US Army

James Royal Bell

May 24, 1948 ~ July 24, 2022 (age 74) 74 Years Old


James Royal Bell, 74, passed away peacefully on Sunday, July 24, 2022 at The Landings of Smithfield, after an extended illness, to go to his heavenly home to live for eternity with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

He was born in Wake County on May 24, 1948 to the late Royal Henry Bell and Mary Odell Barefoot Bell of Raleigh, NC. James was a 1968 graduate of William G. Enloe High School in Raleigh, NC. Upon graduation he joined the US Army.

James served in both the US Army and the Army National Guard. He was a Vietnam Veteran and received a Purple Heart for being wounded in service. James was a firefighter with the City of Raleigh for 30 years until his retirement on April 1, 1997.

James loved to play softball and go hunting. He enjoyed diet sundrops, black licorice, M&M’s, and NC State football and basketball.

James is survived by his daughters: Melissa Rice and her husband, Rod of Four Oaks; Kara Trull and her husband, Brian of Zebulon; four grandsons: Cameron Bell, Austin Rice, Henry Rice, and Seth Trull; and one granddaughter, Leighton Trull. He also leaves behind his sister, Shirley Turner of Franklinton; and nephews and nieces and grandnephews and grandnieces. James also leaves behind a lifelong friend and faithful caregiver, Lorrie Tharrington-Herman.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his sister, Norma Jean Gilbert; brother, George Henry Bell, Sr., nephew, George H. “Tink” Bell, Jr.; and sister-in-law, Joe Ann Bell.

A service to celebrate his life will be held at 11:00 am, Tuesday, August 2, 2022 at L. Harold Poole Funeral Service Chapel, 944 Old Knight Road, Knightdale, NC 27545. Burial will follow at Gethsemane Memorial Gardens, 809 W. Gannon Avenue, Zebulon, NC 27597 with honors from the US Army and the City of Raleigh Fire Department.

A visitation will be held prior to the service from 10:00 to 10:45 am, Tuesday, August 2, 2022 at the funeral home.

At James’ request, in lieu of flowers, contributions would be greatly appreciated to the Wounded Warriors Project, P.O. Box 758516, Topeka, KS 66675-8516.

A very special thank you to all those at The Landings of Smithfield who loved and cared for James the last year and a half of his life. They were so gracious and kind to him during his difficult days. They are appreciated very much. May God bless each and every one of them.


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of James Royal Bell, please visit our floral store.


August 2, 2022

10:00 AM to 10:45 AM
L. Harold Poole Funeral Service & Crematory
944 Old Knight Road
Knightdale, NC 27545

Funeral Service
August 2, 2022

11:00 AM
L. Harold Poole Funeral Service Chapel
944 Old Knight Road
NC, NC 27545


Gethsemane Memorial Gardens, Gannon Ave, Zebulon


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