Helen Ray (Johnson) Bell

June 30, 1941 ~ November 5, 2019 (age 78)


On June 30, 1941, the late Isaac and Josephine (Muhla) Johnson celebrated the birth of their youngest child and only daughter, Helen Ray Johnson. On November 5, 2019 she transitioned from her earthly home to her heavenly home.

Helen was born and raised  in Durham, North Carolina. She was a member of White Rock Baptist Church in her early years and a 1958 graduate of Hillside High School.

In 1963, she married the late Robert Bell. From this union they had two daughters, Sonya Yvette and Angela Michelle.

Helen was a dedicated wife, daughter and mother. Whether it was taking her daughters to gymnastics practice, cooking fabulous meals for her family, or diligently caring for her mother, it was clear that she was devoted to her family. Helen’s gentle spirit was ever-present, In fact, when you think of her several words come to mind: caring, demure, thoughtful and loving.

Helen worked at Liggett and Myers Tobacco after high school. She then worked at White Rock Baptist Church as the secretary. Her next job was at Blue Cross and Blue Shield, where she was employed for more than 35 years until retiring in 2000.

After retirement Helen enjoyed shopping, gardening in her yard, and spending time with her grandson Quinton.

Helen dedicated her life to serving others. She was a member of Peace Missionary Baptist Church for over 30 years and was a member of the Helping Hands and Gleaners ministries.

In her later years, Helen spent time at the Adult Day Health Care Program. She also found great joy in spending time socializing most Thursdays with the “Golden Girls” (Valeretta Bell, Gloria Jean Roberts, and Roberta Alexander). Helen was blessed with the dear and lifelong friendship of Patricia Bingham, her best friend, as well as the loving support of her wonderful friend Ruby Holeman.

Helen was preceded in death by her parents, her brother James Johnson and her grandson Evan Bell. She leaves to cherish her memory her two daughters, Sonya Bell Ham and Angela M. Bell; four grandchildren, Corey, Chrysta, Daniel and Quinton; her brother, Isaac Johnson Jr.; special niece and nephew: Kimberlee and Isaac Johnson, III; special niece Karen White, and a  goddaughter  Phyllis Bell Hilliard; and a host of other devoted nieces, nephews, cousins, family members and life-long friends.

To send flowers to Helen's family, please visit our floral section.


November 9, 2019

10:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Fisher Memorial Funeral Parlor
3137 Fayetteville Street
Durham, NC 27707

November 10, 2019

1:00 PM to 1:30 PM
Peace Missionary Baptist Church
2608 NC Highway 55
Durham, NC 27713

Funeral Service
November 10, 2019

1:30 PM
Peace Missionary Baptist Church
2608 NC Highway 55
Durham, NC 27713

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