BARBARA BELL
1922 - 2017
BORN
1922
DIED
2017
FUNERAL HOME
Keefe Funeral Home
2175 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA
BELL, Barbara Retired Harvard Astronomer Passed away at the age of 95 on September 25th, 2017. Barbara was born on April 1, 1922, as beloved daughter of the late George Irving Bell Sr. and Hazel Seerley Bell of Evanston, IL. She graduated from Radcliffe College in 1944 and received a PhD in Astronomy from Harvard University in 1951, under Donald Menzel. Her thesis research concerned lines of silicon in the solar spectrum. For more than 50 years she worked at the Harvard College Observatory, now the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Working with Donald Menzel, Harold Glazer, Giancarlo Noci and Robert Kurucz, her research dealt primarily with observations of solar phenomena. Barbara had a keen interest in history and travel, and in her later years traveled to all corners of the globe. She developed a particular interest in the ancient history of Egypt. Her research expanded to include the variations in the floods of the Nile for which she sought to connect to solar fluctuations. Using ancient accounts, she was first to propose a linkage between prolonged drought and the societal collapse she called "The First Dark Age in Egypt" in the early 1970s. She published several journal articles on the connection of climate fluctuations to the fall of Egyptian dynasties which have been widely cited in the literature. Loved by all who knew her, Barbara had a sharp and curious mind, a kind heart and a cheerful disposition. Intensely interested in her family and those around her, she donated generously her entire life to Harvard University and numerous charities. A beloved sister and aunt, Barbara is preceded in death by her brother George I. Bell (Harvard 1947) who passed away in 2000. Barbara is survived by George's wife, Virginia (Ginny) Bell of Los Alamos, New Mexico, her niece Carolyn S. Bell of Santa Fe, New Mexico, her nephew George I. Bell, Jr. and his wife Esther, of Boulder Colorado, and her five grandnieces and grandnephews: Kaitlin M. Prince of New York, NY, Austin W. Prince of Salt Lake City, UT, Derek T. Prince, Allison B. Bell and Henry G. Bell of Boulder, CO. Following her wishes, Barbara will be laid to rest next to her parents in Memorial Park Cemetery in Skokie, IL.

To plant trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published by Boston Globe from Oct. 3 to Oct. 8, 2017.
MEMORIAL EVENTS
No memorial events are currently scheduled.
To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Funeral services provided by:
Keefe Funeral Home
MAKE A DONATION
MEMORIES & CONDOLENCES
Add a Message


Not sure what to say?



9 Entries
Barbera Bells contribution to the American Journal of Archeology is the driving force behind my own concentration of study. To her, I owe my future career in paleoclimatology and anthropology. Thank you Barbera for piquing my interest in the subject, your memory will live on through your work and attributions to the historical community. I regret never having the chance to meet you in person, rest in peace.
Robert
Student
March 17, 2021
Sorry for your loss. May the god of all comfort be with you during this difficult time.2 Cor:1; 3 and 4.
D
October 6, 2017
May the God of all comfort strengthen the family during this time of deep sorrow. Those who pass on, God keeps in his memory because they are precious in his eyes. My sincerest condolences. (Psalms 116:15)
October 6, 2017
WE LOVED TAKING CARE OF BARBARA. SHE WILL ALWAYS BE ONE OF OUR FAVORITES. WE WILL MISS HER TWINKLING BLUE EYES/HER SHARP WIT/BASEBALL CAPS AND HER LITTLE SMILES. SHE WAS A REMARKABLE WOMAN. ALWAYS SWEET AND KIND TO EVERYONE. SHE WAS NEVER DEMANDING AND ALWAYS PATIENT WITH THE STAFF. SHE LOVED HER BROTHER AND ENJOYED TALKING ABOUT EGYPTIAN TRAVELS. OUR SINCERE CONDOLENCES TO HER FAMILY. WE WILL NEVER FORGET HER. HER ROOMMATE FOR THE PAST FEW YEARS HERE AT CYNCC MISSES HER AND ALWAYS SPEAKS FONDLY OF HER.

SINCERELY,
THE A UNIT NIGHT SHIFT STAFF
October 6, 2017
May the God who "binds up the brokenhearted" and "comforts all who mourn" sustain your family during this challenging time. (Isaiah 61:1,2) With heartfelt sympathy.
CW
October 5, 2017
Deepest sympathy for family and friends during this difficult time. May our Father of comfort bring peace to your heart. 1Thess 4:13.
October 5, 2017
My family sends our sincere condolences for your loss. May happy memories of your loved one and the words of Isaiah 57:15 provide you with much comfort.
Green Family
October 5, 2017
We will miss a great lady. She made everyone smile! rest in peace. Kathy Micelli and the Courtyard gang!
kathy micelli
Friend
September 27, 2017
Rest in Peace Barbara. You were a pleasure to know. You will be missed.
Leigh Pescatore
Acquaintance
September 26, 2017
Showing 1 - 9 of 9 results