Local businessman and owner of Bell’s Auto Driving School passed away peacefully surrounded by his family, on Wednesday April 19, 2017 at St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany at the age of 75. After surviving a long battle with lung cancer, he sadly succumbed to an unrelated surgical procedure. Born in Troy on September 5, 1941, he was the son of the late Chester and Eleanor Bell. He was predeceased by his brother, Charles N. Bell.
In November 1965, at the age of 24, Al established Bell’s Auto Driving School which today is one of the largest and most successful driving schools in Upstate NY. His greatest passion was to interact with his students while teaching them to drive. His business has been a source for driver education for many area high schools since the late 1970’s and is a public training agency for the National Safety Council Point/Insurance Reduction Program.
He was a member of the Board of Education at Catholic Central High School in Troy, a member of its Endowment Committee, and a former board member of the New York Safety and Health Council.
He was a 1959 graduate of Troy High School and attended Ithaca College.
Al mostly enjoyed spending time with his beloved grandchildren, for which he had an endless number of magic tricks. He lit up the room he walked into with his smile, jokes, sense of humor, and quick wit. He was an avid reader, traveler, and loved socializing with his friends at the golf course. He looked forward to spending the winter months at his Florida home.
He was the beloved husband of Theresa Culliton Bell for 42 years and devoted father to Debbie Bell, Valerie Hart (Ed), AJ Bell, Danny Bell (Cassi) and Stephen Bell (Erin), brother to Eleanor Bell Fascia, and proud grandfather to Jeffrey, Lindsey, and Andrew Clark, Gina Mastrianni, Samantha and Winston Bell, Quentin Bell and newborn coming in July. He is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews and his cherished friends Joe DeGiorgio, Paul Crispo and Mark Dundovich.
Relatives and friends are invited to call at Catricala Funeral Home, 1597 Route 9, in Clifton Park on Monday April 24 from 4 to 8 p.m. A mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at Corpus Christi Church, 2001 Route 9, in Round Lake on Tuesday April 25th at 10AM. Interment will follow at St. John’s Cemetery, 250 Cemetery Rd, Troy.
In lieu of flowers contributions may be made in Al’s memory to the American Heart Association, American Lung Association, or a charity of your choice.