Cover photo for James Russell Bell, Jr.'s Obituary
James Russell Bell, Jr. Profile Photo

James Russell Bell, Jr.

April 5, 1946 — February 6, 2023


James Russell Bell, Jr.

James Russell Bell, Jr.

April 5, 1946 - February 6, 2023

WEAVERVILLE - James (Jim) Russell Bell Jr., 76, passed from this life to the next on February 6, 2023, at his home surrounded by his boys and family members.  He was native of Asheville, NC, the only son of James Russell Bell, Sr. and Margaret Cantrell Bell who preceded him in death. Jim had two sisters, Martha Renea Stroupe who preceded him in death, and Barbara Elaine Lemon.

Jim served in the Air Force and the Army Reserve.  He studied at the University of Alabama and UNC-Asheville. He loved learning and was very proud of the books. He researched and composed on the ancestry of the Bell and Cantrell Families, which are on the shelves of Pack Memorial Library.

Jim was a retired Vice President of Wachovia Bank and also worked for The Wooten Company. 

Jim is survived by his wife of four years, Una Jean, whom he had known from the ninth grade who loved him so much and whose life was so much happier while in his company, and two sons, James Russell Bell, III (Rusty) and wife Kelly, and Robert Dennis Bell (Bobby) and his wife Kristy; stepsons, Robert Allen Phillips and wife, Anika; Eric Lynn Phillips and wife, Susan. He so much loved his nine biological grandchildren and he “collected” eight other grandchildren who adored him and he loved them.  He helped rear his grandson Deklan and they had a special bond. 

Jim spent his younger years growing up on the Biltmore Estate and would gladly tell stories of the years he spent there. He also was an Eagle Scout and loved camping with his sons.  He also loved coaching his sons in baseball and spent much time watching his grandchildren participating in the pastimes of their choice including sports and drama and cheerleading. He was a 32nd degree Mason and loved helping raise money for the Shriners Hospital. 

A memorial service will be held at 2:00pm on Monday, February 13, 2023 in the chapel of First Baptist Church of Asheville. Rev. Leah Brown will officiate. Interment will follow in the First Baptist Sacred Garden.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to be made to First Baptist Church of Asheville, 5 Oak Street, Asheville, NC 28801 or the Shriners Hospitals for Children, PO Box 947765, Atlanta, GA 30394.

West Funeral Home, 17 Merrimon Ave., Weaverville is honored to be caring for his family. Condolences may be sent to the family through the website,

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James Russell Bell, Jr., please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Memorial Service

Monday, February 13, 2023

Starts at 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

First Baptist Church of Asheville

5 Oak Street, Asheville, NC 28801

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