CARTER AT LARGE – The Amazing Mrs. Pearlene Bell: Black Owner of Pearlene Bell Taxi Cab Company By Lorraine B. Carter

Mrs. Bell was a “Phenomenal Woman” in every sense of the word. She shared her Christianity with people from various communities in Peoria. She was an Entrepreneur who founded with her husband of forty years Mr. Herman Bell, the black owned Pearlene Bell Taxi Cab Company. She was a Licensed Cosmetologist, Pianist, Music Director, and led the choir at her church. Many enjoyed her soul food cooking after church services. Her mouth watering meals were legendary and revealed the humanity in the woman. She was also known for her beautifully elaborate hats at Sunday Service and was referred to as, Mother Bell.

Mrs. Pearlene Bell was a wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, and friend to many in her community. Very often, she would give free rides to the mentally challenged, the poor, and others who needed a Taxi but was unable to pay. The Amazing Mrs. Pearlene Bell was resolute in her benevolence to Peoria’s Communities. She was a member of the Martin-Warren South Side Neighborhood Association and was a loyal supporter of its activities to produce a better quality of life for all. For many years, while in the throes of failing health, she would often donate food for the participants in “Night Out Against Crime.” Everyone was always fed well, in part, due to Mrs. Bell’s donations.

This Columnist was honored to experience the phenomenal and amazing Mrs. Bell playing Christian hymn’s on her piano and belting out soul stirrings songs. Mrs. Pearlene Bell, born September 23, 1932, died November 9, 2018.