Jeanne Bell

Jeanne Bell January 3, 1923 - November 29, 2012 Jeanne Bell, passed away on November 29, 2012, after a twenty year struggle with progressive dementia. She was born in Ottawa, the only child of Alma Eagley Atkinson and George Roy Atkinson, and raised in Toronto. In 1943 she interrupted her studies at the University of Toronto to join the RCAF and was stationed in for two years in Dartmouth, NS. She completed her BA (Honours English) at McGill University 1947 and won the Shakespeare Gold Medal. That same year she married Robert ("Bob") Edward Bell, physicist, and they lived 5 years in Chalk River, Ontario. She then completed her Bachelor of Library Science at McGill, and in 1955, gave birth to Alison Ann Bell, only child. Throughout her life, Jeanne was an avid reader, bridge player, art collector, an excellent cook, current events junkie, and she had a wide circle of friends with whom she loved to socialize. During the years that Bob Bell headed the Physics Department at McGill, and later while he was the Principal there, Jeanne thrived in the intellectual environment of the university and was tireless at promoting staff relations, entertaining, working at the Rare Book Room, and standing on the Visual Arts Committee. She was awarded an honourary degree by McGill (D. Litt.,1978). In 1983, she and Bob retired to Tsawwassen Beach near Vancouver, BC, and built a lovely waterfront house there. After Bob died in 1992, she remained at that home, still active in her local community, until it became unsustainable and she and her beloved cat, Cato, moved into an independent living facility in 2002. Since that time she required increasing levels of care which necessitated several moves. To all of her many lifetime friends, thank you for enriching her life in ways that you can never know. To Amelita Beretta and Dorothy Shields, who visited with her until the end, thank you for overlooking her mental frailty and providing comfort and companionship. Many thanks to the staff members of Haro Park Centre "Amber Lane", each for their exemplary care and support of my mother in her final days. By her request, there will be no memorial service. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the "Jeanne Bell Women in Science Undergraduate Research Award at McGill University" (for further information call 514-398-3128).

Published in Vancouver Sun and/or The Province from Dec. 1 to Dec. 3, 2012