glad.
I see the bobber bobbing
As the bream hits the bait
And I hear the hounds barking
As another deer meets its fate.
We have shared our pots of chitterlings
And many a bottle, too.
But how do I say thank you
For all we have shared with you?
We've labored in the garden
And chopped the melon patch.
I've marveled at your talents
So many I can't match.
You've fixed our cars so often
Fixed pipes, windows and locks.
Together we've trod fields and stream
And you've helped me climb life's rocks.
I can thank you for the peas and corn
Or the ways you showed me to survive.
But how do I say thank you
for the joy you put in our lives?
You have been help and support
In storm and rain and snow.
You have come to my rescue
When others would not go.
I love you very deeply
But how do I tell you so?
How do I tell you how I love
The gleam and twinkle in your eyes
Or talk of the joy I feel
When you speak of us with pride?
How do I say I love you
And thank you for all you've done and do?
This pen just don't hold the words
To say what it needs to say or do.
Just think of all your pride and joy in us
I feel the same for you.
Think of all the joy and laughter
Multiply it by ten.
You know how much I love you
If you multiply by ten again.

Darrick H. Bell         
Copyright Pending


The family of Velon A. Bell would like to thank everyone who
showed their love and concern through cards, visits,
phone calls, prayers, and other acts of kindness
during Velon's long illness, as well as during
this time of grief. May God bless each
of you and keep you in His care.

reprinted by permission