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August 24, 2020
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Amanda Elizabeth Bell, 42, passed away August 24 at Hackensack Meridian Medical Center after a long illness. She was born October 8, 1977 at Good Samaritan Hospital, Suffern, NY, the daughter of Robert J. Bell, Jr. and Gretchen G. (Hulse) Bell of Ridgewood.
After graduating from Ridgewood High School, Amanda attended Yale University where she earned a BA with honors majoring in history and graduating Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude in 2000. Following graduation she was employed as a labor union organizer for nine years working with various unions including SEIU, UNITE, HERE, and the Writers Guild of America advocating for the rights of hotel employees, garment workers and television writers as a lead organizer. Her activities took her to many of the states and Puerto Rico as well as to Hong Kong where she advised on corporate campaigning and media strategy for SAMCO and organized protests in support of factory workers in China. Her fluency in Spanish and conversational Mandarin served her well in these pursuits. Her work with labor unions inspired her to become a lawyer. She attended Columbia University Law School on a public interest scholarship. While at law school, she clerked for the National Labor Relations Board Division of Judges in New York and interned at the Office of the Solicitor’s Fair Labor Standards Division at the U.S. Department of Labor. She was a Kent and Stone Scholar at Columbia and received the Emil Schlesinger prize in labor law. At the time of her passing she was employed as an associate with the firm of Friedman & Anspach in New York City practicing labor, employee benefits, and wage and hour law. She advised unions and boards of trustees of employee benefit plans on compliance with a variety of laws. She also represented union members and their families in housing, immigration, consumer credit, real estate, and matrimonial matters. Much of her free time was dedicated in doing pro bono work for those requiring assistance with immigration/citizenship problems.
Throughout her relatively short time here she was always eager to help others and did so with enthusiasm and grace, willing to share her expertise and knowledge. Her ability to engage others in mere conversation or in serious problem solving was just one of the many gifts she exercised from her earliest days. Generous and creative to a fault, she is sorely missed by her colleagues, friends and, most grievously, her parents.
She was predeceased by her maternal grandparents Charles Gilbert and Esther Louise (Pfaffenroth) Hulse and her paternal grandparents Robert J., Sr. and Doris C. (Meyers) Bell
Aside from her parents, she is survived by her uncle Peter Hulse, of Scranton; her cousin Jesse Hulse Benjamin, of Port Ewing, New York; and numerous other cousins including Susan Gerhardt Gee (George) of Poughkeepsie, New York; Judy Pfaffenroth DiDomenico (Charles) of Stillman, New Jersey; Sarah Hadaway Moore (Hugh) of Alexandria, Virginia; Stacey Gee Barbato (Paul) of New York City; and Ryan Gee of New York City; Peter A. Pfaffenroth of Chester, New Jersey; Elizabeth Pfaffenroth Searight, (Jonathan) of Hyattsville, Maryland; Peter C. Pfaffenroth (Sonia) of Washington, DC; Catherine Pfaffenroth Higgs (David) of Washington, DC.; Alexander Pfaffenroth (Linda) of Warwick, New York.
Private cremation services were provided by the Feeney Funeral Home in Ridgewood. Because of restrictions currently placed on gatherings, attendance at the funeral service and placement of remains in the Memorial Garden at St. Elizabeth’s Church in Ridgewood will be by family only. A celebration of Amanda’s life will be scheduled at a time free of the virus. In lieu of flowers contributions can be made in Amanda’s memory to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, St. Elizabeth’s Church in Ridgewood, The Church of the Intercession, NYC, or a charity of your choosing.
You can still show your support by sending flowers directly to the family