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John Otis Belle

Memorial for John Otis Belle

Born in Fort Worth, Texas on Jun. 8, 1920
Departed on Jun. 13, 2009 and resided in Austin, TX.
Visitation: Tuesday, Jun. 16, 2009
11:00 am - 9:00 pm
Service: Wednesday, Jun. 17, 2009
10:00 am
Cemetery: Cook Walden Capital Parks Mausoleum
Please click on the links above for locations, times, maps, and directions.

John Otis Belle passed away peacefully on June 13, 2009. He had been a beacon of light and inspiration for his family, for his friends, and for the Austin community throughout his lifetime.

Born June 8, 1920 in Fort Worth, Texas, John O. Belle was the second of three children born into the loving family of the late James and Georgia Hamilton Bell. Professing his love for Christ at an early age, he was baptized at Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church in Fort Worth and later united with Ebenezer Baptist Church after moving to Austin in 1950. As a devoted member of Ebenezer Baptist Church, Mr. Belle served as a Trustee, an Assistant Superintendent of Sunday School, and the President of the Ebenezer Child Development Board.

Mr. Belle was inducted into the United States Army during World War II with duties in Fayetteville, N.C., Durham, N.C., Richmond, VA., and Germany. It was during this time that he married his high school sweetheart, Joe Helen Hall, in 1943. Together they shared many years of love and happiness.

John always had a commitment to and a passion for education. He attended I.M. Terrell High School in Fort Worth. He later enrolled in and graduated from Huston-Tillotson University in Austin and received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in history and elementary education. Further studies included attendance at Our Lady of the Lake College in San Antonio where he received his Master of Arts Degree in elementary administration. Mr. Belle also attended the University of Texas at Austin.

John Belle had a very distinguished and rewarding career as an educator. He served as principal of Sims Elementary School, Area I Director of Elementary Schools, and Director of Student Teacher placements. After working for 34 wonderful years, he retired from the Austin Independent School District in 1983.

It was always important to John to be able to have a positive impact on the lives of his many friends and citizens of Austin. He contributed time and service to various organizations through active membership and involvement. He was a member Emeritus of Phi Delta Kappa, University of Texas Chapter; Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, where he held many offices and was honored as "Citizen of the Year" by the local chapter and the district, which includes Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas and Texas. He was a lifetime member of the Urban League and a member of the NAACP. He served in a distinguished manner on many boards and commissions including, The American Heart Association, the Austin Symphony Society, Austin and Texas Retired Teachers' Associations, AARP Chapter 108, the National PTA Committee working with violence on television and its effects on children, and the Committee of the Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Health Partnership 2000 and the Board of Services for the Elderly.

He leaves to cherish many fond memories, his devoted wife of 66 years, Joe Helen Belle, one sister, Juanita Casey of San Francisco, CA; a sister in law, Dixie Mae Bell of Fort Worth; nephews John Quincy Bell and wife Phyllis; Loran James Bell and wife Lisa of Fort Worth; Gerald Ray Nobles, Dannye Casey, John Lawrence Casey of San Francisco, nieces Phyllis Casey German and husband Jimmie and Toni Renee Casey of San Francisco, goddaughter Laurinda Robinson Harris, and husband Bergeron, adopted daughters Judith Hall, and Linda Banks Kneppel and husband Gary all of Austin, and numerous other relatives and friends.


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