UPDATE: Community remembers Sandy 'The Flower Man' Bell
UPDATE: Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke has declared February 14, 2019, as "Sandy Bell Day."
The mayor announced his declaration Saturday while speaking at a memorial service for Oterius Bell, who is known as Sandy "The Flower Man."
"Tomorrow, next week, next month -- keep Sandy’s memory alive by following his example. You don’t have to pass out flowers — but if Sandy proved anything, it was that none of us have any excuse for not doing everything we can to create and spread a little happiness," Berke tweeted.
Harriet Sills received the first ever Sandy "The Flower Man" Bell award on behalf of the family.
Sills said her brother's passing is a reminder that people crave the kindness and love that Sandy gave freely to his family, friends and his country.
Dozens of people had their own “Sandy story,” and there was not a dry eye at the vigil.
One story came from a woman named Brittany who said Sandy saved her life.
Brittany said she was on the brink of destruction after her husband died.
Soon after she said she lost her home, her car and even her child for a period of time and just when she says she couldn't go on, she says Sandy put a smile on her face.
Brittany said, "He was on the sidewalk with me and his exact words, if I recall correctly, were, ‘Everything is going to be alright, you just got to keep breathing, just keep breathing for that baby, you hear me now?’ and I said yes I hear you, Sandy."
Sills said she wants everyone to show the same compassion her brother did in his life.
Sandy's funeral will be held this Wednesday at noon at Olivet Baptist Church.
A wake will be held Tuesday evening from 6:00 pm until 8:00 pm at the John Franklin Funeral Home.
PREVIOUS STORY: Chattanoogans will come together to remember Oterius Bell, known as Sandy "The Flower Man," Saturday at a memorial service and candlelight vigil.
"Public officials, Sandy’s family and the Chattanooga community will share stories at the service about the man who brought beauty and color to our town for decades," a spokesperson for the vigil said.
The service will take place at the John Henry Visual and Performing Arts Center at 1100 East 16th Street. A candlelight vigil will follow at 5:15 pm at the Sculpture Fields at 1800 Polk Street.
"In an era fraught with divisiveness and tension, the community support surrounding Sandy’s passing is a reminder we are starving for the kindness and love Sandy gave freely," a spokesperson for the vigil said.
READ MORE | Floral display honors Sandy "The Flower Man"
A Sandy "The Flower Man" Award has been set up, and Sandy will be the inaugural recipient. His sister, Harriet Sills, will accept the award on his behalf.