Employee Profile: Jim Bell
James Wayne Bell was born on August 17, 1942. Jim started working for the National Park Service in 1969 at the Southeast Regional Office, after serving his country in the Air Force and Department of Defense from 1962 to 1969. When asked his reason for joining the National Park Service, Jim replied, "I had a cousin employed with the Park Service and he recommended the job to me." Since Jim was born in Richmond, it was only natural for him to gravitate toward Richmond National Battlefield Park in 1971, where he worked until 1979. After working in private industry from 1979 to 1993, Jim returned to the NPS, working at Petersburg National Battlefield from 1993 to 1997. Ever since then he has been at the Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site.
Jim has four daughters, three of whom were born during his employment at Richmond National Battlefield Park. Jim can be seen most days providing tours of Maggie Walker's house and occasionally at Fort Harrison and other areas of Richmond National Battlefield Park. Jim has recently been recognized for his efforts to clean up Evergreen Cemetery, where Maggie Walker is buried. When Jim is not working he is involved in his church and manages a gospel quintet, consisting of him and four of his cousins. Jim is also the keyboardist for the group.
When asked for this article where he saw himself in ten years, he replied, "sitting on a riverbank, fishing." Looks like starting October 1st, he will have plenty of time for it. Jim will be retiring from the National Park Service at the end of September. He has been a real inspiration to us all and we will miss him in the green and gray uniform but are delighted that he will appear regularly at the Maggie L. Walker site as a volunteer.