On Saturday, September 16, the Streamwood Park District honored the memory of former Custodial Manager Mark Bell, who passed away in June 2022, by renaming the gymnasium at Park Place Family Recreation Center in partnership with RUSH Physical Therapy, 550 S. Park Blvd, the Mark Bell Gymnasium.
A commemorative plaque was also unveiled outside the gymnasium entrance. The plaque read, “Dedicated to the memory of Mark Bell and his 26 years of exemplary service (1996-2022) to the residents of the Streamwood Park District as Custodial Manager. A loving husband, father, grandfather, and longtime Streamwood resident, Mark had an unrivaled passion for providing excellence to the Streamwood community. His impact on those around him will never be forgotten.”
In his remarks, Streamwood Park District Executive Director Jeffrey Janda noted Bell dedicated his time and efforts to ensure that Park Place was always well maintained.
“Mark was an exemplary employee,” said Janda, “He will be greatly missed by all.”
Bell started with the Streamwood Park District on March 18, 1996 – just two weeks prior to the Park Place Family Recreation Center’s grand opening. While his title with the Park District was Custodian, Superintendent of Parks & Planning Ian Pickett noted he was essentially the unofficial historian for Park Place.
“There wasn’t anything about that building that he didn’t know,” said Pickett.
Prior to his tenure with the park district, Bell worked as a superintendent at Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg during the 1980’s and 1990’s overseeing building maintenance and cleaning crews.
He grew up in Michigan and was an avid fan of the University of Michigan. Bell was very involved at his church, enjoyed golfing and loved to spend time with his family. He and his wife Trish, who celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary in April 2022, were fixtures at park district parks, facilities, and events along with their children and grandchildren.
“Anyone who knew Mark understood that his family meant everything to him,” said Streamwood Park District Commissioner Bill Wright in a recent Facebook post. “There wasn’t anything he wouldn’t do for his family, and I would be hard pressed to find a more model person than Mark.”
Pickett used the words kind, patient, humble, and hardworking to describe Bell.
“Mark was a great coworker, and an even better person and friend,” he added. “He is irreplaceable, and it was truly an honor to get know him and his love for life.”
More than 50 family members, friends and former colleagues were in attendance at the ceremony, including Bell’s wife Trish and his son Dave who are now both Streamwood Park District employees.