Richard Reginald Schell, known as “Reggie,” was a former leader of the Black Panther Party in Philadelphia.
Schell was steadfast in ensuring the betterment of Black people.
He died May 9, 2012 of kidney disease and heart failure. He was 70.
He was born July 6, 1941 in Philadelphia to Richard Schell and the former Eleanor Nesbitt. He was educated in the Philadelphia public school system and upon graduation he joined the United States Army where he was stationed in Germany. Schell served four years and received an honorable discharge.
Schell had vast occupational endeavors, having worked as a plumber, contractor and a printsetter. His job as a printsetter piqued his interest in attending Temple University for Journalism.
He married Carol Cooke, who is deceased, and from this union, two sons were born, Richard and Marcus.
In 1969, Schell formed the Philadelphia Chapter of The Black Panther Party with the determination in establishing the rights of his people and address community concerns.
Working with the Black Panther Party and affiliates, Schell helped establish the Breakfast Program, Community Medical Centers and Community Clothing Programs. He was an integral participant in the renaming of Columbia Avenue to Cecil B. Moore Avenue.
In 1969, he met Celia Turner, who was an intricate part of the struggle. In 1972, a daughter named Dessalina was born to them.
Schell extended his political activism as he traveled around the country and around the world, visiting China and France. He was an active member of the Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition.
He was preceded in death by his parents and older sister, Barbara Schell-Lancit.
Schell is survived by brother, Robert; sisters, Marian (Yonn) and Ellen; children, Richard, Leslie, Marcus (April) and Dessalina (Anthony); grandchildren and five great-grandchildren; aunts, Thelma Sawyer and Marian Bowman; and other relatives and friends.
Services were held May 15 at Alfonso Cannon Funeral Chapel.