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Remembering our Matriarch
On January 22, 2024, at 10:10 am, Maple L. (Kirk) Bell slipped away from this side of time into eternity to the peaceful hands of her Lord and savior Jesus Christ. She heard the master’s voice, beckoning her to come, and she then bid us farewell, until we meet her again.
Maple Lee (Kirk) Bell was born and raised in Bessemer, Alabama on November 18, 1929, to the late Willie Kirk and Hettie Atkins Kirk. She was the 3rd oldest out of 9 siblings, and received her education in the Jefferson County School District. Growing up in Alabama, the family attended the New Bethlehem Baptist Church where they sang in the church choir. Maple’s favorite song was “He’s Calling Me”, which everyone loved to hear her sing as she sang the lead part.
Maple moved to Livingston Manor, New York where she was united in marriage to Nathaniel E. Bell, Sr. in 1956. She became a widow in 1961 and later moved to Liberty, New York where she raised her children.
She was a woman who was intentional about the care and affairs of her family and made sure they were well kept and rooted in the foundation of God’s word. She showed it by how she took time to cultivate her relationship with God through prayer and service. Maple had a strong faith and did not waver in what she believed, as life was not perfect. She supported the church and those she encountered. There was nothing she would not give you if she had it or help you with something. There is not one family member who could say she did not shape them in someway. She was loving and her kindness was not taken for granted or mistaken for weakness. She truly exemplified the proverbs 31 woman.
Maple was gentle, yet strong, independent, hard working, and raised many children and foster children who loved her. She was also a woman who earned great respect amongst her community members of all faiths and backgrounds. She was extremely funny and could make you laugh about anything! She was known for her potato salad, black eyed peas, and always having a home cooked meal ready for family.
Maple was the proud mother of Roselle Bennett, Mary Diana Campbell (deceased), Nathaniel Bell (Maria), Natalie Bell, and Ernestine Branch-Nelson (Linwood). She loved her grandchildren: Monique Campbell (Darryl), Earl Bennett (Sonya), Dinika Benedict (John), Tanika Hawkins (Chuck), Khiree Norwood (Kim), Jordan Bell, Kishonda Fields, Dominique Fields (Abebi), Elijah Branch and Jeremiah Branch. She also leaves to cherish a host of great-grandchildren, a huge family of nieces and nephews, friends, and church families that will miss her tremendously.
Maple L. (Kirk) Bell was a cherished sister to her siblings: Daisy Mae (Johnson) Avery (deceased), Catherine (Kirk) Adams (deceased) Doris Lee (Kirk) Steele (deceased), Robert ‘Pete” Kirk (deceased), Lena Mae (Kirk) Martin (deceased), Uneada (Kirk) Heard, Lucille (Moore) Lane (deceased), Norma Jean (Moore) Dammier, Alberta Shuttleworth (deceased), Willie James Kirk (deceased), and Roy Chambers Kirk (deceased).
Maple loved and cherished her family and was fiercely devoted and protective of them.
“We will tremendously miss you and we shall never forget.”
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