BELL – Edith Margaret Joan

(nee Smith)

Feb. 21, 1920 – Mar. 1, 2012

We are saddened to announce the passing of Joan Bell, age 92, of Armstrong, BC.

Born in Maldon, Essex, she was five months old when the family emigrated from England to settle in Scott, SK, where Joan attended school and partook in piano lessons, recitals, C. G. I. T., basketball, and teaching Sunday school. In 1929, she returned to England with her mother and sister, crossing Canada and the Atlantic yet again.

In high school, Joan enjoyed dancing, curling, and wiener roasts in nearby coulees. She received her RN at St. Paul’s Hospital, Saskatoon, in 1943. Earlier in Scott she had met Milt Bell, whom she married September 21, 1944, in Scott. Shortly after, they boarded the train for St Anne de Bellevue, Quebec. While Milt pursued studies, Joan nursed at the military hospital, caring for injured soldiers returning from Europe. She would later say she had earned her “PHT” degree (“putting hubby through”).

By 1946 they were in Ithaca, NY, where in 1947 Joan delivered their first child. In 1948 the family moved to Saskatoon, where four more children were born. Joan was active in square dancing and United Church activities, but her life was her husband, her kids, and her extended family.

Following Milt’s death in 1998, Joan retired to BC in 2001. She lived for a time in Vernon’s Orchard Valley Retirement Home, in Enderby with family, in Vernon’s Comfort Living for Seniors Residence (Westridge), and ultimately in Armstrong’s Pleasant Valley Manor; she keenly looked forward to the many activities.

Predeceasing Joan were: mother Ada (Reffold); father Charles William Smith; sister Doris Smith; grandson Kirk Heggie; son Donald Bell; husband Dr. J. Milton Bell. Mourning are: children Joyce (Dave Heggie, Cochrane, AB), Marion (Bob Nazar, Red Deer AB), Doug (Enderby, BC), & Keith (Theresa, Regina SK); grandchildren Don Heggie, Ryan and Chelsey Nazar, Graeme and Caity Bell, and Patrick and Quinn Bell; great grand-daughter Jaden Braunwarth.

Joan journeyed from Maldon, Eng. to Scott, SK; from St. Anne de Bellevue, QC to Ithaca, NY; from Saskatoon to the Okanagan; she journeys now farther still…and will be missed…

The family thanks the staff of all facilities mentioned, and Drs. K. McClellan and E. Jolly, for their attentive care and compassion throughout. In lieu of flowers, friends wishing to do so may make donations in her memory to the Heart and Stroke or other charity of their choice. A memorial will be held at a later date.

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