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Melvin William Bell

May 6, 2017
Melvin William Bell, 66, was called home to the Lord after a long battle with cancer and related complications.
He is survived by his devoted wife, Sandra Bell and a host of other relatives and friends who will miss him immensely.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the organization below.

Melvin William Bell was born on May 4, 1951, to Novella Starks Horton Bell and Daniel Jackson in Charlotte, North Carolina. Melvin attended the historic Second Ward High School where he was a star athlete in football and basketball and from which he was selected to Who’s Who Among American High School Students. After graduating from high school in 1969, he accepted a football scholarship to Howard University and enrolled in the School of Business. At Howard University, Melvin played several different positions in football, most predominately as the team’s quarterback. As a freshman, he joined the Groove Phi Groove Social Fellowship, and later became its chapter president. Melvin graduated from Howard University in May 1973, with the degree of Bachelor of Business Administration. He continued his postgraduate education at Howard University, receiving a Masters in Social Work in 1974. During his time at Howard University, Melvin met many of his life-long, very dear friends. During the summer of 1973, he also met his wife, Sandra (Sandy).

In 1977, while also pursuing a doctorate in Public Administration and International Relations at Howard University, Melvin began his professional career with the Federal Government as a Trade Adjustment Analyst for the Department of Labor Bureau of International Labor Affairs. This was followed by positions as Program Specialist and Analyst at the Administrative Office of U.S. Courts and the Defense Logistics Agency between 1982 and 1988. In August of 1988, Melvin began his long career at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. While there, he rose through the ranks to the senior position of Director of Administrative and Management Services where he had national responsibility for all manner of services such as space and property management, library services, graphic arts services, records management, health and occupational safety and transportation services. During his career, Melvin received numerous awards and high level recognition, including the 2002 Secretary’s Award for Exemplary Performance in recognition of his work in supporting the agency’s response to 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York and the Distinguished Service Award in 2003, both presented by the Secretary of HUD, Mel Martinez. Melvin retired under an early out from federal service in September 2003, and took on a similar role at the Space Telescope and Science Institute, as the Head of the Business Services and Business Resource Center.

In 2004, Melvin decided to pursue a dream of combining his business sense with his love of sports and formed the publication company, Black Sports The Magazine, LLC, also known as BSTM, where he served as CEO and Editor in Chief. The first issue was published in hard copy in November 2004 with a subscription fee, but a year later, in keeping with the change in times, the magazine became fully digital, with a no-cost subscription. BSTM covered all manner of sports, from a multicultural minority perspective. Melvin’s ingenuity in developing the magazine into an educational tool to support reading in schools (middle to high) led to him getting several large school systems and charter schools to subscribe to BSTM to provide the digital magazine as another educational resource for history and cultural enrichment for their students. While at one point he had hoped to continue his work, the last issue of BSTM was published in February of 2015, due to Melvin’s struggle with cancer and related complications.

Melvin always enjoyed spending time with his wife and when he decided, with other family and friends. Before his illness, when Melvin was not working, he especially enjoyed annual vacations with his wife alone and then again when possible, with his wife and friends (two per year). He also enjoyed helping people with his sage advice on almost any topic. His logic was always undeniable, even when the advice was not what you wanted to hear. Melvin will be sorely missed by many. He is survived by his wife and life partner of nearly 44 years, Sandra [Gethers] Bell, and a host of other relatives and very dear friends.

Donations may be made to:

American Cancer Society
555 - 11th Street N.W., Suite 300, Washington, DC 20004,
Tel: 800-227-2345

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