Andre Laroy Bell 72, passed away on Wednesday, October 28, 2020. Born at home in Chicago, IL on June 22, 1948, Andre was the first child of William and Ercellia Bell. After graduating from Carver High School, Andre was the first in his family to attend college. He graduated from Northwestern University, ultimately earning both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. While at Northwestern he joined his heart and life to the brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
For over forty years Andre excelled in the field of higher education. He led Northwestern as the first African American Director of Financial Aid at a Big Ten University. He served, also, as the first African American Director of Admission for the University of California, Berkley (CA). Because of Andre’s expertise, he was recruited to be the Vice President for Institutional Research and Enrollment for Bentley University (MA) and served in roles with the College Board in both Reston, VA and Chicago, IL. Additionally, Andre served Chicago State University and the City Colleges of Chicago in various capacities.
Andre shared his life, first with his college sweetheart, Debra Avant Bell Hill. Debra and Andre gifted the world with two children, Tiffany Renee Bell and Christian Lanier Bell. And, for the last 33 years Andre was the best friend and partner in all things with his forever love, Zina Jacque. While all of these details shaped the outline of Andre’s life, what filled the life of this marvelous man was a desire to achieve excellence, a sense of humor that was a little off color, a love of family, a devotion to friends, a quick and incisive mind, a sharp and unyielding wit, an open and kind heart, and a deep and abiding faith in God.
Andre saw the world as a place to make better. He used his energy to lift those around him. He was a student of life and applied his wisdom in ways that graced the world. Andre delighted in his grandchildren, Devon, Cayden and Carson, and was always delighted to be in the presence of his god daughter Lauren. And there was nothing better than hanging out at home, cooking a good meal, and sitting down to eat it with family and friends, laughter and love.
Andre is survived by his current and former wives Zina Jacque and Debra Hill; his two children, Tiffany Bell and Christian Bell, their children, respectively, Devon Casey and Cayden and Carson Bell; the siblings with whom he was raised Christella (Columbus) Woods, Diane Pye LaCretia Bell, and Mark Bell (JoAnne), other siblings William Bell, Eunice (Cedric) Toole, Anthony Bell, Phyllis (Frank) Grider, Cynthia (Larry) Phillips, Terry (Maurice) Ewing, Stacey Bell, one sister in law Rita Gillis and many cousins, nieces, nephews and others who love him.
As we gather to celebrate Andre’s life, may we hold in our hearts one of his mantras, “God gave me this life to live, and I am going to live it well.” May we recognize the worth of our lives, the precious nature of each day, and may we, like Andre, live our lives well.
In lieu of flowers, please make a contribution to Andre’s beloved Fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha, Alpha Mu Chapter, Northwestern University. Donations may be made at https://www.paypal.com/paypalme/IDEAL06?locale.x=en_US
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