Terry Ronald “Ron” Bell, 76, of Big Canoe, Georgia, passed away peacefully in his sleep on December 29, 2020. Ron is survived by his loving wife, Pegi, his son Gregory R. Bell and wife Vickie, his daughter Kristen B. Gray and husband Eric and granddaughters Laine and Ella.
He was preceded in death by his spouse, Sandra Sue Cox in 1974.
Ron was the second youngest of 5 children born and raised in Ringgold, Georgia by his father Luther Bell and his mother Ella Mae (Headrick) Bell.
Ron “Ronny” excelled in athletics early on and after losing his father as a teenager, he was encouraged to continue in athletics by his coach and mentor Coach Ck. Gant. Ron went on to be named to the All- State team, played in the North-South All Star game, and earned a Basketball Scholarship to Young Harris Junior College. After graduating from Young Harris College, he went on to the University of Montevallo (AL). He then coached basketball while serving as an officer in the U.S. Air Force. After a brief career at the college level, he married Pegi and followed his dream to coach and teach at Marist High School in Atlanta. Ron joined as the Head Coach for Boys Varsity Basketball from 1975 to 2005, with a record of 616 – 199, including 3 State Championship titles, 3 consecutive State Runner-Up titles and 9 Region Championships. His teams made the State Tournament 12 times. Ron was also Head Coach of the Boys Golf Team for 17 years leading them to win 5 State Championships.
In recognition of his outstanding coaching career, Ron was named to the 2011 Georgia Athletic Coaches Hall of Fame, National High School Basketball Coach of the Year in 1994 and State Basketball coach of the Year in 1989, 1994 and 2000, was inducted into the Young Harris College Athletics Hall of Fame and to the University of Montevallo Hall of Fame. Additionally, Ron was selected 10 times as the Region Coach of the Year and 5 times as Metro Coach of the Year. While he was honored to receive such awards, Ron focused on and was most proud of the relationships he built both on and off the court.
When Ron was not teaching and coaching, he loved to be with his family and friends in the outdoors. He loved to travel west or walk in the mountains of Georgia. If you were on one of these walks, he would remind you to “slow down and smell the flowers.” He loved to drive and camp in the fall colors with his wife Pegi, always finding the perfect campsite to enjoy the surroundings and the smell of the campfire. He created the Outdoor Education class with David Kaminer at Marist to share his love of the outdoors with his students. Ron was also an avid fisherman, backpacker, snow skier and whitewater canoeist. He ran over one hundred rivers in the U.S. including many in Montana, Idaho and Oregon. For his 65th birthday he rowed his own raft with his good friend Jack, for twenty days down the Grand Canyon. Ron had an amazing appreciation for the world and people around him, living each moment to its fullest. To know Ron for a moment, was to know him completely. He was an openly trusting, kind, loving man; a captivating story-teller who was always up for a good laugh, and one who never left without giving a hug, pat on the back or a handshake.
In lieu of flowers, kindly consider a donation to a fund being created under the name of Ron Bell at Marist School. To donate via the Marist School site please click here: https://www.marist.com/ or contact them by mail or phone at: Marist School, 3790 Ashford-Dunwoody Road, NE, Atlanta, Georgia 30319, 770-457-7201
Scott Huskins Funeral and Cremation Services is in charge of the arrangements. 678-771-5566 | scotthuskins.com
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