On December 22, 2015, Bobbie Bell passed away after a long battle with health problems. Bobbie was a Bloom student athlete who excelled in numerous sports at Bloom. The 1957 yearbook list Mr. Bell as being involved in numerous school activities, such as the Capella choir, glee club, traffic guide, and of course basketball and track. And after college he returned to Chicago Heights and remained there as a teacher/coach for over 30 years.
Those who knew him describe him as a mentor and inspiration to succeed like him. He took his personal time to help students of Bloom beyond his paid responsibilities. It is said that he did so because of his origins and personal allegiances to the communities of Bloom Township. He was one of the original role models for many students, and especially low income students of the district. His accomplishments and his personal relations with his students made him one of the most admired teachers at Bloom. Those who knew him described him as always having a smile on his face.
He was a starter on one of the most storied basketball team in Bloom’s history. He played on a “who’s who team of other greats, like Jerry Calangelo, Homer Thurman, Paul Goebel and Chuck Green, to name a few. That team went on to the State’s “Sweet Sixteen”, were they lost what Jerry Calangelo was quoted as saying was the “most difficult loss of his entire career” and thus lost only two games that season, with 27 wins (most in school’s history at that point).
Bobbie was a lifelong resident of Chicago Heights and retired as a teacher of driver’s education and various coaching positions of boys sports after 30 years. His life an example will be immortalized in form of an award named after him. The award will be awarded to faculty, staff, and persons who epitomized the virtues of Mr. Bell. The first Bobbie Bell Awards will be presented to nominated persons this Summer. We hope that you consider attending this salute to Mr. Bell and other Bloom greats..
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