MAY 28, 2004
Jack Bell was one of Carroll Countys most dedicated public servants, even to the end of his life when he considered running for the state legislature.
Bell died May 21 while bush hogging land for the county water authority on Highway 166 near Jones Mill Road.
Bell got off the tractor and died when it ran over him, investigators say.
Bell, a Fulton County native, came to the West Georgia area to work for Southern Bell Telephone in the late 50s. He left the phone company to enter a career in law enforcement, where he rose to Chief of the Carrollton Police Department and subsequently to Carroll County Sheriff after serving as Chief Deputy under Sheriff W.J. Robinson.
Bell served as Sheriff until 1996 when he retired to run for Commission Chairman, a job he held until retirement in 2001. He briefly considered running for the state legislature this year but decided against it after conferring with his family.
Jack Bell is remembered by friends and colleagues as a good man.
Jack was one of the most personable people Ive met, said Carroll Star Publisher Bill Chappell, who is running for commission chairman this year. He was a gifted politician and a real leader I told him more than once that had he started 20 years earlier, he would have been governor.
Current Comission Chairman Robert Barr characterized Bell as a larger than life public servant, maybe the last we will see in Carroll County.
Jack was honest and gave you a straight answer, Barr said. He loved Carroll County second only to his family and regarded local service as the highest form of public service.
Bell was a member of Forrests Escort Camp, Sons of Confederate Veterans. The commander of the camp also remembered Bell as a singular figure in local politics.
Occasionally a community is blessed with the presence of a person whose good deeds have a positive effect, not only locally, but to other communities as well, said Commander Charlie Lott, himself a retired law enforcement officer. Such a person was Jack Bell...a public servant dedicated to public good!
He was a joy to be associated with, both personally and professionally. We shall seldom see his like again.
Villa Rica Police Chief Ned Watson had know Bell since Watson entered law enforcement in the early 80s.
The Sheriff was like my father in law enforcement, the Chief said. A lot of what he taught us we take with us to this day. I feel empty at his passing. I will miss him very much. The Sheriff had a sense of duty to this county and to her citizens that is not matched by anyone. He took it personally.
In addition to his public service, Bell was member and present Worshipful Master of Temple Masonic Lodge No. 332 and served on the Board of Directors of the Carroll County Cattlemens Association. He was also past President of the Villa Rica Lions Club and was an active member of the First Baptist Church of Villa Rica and the Unity Sunday School class.
His funeral was Tuesday at the First Baptist Church with interment at Meadowbrook Memory Gardens.