Saturday, May 16, 2015

James "Jim" Bell

April 5, 1938 – May 12, 2015. James “Jim” Bell, 77, passed away peacefully surrounded by family. He was born in Buffalo, New York to the late Bernard J. Bell and Margaret Zink Bell.

Jim graduated from Lancaster High School in 1956, triple lettering in baseball, basketball and football. As quarterback, he still holds the school record for longest pass. He earned a degree in Economics from the University of Florida. Upon graduating, he moved to Orchard Park, NY and joined Bache & Co. as a stockbroker. It was during this time he was asked to chair the Junior Golf Invitational Tournament of the East Aurora Country Club. Under his leadership the tournament expanded from a regional draw to include junior golfers from around the globe and is known today as The International Junior Masters.

In 1978 he joined Arnold Palmer Enterprises as the Tournament Director of The Bay Hill Invitational, piloting this high-profile PGA tour stop since it’s inception for 27 years.  He was also founding Tournament Director for the PaineWebber Invitational in Charlotte, NC (10 years) and the Chrysler Cup in Washington, DC (4 years). Jim served as president of the American Golf Sponsors and as a member of the Board of Directors for the American Junior Golf Association.

A sports enthusiast, he enjoyed time playing golf with friends, watching all sports, especially his grandsons’ events, and following the Florida Gators and Vanderbilt Men’s Tennis.  As a devoted family man and friend, he will be missed by all who knew him.

He was preceded in death by Barbara, his sister. He is survived by his wife, J. Gail McCutcheon Bell and his children Susan Duvenhage (Ian) of Nashville, TN; Darci Hand Pool (Hap) of Vail, CO; Melinda Jay Bell of Orlando, FL and James “Jimmy” Bell, Jr. of Orlando, FL. He is also survived by grandsons Nicholas and Michael Hand, his sister Belinda Kimmick and niece Kristin Kimmick.

In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to:  The Jim Bell Memorial ACE Grant, c/o American Junior Golf Association at 1980 Sports Club Drive, Braselton, GA 30517 (; Orlando Health Foundation at 3160 Southgate Commerce Blvd., Suite 50, Orlando, FL 32806 or Moffitt Cancer Center Foundation at 12902 Magnolia Drive, MBC Found, Tampa, FL  33612. Arrangements for a memorial celebration are pending.


M Jones said...

I am sorry for your loss, please accept my sincere condolences. I hope you will find your strength and comfort in Jesus promises of the earthly resurrection(:Acts 24:15) and the renewed Paradise earth, where death will be no more and no family will have to mourn the death of a loved ever again. Revelation 21:3,4; Luke 23:43. May GOD(Psalms 83:18 grant you all peace and comfort now, during this grievous time.-Matthew 5:4

Anonymous said...

Jim was such a caring loving man who took great pride in his family. He was one of the most gracious men we've ever known and his dedication to Arnold Palmer and the Tournament for 27 years was an example of the excellence Jim strove for in his life. His help to both Jill and myself as fellow upstate New Yorkers was above and beyond...he encouraged and also provided tremendous insight. We just found out about his passing last night and wanted his family and other friends to know how very sorry he's gone but know that somewhere in heaven he's looking down with that special smile of his and beaming it to his family -Jill and Steve Hosid

Buck Reid said...

So sorry for your loss. Jim was the kindest, most modest, considerate, and gracious gentleman we have ever known. I remember whenever my brother in law, Ed Appel mention the record pass he threw at SMHS, Jim always said he only threw it a few yards and the receiver ran it all the way. Gracious.