Caricature of Allen Bell by artist Dave Griffin, June 2011.

Caricature of Allen Bell by artist Dave Griffin, June 2011.

In Memoriam: Allen Bell (1946-2011)

Manager of Safety and Warehouse, Norman Rockwell Museum

Norman Rockwell Museum has lost a dear friend.

Allen Bell, Manager of Safety and Warehouse, looked out for us all. He would have celebrated his 15th year with the Museum on September 24th, 2011. Sadly, he died unexpectedly at home just before we were to commemorate his anniversary.

Rarely have I known anyone who reached across the museum to every staff member, every volunteer, looking out for us all. Whether calling to see if you made it home safely on a stormy night; brushing off the windshields of staff cars on a snowy winter’s eve; calling to check on you when you were working late and a last security call had not yet come through; or just sending a little humorous pick-me-up, Allen took care of us all.

“What do you call remembering something that hasn’t happened yet?” Allen asked. “Veja Du.”

Allen had a marvelous sense of humor. Right when you needed it the most, a little joke would arrive. I used to wonder where he found his jokes. The children’s magazine Highlights he told me one day, “I read them at the doctor’s office.”

Allen posing for the above caricature sketch. Photograph by Walter Engels.

Allen posing for the above caricature sketch. Photograph by Walter Engels.

Allen began work at the Museum as a distribution assistant 15 years ago on September 24, 1996.  He was promoted to manager of warehouse & fulfillment in February 1998 and was so dedicated to the museum that he was promoted again in 2002 to warehouse & safety manager.  He led the annual safety training of all staff and was an active leader in the museum’s emergency preparedness planning. One of his most recent responsibilities was overseeing the museum’s safety during Tropical Storm Irene.

Allen was the go-to guy. Over the years, any obscure request that arose – we needed to look no further. Allen could locate things no matter how hard they were to find.  His warm humor carried us through many a tight situation, but in situations of real emergency, his years of training and drilling our staff in emergency preparedness carried the day.  His caring dedication to the Museum always left us feeling like we were in good hands.

He was an important part of our museum family and will be dearly missed.

by Laurie Norton Moffatt, Director/CEO Norman Rockwell Museum

Related Links:

Obituary in Berkshire Eagle

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