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Anne Coventry (Nan) Bell

1950 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Anne Coventry (Nan) Bell Obituary
Anne (Nan) Coventry Bell

Ithaca - Nan "left the room" on September 8th after four years with ovarian cancer at age 68. Nan was born August 14, 1950 to Vern Coventry Bell and Anne Shearer Bell in Buffalo, NY and grew up in East Aurora, NY. She is survived by her children, Joshua Coventry Garbarino (Lara Zeigler) and Joanna Novakovic (Steven), and her adored wife, Elisabeth Jude Lindsay.

Also surviving are siblings Suzanne Shearer Bell (Christopher Brown) of Rochester, Elizabeth Anne Bell (Michael Moore) of Seattle, and Roger Hunt Bell of Ithaca; the father of her children, James Garbarino; a bevy of dear cousins, including Sue Marom and Abby Shearer; the best in-laws anyone could ever have; and friends of all ages.

Nan was predeceased by parents, aunts, and uncles.

Nan, a.k.a. "Miss Bell" was a librarian at Ithaca High School for 20 years (1996-2016), following librarianship at University of Chicago Laboratory Schools and her M.A.L.S. from the University of Chicago. Her undergraduate degree was from Empire State College, SUNY's 'university without walls.' She felt she had the best job anyone could have: handing out books and storytelling! Nan was an accomplished teller of fables and tales to audiences of all ages.

Summers meant the Adirondacks, a camp on Beaver Lake, swimming, boating, watching 'the nature,' and reading. Grand-dogs and grand-cats were always welcome, "the more, the merrier," as were family and friends. Nan's own furry family, dogs Abby, Badger, Dover, and Gus, and dear black cat Bart were always terrific company. Nan was never far from a good book, a purring cat, a glass of wine, and a tiny island in the Adirondacks.

Nan had a wonderful laugh, gave the warmest hugs, and made the best shortbread in the world.

Many thanks to Dr. Campbell and the chemo suite team for the extra time on earth and to friends and family who helped care for her in her last weeks and days, including Lewis County Hospice. Special thanks to family friend Kat Lynch who went out of her way to make sure that Nan got the best care possible.

Miss Bell would like to leave you with this idea, from the story "The Loathly Lady," in The Canterbury Tales:

"What is it that a woman truly wants? It is to have her own way."

Cremation will be followed by placement at Danby Rural Cemetery and in the Adirondacks. Memorial service will be held at the First Unitarian Society of Ithaca, Saturday, October 13th at 2 pm.

Memorial donations may be directed to the University of California, Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program.
Published in Ithaca Journal on Sept. 15, 2018
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