Annie Speight Bell (Ann), born July 27, 1933 in Snow Hill, N.C., was the first-born child of Roosevelt Speight and Bertha Edwards Speight. She was reared in Snow Hill with seven siblings and attended schools in Greene County, N.C. She graduated from Greene County Training School in 1953. Ann accepted Jesus as her Savior as a young girl and started singing in Sunday School with her younger sisters, Ella and Bertha. This trio became well-known throughout North Carolina as the Speight Sisters and were blessed to open for such gospel greats as the Dixie Hummingbirds and the Caravans. \nAfter finishing school, Ann moved to Washington, D.C., and her sisters soon followed after her. They began singing again and, their first cousins, Vanessa, Cynthia, and Joyce began singing with them as The Speight Sisters of Washington, D.C. They ministered at churches, schools, nursing homes, prisons and hospitals, the White House lawn, Constitution Hall, D.C.’s Union Station, the Kennedy Center, Radio City Music Hall (DC), the Spirit of Washington cruise ship, hotel banquets, Mr. Henry’s Night Club, and the Navy Yard Conference Center. They would often appear on Spread a Little Sunshine, a Sunday morning Gospel singing tv program, and their music was aired on gospel radio stations across the East coast. They were blessed to make four recordings and traveled throughout the U.S. sharing the gospel in song. They have shared the stage with Shirley Caesar, the Mighty Clouds of Joy, Dorothy Norwood, the Violineers, Luther Barnes, Thomas Span and the Brooklyn Allstars, the Richard Smallwood Singers, and many other well-known gospel singers. They achieved many outstanding awards from 1972 to 1985. Music was their family’s legacy and the Speight Sisters did them proud! \nWhile in Washington, D.C., Ann met and married James Searles (deceased) and from this union one daughter, Carlene, and one son, Tyrone, was born. She worked for the Federal Government in the Department of Commerce as a Payroll Specialist and later served at the General Services Administration as a Procurement Purchasing Agent. In both positions, she also wore the title of “Office Counselor” for those who needed a listening ear, advice, and prayer. She was a member at Bible Way Church and served in the True Blue Club and the Bible Way Radio Choir. \nIn 1982, Ann married Fountain Earl Bell (deceased) and retired in 1993. She returned to North Carolina to be close to her mother, Bertha Speight, and reinstated her membership at St. John Holy Church. There she served as a Sunday School teacher, a field worker, President of the YPHA, member of the Mother Board, President of the Adult Choir and Choir No. 2, and sang with the Eastern District Choir. She was also a member of the NAACP for many years.\nShe is fondly remembered for her anointed singing and fiery introductions to the songs her group shared. Ann is endeared to the hearts of many for her kindness, wisdom, and sincere love. She was also a great cook and hostess. She enjoyed wearing classy outfits and high heel shoes, and was witty and loved t laugh. She was regal, yet humble and one the nicest people you could ever meet. Her smile lit up every room she entered and she was affectionately called Queen, Diva, Annie B, and Bill. She will always be loved and missed by everyone who knew her. As the beloved matriarch of the Speight family, her light will always shine with authenticity, kindness, strength, and love for God and others. \nShe is survived by her two children, Carlene Akins (Tyrone) & Tyrone Searles; Three grandchildren, Lakethia McCoy, Krista Akins and Marcus Akins (Carolina); Two great grandchildren, Darion Akins and Eliana Akins; Three sisters, Bertha Howard (Washington DC), Ella Stevenson (Deceased) & Alice Speight (Deceased); Four brothers, Roosevelt Speight (Camp Springs, MD), Willie Speight (Deceased), Ray Speight (Deceased) and Walter Speight (Deceased).