Janice Bell 2020
Cranston, RI - Janice (Wightman) Bell, 102, died peacefully on January 14, 2020 in Cranston, RI, where she had lived for the past few years. Married to the late George B. Bell and a daughter of the late Edith (Cairns) and Lucius I. Wightman, she was born in Montclair, NJ and spent most of her life in Gales Ferry, CT. She was predeceased by a sister, Doris Latimer.
She is survived by two daughters and their families: Hannah Bell-Lombardo (John Lombardo) of Cranston, RI, their children Scott (Katie) of Westport, CT, and Sarah and Emily of New York City; and Martha Bell Ahern (John) of Cranston, RI and their children Brian of Mystic, CT and Kelly, of Cranston. She also leaves a great-granddaughter, Darcy Lombardo, of Westport, CT and several nieces and nephews and their families.
She received her bachelor's and master's degrees from Southern Connecticut State University and taught art at Williams Memorial Institute in New London (now Williams School) and the Mystic Oral School in Mystic, CT. After retiring from teaching, she worked as an interpreter at Mystic Seaport into her mid-90s. She was a watercolorist, exhibiting across Connecticut and in New York City, and was also an illustrator and commercial artist in her earlier years.
The Ledyard Town Historian for many years, she had co-authored six books on the history of Ledyard and Gales Ferry. The historic research room at Bill Library is named after her. She was a member of the United Methodist Church of Gales Ferry, where she also authored a book on the history of the church. She had performed in local community theater productions, and was an active volunteer, delivering Meals on Wheels in Ledyard and helping at the Ledyard Senior Center and Lyman Allen Museum.
A memorial service will be held at the United Methodist Church of Gales Ferry on Saturday, January 18th at 11:00 a.m. Burial will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Cancer Research Institute, 29 Broadway Floor 4, New York, NY 10006 or the United Methodist Church of Gales Ferry, 10 Chapman Lane, Gales Ferry, CT 06335. Condolences may be offered and remembrances shared at www.carpenterjenks.com