Ronald Lee Bell of Golden Valley, MN, age 72, passed away suddenly on June 1, 2016 with family surrounding him. Ron will be greatly missed by his beloved wife Helen Raleigh; daughters LeeAnn Bell (Paul Romslo) and Caron Bell; stepdaughter Ilah Raleigh Racine (Claude Racine); cherished grandson Theodore Raleigh Racine; stepson Todd Wetteland; brothers Ward Bell (Vanne Owens Hayes), Steven Bell (Joanne), and Richard Bell (Wanda Burks); as well as many close cousins and many friends. He was preceded in death by his wife Avis, brother Reginald, and parents Ward and Ruth Bell.
Ron graduated from Vocational High School in 1961, earned an MSW degree from the University of MN in 1971 and was a Licensed Independent Social Worker. Prior to retiring in 2009, Ron supervised several groups of staff at Hennepin County for 20 years. These groups included minority advocates who ensured appropriate cultural casework with parents involved in child protection and staff who facilitated community development and outreach at Sabathani Community Center.
He privately facilitated support groups for African American men. He was an inspiring mentor to individuals and a leader in many cultural organizations such as MN Black Child Development and MN Black Social Workers. Earlier in his career, Ron delivered direct services to adolescents and elders, and served as a junior warden at Stillwater Prison and as the director of Pillsbury House.
Ron was an ecstatic fisherman who shared his catch with many seniors. He loved hiking, trips to Jamaica and the North Shore, tai chi, bid whist and the MN Vikings.
Memorials are preferred to the Network for the Development of Children of African Descent in St. Paul and MAD DADS in Minneapolis.
A celebration of Ron’s life will occur at 11 am, Saturday, June 11, 2016 at the Cremation Society at 7110 France Ave., Edina. Buddhist Minister R. Kakuyu Dewberry will officiate. Visitation will be 5-8 pm on Friday, June 10 at Cremation Society and one hour prior to the memorial service on Saturday, June 11.