Louise Tempie Jane Mitchener was born on April 10, 1918 in Smithfield, NC to the proud parents of John W. Mitchener and Arrow Sanders Mitchener. Her birth mother, Arrow, died 6 months after her birth. She was nurtured and raised by her stepmother, Gussie Mayo Sanders Mitchener.
Tempie, as she was lovingly called, departed from this life on July 28, 2015 at the age of 97 years. She was predeceased by her father and birth mother, John W. and Arrow S. Mitchener and by her stepmother, Mayo Mitchener. She was predeceased by her husband, Joseph W. Bell. Also leaving this life prior to Tempie were 4 brothers, Napoleon, Wiley, Everett and Wilbert and 5 sisters, Mamie, Irene, Josephine, Mildred and Helen. She is survived by 2 brothers, Raymond and Clifton and a sister, Willena.
The union of Tempie and Joseph yielded seven children: Lynwood (Carol) of Charlottesville, VA, Gwendolyn Cooper (Kenneth) of Houston, TX, Carolyn and Evelyn, twins who died at an early age, Maurice (Rosa) of Rochester, NY, Donnell of Smithfield, NC and Rita Acheampong (Kwame) of Houston TX. In addition to her children, she is survived by 9 grandchildren, Wylita (Lynwood and Betty), Mikele and William (Carol), Kendolyn and Joseph (Gwendolyn and Kenneth) and Maureen and Monique (Maurice and Rosa), Fobi and Osei (Rita and Kwame). Her tenth grandchild, Jabari (Donnell and Cassandra), preceded her in death. She is also survived by 3 great grandchildren, Jazmyn, Cristoff, and Carys.
She will be sorrowfully missed by numerous nephews, nieces, other relatives and many friends. She was a good friend to all in the community who knew her. The young and old could count on Tempie for advice and help whenever it was needed. She was especially devoted to her parents, siblings, children and relatives. She believed that if anyone succeeded, it was uplift to the entire family.
Tempie dedicated her life to the teachings of our Lord at an early age through Galilee Baptist Church where she remained a member until her passing. That dedication was manifested by nearly 80 years of active participation in the church. She was a Sunday School Teacher, a member of the Junior and Senior Choirs, a member of the Missionary Circle and was most proud of her role as a founder of the Willing Workers Club. Her faith in God was deep and central to the manner in which she lived her life. She knew that God is love, knew that faith in Him is essential, and knew that through prayer all solutions are found. She brought these “knowings” to all of her human relations and all of her activities.
Tempie’s other passion in life was education. She attended Johnston County Training School and graduated in the class of 1942. She continued her support of the school as an adult. She was thoroughly involved in the PTA, the JCTS Grade Mothers Organization that found ways to support students lacking school books, clothing and other essential school supplies. The Organization also raised funds needed to meet the shortfalls of money needed by the school to provide a strong education in a segregated environment. Many of the funds raised were used to build a gymnasium, buy an activity bus, band instruments, uniforms and curtains for the auditorium. She was involved in other organizations and other activities of the school including school plays, presentations, and athletic events in which some of her children participated. Her dedication to education resulted in all of her children attending college. At one time, she had three children in college at the same time. She often told her children, “If you do not get more education that I was able to get, you have failed me.” She was also a Cub Scout Den Mother for many years.
Louise Tempie Jane Mitchener Bell was a dedicated wife, mother and homemaker who also spent time as a farm worker, store cashier, domestic worker and Teacher Assistant at her Alma Mater, JCTS. She was employed by Community Action of Johnston and Lee County, Inc. as a Teacher Assistant for more than 20 years in the Headstart Program at Corinth-Holders and later at JCTS. Tempie was a friend to everyone that she met, helped everyone who needed her help and placed the love of God and the love and dedication to her family as foremost in her life.
MOTHER, REST IN PEACE