The Frank R. Bell Funeral Home, Inc. was founded in 1957 by Frank Richards Bell. He was a Licensed Funeral Director, and Corporation President. Frank’s philosophy was based on his sincere concern for the bereaved families. The standards he held high were honesty, diligence, professionalism, a passion for detail and a devotion to excellence in the preparation of all phases of the funeral. It is that philosophy of funeral service upon which the business was built and those standards were still upheld by his wife the late Doris D. Bell, who served the establishment unofficially from 1968 to 1982 when she became a NYS Licensed Funeral Director until her passing in January 2017.
From 1957 until 1967, the funeral home was located at 559 Rogers Avenue. The original site was small, the area was thinly populated with Black families, and growth was slow. In 1968, the business was relocated to its present site at 536 Sterling Place where it has blossomed. This establishment is no stranger to setbacks, but with the Master’s plan and remaining resilient throughout all the roadblocks and with the blessings of their ancestors Frank and Doris, the Executives of Frank R. Bell Funeral Home, Inc. which consist of Frank’s and Doris’ daughter Frances Bell Henry (NYSLFD 1983), their son-in-law Robert L. Henry (NYSLFD 2006) and their divinely appointed son Dr. Eric D. Garnes (NYSLFD 1985), the funeral home has gained the respect, confidence and loyalty of many communities, embracing its reputation as a premier funeral home committed to serving families of all races, cultures and creeds.
Now, a mature, successful, family-owned and operated “ministry”, Frank and Doris have left a clear legacy of serving with grateful hearts those who came within their care … and their strong influence has affected a myriad of families. From 1957 at 559 Rogers Avenue, a small edifice, to now sixty-four years later at 536 Sterling Place with the largest chapel seating more than 250 people, to purchasing the two vacant properties next door 520 and 524 Sterling Place with the vision to reach and heal a community, Frank R. Bell Funeral Home, Inc. still stands on the foundation of Frank’s standards honesty, diligence, professionalism, a passion for detail, and a devotion to excellence in the preparation of all phases of the funeral.
After more than six decades of planting, sowing, pruning and tilling, God has endowed this fertile ministry to yield a seasoned crop of blessings by way of all the fruitful relationships that have been nurtured among city leaders, ministers, musicians and related enterprises with whom they co-labor, as well as bereaved families whom they so honorably serve. And now that the harvest is bearing ripened grain by way of Frank Richards Bell planting a seed, we take time to celebrate these bountiful blessings.