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Dr. Rudolph M. Bell

May 8, 1933 — April 16, 2024

Dr. Rudolph M. Bell

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Dr. Rudolph Mardre Bell, 90, went to be with his Savior in Heaven on Tuesday, April 16, 2024. 

He is survived by his six children, Katharine Kammer (Will) of Wilmington, North Carolina; Rudolph M. Bell, Jr. (Venah) of Liberty, South Carolina; Sarah Meekhof (John) of Spokane, Washington; Dudley Bell (Julie) of Winston-Salem, North Carolina; Andrew Bell of Wilmington, North Carolina; and David Bell (Sanja) of Boise, Idaho. In addition, he is survived by fifteen grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. His beloved wife, Caroline, predeceased him in 2017.

Dr. Bell was a general surgeon in Staunton for eighteen years, serving at one point as president of the medical staff at King’s Daughters Hospital. In 1984, he embarked on a new career as a general practitioner and worked at urgent care clinics in Fredericksburg and Waynesboro, Virginia. 

Following his retirement in 2005, Dr. Bell volunteered at the Augusta Regional Free Clinic in Fishersville. He was a member of the Kiwanis Club and a United Way board member. 

He proudly served his country twice - first as a surgeon for the U.S. Air Force, and later as an officer in the U.S. Army Medical Reserves. 

For many years he was an elder at First Presbyterian Church in Staunton where he served on various committees including one that provides meals for unhoused persons.

He was born Rudolph Mardre Bell in Thomasville, Georgia on May 8, 1933, the only child of Dr. Rudolph Bell, a prominent urologist, and Sarah Everett Mardre. 

He spent his childhood in Georgia before moving to North Carolina to study biology at Davidson College. In 1954, he was admitted to the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta and there met Caroline Dudley, an Agnes Scott College student from North Carolina. The couple married in 1959 and after living in Oklahoma, Tennessee, Massachusetts, and Florida, they moved to Staunton and reared six children in a house they would occupy for more than 50 years. He is remembered for his quiet and faithful presence, his deep love for his family, his joy in caring for his patients, and his love of Jesus Christ and the Scriptures.

A memorial service will be held at 11:00 AM on Monday, April 22, 2024, at First Presbyterian Church in Staunton with Pastor Jeff Binder officiating. A private graveside service will be conducted at Thornrose Cemetery in Staunton.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Valley Mission (1513 West Beverley Street, Staunton, VA 24401).

“O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” –1 Corinthians 15:55-57

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