Lorene Bell left this world for a more peaceful one on June 11, 2007, in Marysville, Wash.
In her time she played the part of wife, mother, grandmother, matriarch and friend. She was a beautiful, brilliant, charismatic and caring. How can we forget her feisty, never-say-die spirit, her little red V.W. Bug, and her fascination with the news. Like a bright, shining star she blazed a path through our lives for 95 years.
Born Aug. 21, 1911, she drove a car at 12, cared for her siblings and worked diligently on the family farm near Grandview, Wash. Studying by kerosene lamp, she excelled in school and won the state oratorical contest in her senior year at Prosser High School. But she had a vision of a different life. As the Great Depression unfolded, she left for Seattle, Wash., where she fell in love with a young college student, Richard Dick Bell. They married in 1931, and three daughters, Shirley, Donna and Nancy, quickly followed. After Dick returned from serving in WWII, their son, Rick, was born and the family moved to Puyallup, Wash., to live the country life.
Over the years Lorene excelled at many jobs and even helped build the B-52 for Boeing. But her true passion was learning. Her happiest years were when she attended Western Washington State University and was invited by a professor to edit his manuscripts. She studied in England, visited Lebanon, walked the Way of the Cross in the Holy Land, and visited all 50 states. She was a member of the United Methodist Church in Puyallup, then later in Marysville, Wash. She loved books and was often seen napping with a book in her lap. But it was her family that mattered most. She kept us together and bragged often about her grandchildren.
We will remember Lorene as a great lady, a loving spirit and an inspiration to us all. She leaves behind her daughter, Nancy Gustavson, in Green Bay, Wis.; her son, Rick Bell, in Arlington, Wash.; 12 grandchildren; 26 great-grandchildren; one great-great-granddaughter; and many friends.
A memorial is planned for 1 p.m., Aug. 18, 2007, at the Bella Vista Ranch, in Arlington.
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