Chattanooga Remembers Sandy “The Flower Man” Bell: Gallery

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Chattanooga Remembers Sandy “The Flower Man” Bell: Gallery

Chattanooga residents pause in front of a shrine to Sandy Bell at a memorial this weekend. Sandy Bell; a beloved local figure passed away this past week, Chattanooga residents gathered at Montague park on Saturday to celebrate his life. Saturday, February 02, 2019 (Photo by Connor Brown)

Chattanooga Remembers Sandy “The Flower Man” Bell: Gallery

Camdynn Alice looks at her mom Brittastic Luminaria as she sings a special song at the memorial of Sandy "the Flower Man" Bell on February 2nd 2019. Luminaria explained how Sandy saved her when her husband had taken his own life and she was considering taking her own she sat crying by herself on a bench, and Sandy Bell brought his loving spirit and flower-filled bike into her life (Photo by Maddie Witt).

Chattanooga Remembers Sandy “The Flower Man” Bell: Gallery

Annsleigh Jones & her friend Ellee stand amongst the group gathered for a candlelight vigil in remembrance of the late Sandy "The Flower Man" Bell in the Montague Park Sculpture fields on February 2, 2019.

Chattanooga Remembers Sandy “The Flower Man” Bell: Gallery

Many members of the Chattanooga community gathered for a Vigil in Sculpture Fields to honor the Memory and say goodbye to Bell on February 2, 2019 (Photo by Amanda Morgan Fann).

Chattanooga Remembers Sandy “The Flower Man” Bell: Gallery

Nicole Kelly, Joey Harris, and Laney Carter gather togther and hold candles to honor the memory of Sandy Bell at the vigil held in Sculpture Fields. “I bought flowers from him for 20 years, and he always made me smile,” said Harris. “He was an individual that radiated joy everywhere he went, and that is the lasting legacy he is going to leave the city,” said Carter. Saturday, February 2, 2018. (Photo/ Amanda Morgan Fann).

Chattanooga Remembers Sandy “The Flower Man” Bell: Gallery

Alex Rivers reflects on the many interactions he had serving Sandy "the Flower Man" at local bars in Chattanooga. Rivers spoke of how Sandy taught him to love and enjoy what he did, saying Òwhen you serve people just to serve, the money takes care of itself" (Photo by Maddie Witt).

Chattanooga Remembers Sandy “The Flower Man” Bell: Gallery

Peyton Franks holds her candle in memory of Sandy "The Flower Man" Bell at the sculpture fields in Montague Park on February 2, 2019. "I've lived in Chattanooga my whole life and Sandy has always been an integral part of being anywhere downtown. He spread so much beauty and so many smiles. I'll never forget him for that" (Photo by Troy Stolt).

Chattanooga Remembers Sandy “The Flower Man” Bell: Gallery

Kellye Guinan holds her candle in memory of Sandy "The Flower Man" Bell at the sculpture fields in Montague Park on February 2, 2019. "I only met him (Sandy) once, but he lit up the bar we were at. Even when I initially rejected his flower- not knowing what it would mean- he insisted. It made my night, and I still think of it as one of my favorite moments living in my hometown" Guinan said, remembering Sandy (Photo by Troy Stolt).

Chattanooga Remembers Sandy “The Flower Man” Bell: Gallery

Shavonne Bell, the niece of Sandy "The Flower Man" Bell looks on at the group gathered in Montague Park to remember her uncle on February 2, 2019. Bell remembered her uncle and what he meant to her "Every encounter with him as a kid into adulthood was always positive. He was very encouraging and always made me feel loved and special as his oldest niece" (Photo by Troy Stolt).

Chattanooga Remembers Sandy “The Flower Man” Bell: Gallery

Lydell Lovelace holds his candle in memory of Sandy "The Flower Man" Bell at the sculpture fields in Montague Park on February 2, 2019. Lovelace remembered Sandy by saying "He was humble enough to use his God given ability to make a difference" (Photo by Troy Stolt).

Chattanooga Remembers Sandy “The Flower Man” Bell: Gallery

Sophie Nielsen holds a candle during a candlelight vigil to memorialize Oterious ÒSandy The Flower ManÓ Bell, a Chattanoogan beloved by many in the city of Chattanooga at the Montague Park Sculpture fields on February 2, 2019 (Photo by Troy Stolt).

Photo Gallery Compiled by Troy Stolt, Photo Editor. Photos by Troy Stolt, Connor Brown, Maddie Witt, and Amanda Morgan Fann.


By Amanda Morgan Fann, Staff Writer—

The city said goodbye to a beloved local icon and friend to all, during a memorial service and vigil Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019.

Veteran Oterius Bell, commonly known as Sandy “The Flower Man” Bell, passed away Sunday, January 27, after being hospitalized with a collapsed lung.

Bell’s life was honored with a memorial service at John Henry Performing Arts Center ending with a vigil at Sculpture Fields. Public Officials, Sandy’s family and Chattanooga community

members shared stories about the beloved man, who brightened the streets of Chattanooga with his smile and his flowers for years.

Bell’s sister, Harriet Sills, said she could not believe the mass of people who came to show their love for Bell, and she thanked everyone for their support.

“Honoring Sandy in this magnitude has really warmed our hearts,” Sills said. “I know Sandy loved every one of y’all.”

Chattanooga Mayor Andy Burke presented the inaugural “Sandy the Flower

Man Award” to Sills. The award is the first of its kind.

Burke also declared February 14th “Sandy Bell Day,” grounding Sandy’s legacy in Chattanooga for years to come.

People from all walks of life had stories and fond memories of Sandy to share. The congregation of people showed just how much impact one kind soul could have on so many.

Nicole Kelly, Joey Harris and Laney Carter said they came to celebrate a human with an inspiring approach to life, always creating and sharing pure happiness in the community.

“I bought flowers from him for 20 years,” Harris said, “and [he] always made me smile.”

Alex Rivers was one of the community member memorial speakers. He has been a server at different bars around Chattanooga for years where he met and gained a close friend in Bell. He recounted the times he would tell Bell when it was a customer’s birthday and without hesitation, Bell would wish them a happy one with a song and dance.

“A lot of servers in town, me included, used to just do it for the money,” Rivers said, “but over time he helped me love. When you serve someone just to serve them, the money always takes care of itself; that’s what I got from him.”

The ceremony ended with a few words from the pastor and with arms extended everyone filled the night sky with candle light, just as Bell filled all their lives with light and happiness.

“He was an individual that radiated joy everywhere he went,” said Carter. “I think that is

the lasting legacy he is going to leave the city.”

Troy Stolt

Troy Stolt

Photo Editor

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