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Ethel Jane Bell

May 09, 1926 - May 18, 2019

Ethel passed away peacefully on May 18, 2019 in Spokane Valley, WA at the age of 93. Ethel was a devoted wife and caring mother. Her sweet, generous spirit made her a friend to many. She grew up in Oklahoma during the years of the Great Depression and went on to complete a Master’s Degree in teaching. An avid traveler, Ethel biked through Mexico, spent summers in Hawaii and Oregon and took a post in Alaska, then a US territory. She met Weir Bell teaching in Petersburg, Alaska and after marriage, they taught in Kodiak, Homer and Seward. She balanced work and family quite well, rising early to prepare lesson plans before cooking the family breakfast. She especially enjoyed making Alaskan berry jams and creative birthday cakes. Family summers were spent visiting relatives and friends in the ‘lower 48’. After twenty years in Alaska, Weir and Ethel retired to a farm in Washington state. Ethel became an enthusiastic genealogist, publishing eight books on our ancestral family lines. She spent her last 20 years in the Seattle area, where she delighted in gardening, local day trips and being with her grandchildren. She is preceded in death by her husband Weir Bell, her parents Charles and Marie Koutnik and her brother Gerald Koutnik. She is lovingly remembered by her children Daniel, Cindy, John, Dave, and Renee, her grandchildren, friends and neighbors. A graveside memorial service will be held later in Wenatchee.

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