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Shirley Ikner Bell

Shirley Ikner Bell

Long time Wilcox County resident Shirley Ikner Bell, 81, passed away Thursday, October 5, after a brief battle with cancer.

Born in Megargel, Alabama to Lud and Bessie Ikner, Shirley was one of 6 siblings. On April 5th, 1957, she married Jesse Jordan Bell, Jr. (J.J) and just this past year they celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. Affectionately known by many as Mama Bell, her greatest joy in life was her 4 children, 13 grandchildren and 3 greatgrandchildren. Her love and support for her family was second to none and apparent by all who knew her; a matriarch in the truest sense of the word.

Shirley partnered with her husband J.J. both personally and professionally throughout her life. Together, they operated Camden Gin Company, Tuscaloosa Feed and Seed, and in later years they started a business, Northport Feed and Seed. In 2003, they retired to their hometown of Camden to be closer to their children and grandchildren.
Shirley, a faithful member of Camden Baptist Church since 1971, loved being a part of the traditional “Sunday Dinners”, proving to be a true Southern hostess, welcoming friends into her home, and treating them as if they were her own; her every gesture filled with dignity and love.

Funeral services for Shirley Bell were held Tuesday morning, October 10th, at Camden Baptist Church with former pastor, Eddie Davidson, and current pastor, Chris Wells, officiating, and Dunklin & Daniels Funeral Home in Camden, AL directing. Burial was at the Camden City Cemetery.

Survivors include her husband, Jesse Jordan Bell, Jr., daughters Tanya Bell Dunnam (Wayne) of Camden and Kay Bell Heimann (Kenny) of Rotunda, Florida, sons Jesse Jordan Bell, III (Ginger) of Camden and Jason Lee Bell of Prattville. “Mama Bell” is also survived by her 13 grandchildren, William Jordan Dunnam of Camden, Jessica Bell Anderson (Matt) of Montgomery, Karon Dunnam vonCannon (Scott) of Birmingham, Justin Owens Harris (Laura) of Monroeville, Lauren Bell Dumas (Tyler) of Camden, Cecil Wayne Dunnam, Jr. of Camden, Marshall Carey Harris of Camden, Tanya Nicole Heimann of Boca Grande, FL, Rachel Morgan Bell of Camden, Taylor ReAnn Heimann of Augusta, GA, Wayne Kenneth Heimann, III of Rotunda, FL, Samantha LeeAnne Bell of Prattville, and Colton Lee Bell of Prattville. She is also survived by three great-grandchildren, Cecile Bell vonCannon, Thomas Elliott Harris, and Charles Clayton Dumas. Shirley, also, leaves behind 2 sisters, Mae Belle Perry, Marilyn Hamner, 1 brother, James Ikner, and a host of friends she held dear.

Pallbearers were family members: Matt Anderson, Tom Buchanan, Tyler Dumas, Justin Harris, Marshall Harris, and Scott vonCannon. Honorary pallbearers were Steve Gusmus and Ira McClain.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the American Cancer Society (, P.O. Box 22478, Oklahoma City, OK 73123 or to The Gideons International (, P.O. Box 97251, Washington, DC 20090-7251.

The family would like to thank everyone for all their prayers, cards, calls, and visits during her illness. Mama Bell was truly touched by every act of kindness.
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