Julian Bell, County's Largest Home Builder And Developer, Dies At 73; Funeral Is Wednesday

Saturday, January 04, 2014
Julian Bell
Julian Bell

Julian Baker Bell, Jr., Hamilton County's largest builder and developer, died Saturday at his home on Signal Mountain at the age of 73. 

In 1966, he was transferred by DuPont to Chattanooga. He left DuPont in the early 1970s and was the assistant city engineer for the city of Chattanooga, and later the director of the Department of Public Works.  

In 1975 he started his own consulting firm, Bell Engineering Company.  He would later transform his company into Bell Development Company, Family members said he "was immensely proud of the work his company did in developing residential neighborhoods and building homes for thousands of Chattanooga and Hamilton County families.


Mr. Bell was twice the president of the Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga, and was active as an officer and board member for decades.  He was also twice named Developer of the Year.

In 2011, he was honored by Virginia Tech by being inducted into the Academy of Distinguished Alumni for his philanthropy to the School of Engineering’s Land Development Design Initiative and his work with students and professors.

Mr. Bell is survived by his wife of 51 years, Carola Gillum Bell; three sons, Julian, Jon (Randi Smith), and Jay (Tere Canto); and seven grandchildren, Baker and Riley Bell of Signal Mountain, Carlos and Veronica Bell of Hixson, and Jerica, Caleb and Sara Bell of East Brainerd.

The family asks that in lieu of flowers, memorial gifts be considered for Bible in the Schools, P.O. Box 4228, Chattanooga, Tennessee 37405. 

A celebration of Julian’s life and Resurrection Service will be held at Signal Mountain Presbyterian Church, 612 James Blvd., Signal Mountain, at 1 p.m. on Wednesday with Dr. Bill Dudley and Reverend Margaret Ferguson officiating.  The family will receive friends after the service in The Greeting Room at the church.  Burial for Julian will be private at Hamilton Memorial Gardens. 

Arrangements are by the North Chapel of Chattanooga Funeral Home, 5401 Highway 153.

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