Samuel Frank Bell, Sr.

Following is the obituary for SAMUEL FRANK BELL, Sr., submitted for his family by the Harding Funeral Home.


Samuel Frank Bell, Sr., died peacefully at home, with his devoted daughter Melinda at his side, in Boca Raton, Fla., on Feb. 21, 2024, following a brief hospitalization. He was 94 years old. 

Born Jan. 25, 1930, in Norwalk, Sam was the eldest of four children of Nicholas Bell and Mildred Cavaliero Bell. Sam was raised in Norwalk, attending Norwalk High School. 

He became a residential and commercial builder/developer and entrepreneur in both Fairfield County and later in Florida.  He continued to be active in his many business interests until shortly before his death. In addition to many other business ventures, Sam built over 200 single-family homes in Westport and Weston, known to many in the local real estate community as the “Bell Colonial.”

Sam Bell, Sr., is survived by four children, Nicholas Bell and his wife Laurie Bloom of Weston, Pamela Bell of Villa Park, Calif., Melinda Bell Dietrich of Delray Beach, Fla., and Samuel F. Bell, Jr., and his wife Melanie of Weston.  

Sam was affectionately known as “PapaSam,” or “Poppy,” to his 10 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. Sam’s beloved wife, Sylvia Bell, predeceased him in 2017. His son, Jeffrey Bell of Weston, predeceased him in 2019.

Although some will remember Sam as a workaholic, he made time for outdoor pursuits, which he engaged in with family and friends, including boating, fishing, hunting and gardening. Sam and his fishing yacht, “VII Bells,” were fixtures at the Saugatuck Harbor Yacht Club in Westport for almost half a century.  

He was proud of his Italian-American heritage and especially enjoyed family get-togethers and reunions with his large extended family of aunts, uncles and cousins, as well as the authentic Italian foods of his childhood memories. Sam was a devout Catholic parishioner at Assumption Church in Westport for many decades and, after moving to Florida, attended mass regularly at the Ascension Catholic Church in Boca Raton. 

The family will receive friends on Friday, April 5, from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Harding Funeral Home, 210 Post Road East. Friends are invited to attend a funeral on Saturday, April 6, at 10 a.m., at Assumption Church, 98 Riverside Ave., for a Mass of Christian Burial. Interment will be private.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital or your favorite charity to honor the memory of Samuel F. Bell, Sr. 

Rest in peace Sam, you will be missed.