In keeping with her beautiful life, Joan Seiler Bell passed away peacefully at home surrounded by family on Easter morning, April 1, 2018. Just shy of her birthday, she lived every moment of her 89 years devoted to family, friends and God.
Joan was born on April 18, 1929 in Cleveland, Ohio to Frank and Marie Seiler. After graduating from St. John's nursing school, she worked with the Red Cross in Washington, D.C. before returning to work in surgery at St. John's Hospital in Cleveland where she met a fun-loving Irishman from Arkansas. Joan married Dr. L.J. Patrick Bell on August 16, 1952 and their adventure began. They made their home in Helena, Arkansas where Joan was a homemaker raising three busy boys and a daughter. She was a talented artist, gardener and antique hunter who loved to extend hospitality and entertain. Joan stayed busy serving on the Helena City Council, Helena Pilgrimage and St. Mary's Altar Society. When the youngest left for college, she opened 'Formal Affair" and enjoyed serving many brides over the years. In addition, she ran "Bell's Ducks by the Levee" restaurant in the evening.
After her husband's retirement from 50 years of practicing medicine, they moved to Pascagoula, MS. She loved living in the South, especially on the Coast. Pat told her "if he moved her any further South, she'd get her feet wet." Embracing the opportunities of their new home, Joan joined the Anola Club, Pascagoula Pride, Maritime Museum and Twentieth Century Club. She loved being with people, going to estate sales, entertaining and meeting with the "gossip girls" at Crazy B's. She was grateful to the community of Sacred Heart Catholic Church and Pascagoula for embracing her with loving friendship and hospitality.
Joan was preceded in death by her parents, sisters Marjorie Gilman and Eleanor Loretta and her husband of 59 years, Dr. L. J. Patrick Bell. She is survived by two sisters, Carolyn Seiler and Sister Mary Francismarie, SND of Ohio; three sons, Dr. Pat (Ellen) Bell of Helena, Arkansas; Dr. Mike (Debbie) Bell of Russellville, Arkansas; Dr. Tim (Cheri) Bell of Fort Smith, Arkansas and one daughter, Maura (Dr. Rick) Whitlock of Pascagoula, Mississippi. She was Precious/RayRay to Samantha Bell, Maryjo (Joe) McElduff, Kaity (Hunter) Bryant, Patrick Bell, III, Erin (Angelo) Paladino, Matt (Allison) Bell, Amanda (Kevin) Corrigan, Daniel (Kirsten) Bell, Sarah Bell, Jennifer (Jesse) Highfill, Chris (Jessica) Bell, Dr. Molly Bell, Stephen Bell, Dr. Richard (Hailea) Whitlock, II, Spencer Whitlock and Bethany (Jake) Lewis.
Her family continued to grow in love with 16 great grandchildren and two additions arriving this summer.
Visitation will be Monday, April 9, 2018 at 9:30am with mass to follow at 11 am at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Pascagoula, MS with Father Michael Kelleher officiating. Burial will be held with a graveside service in Helena, Arkansas at St. Mary's Cemetery at 11 am on Tuesday, April 10, 2018. Grandsons will serve as pallbearers. Arrangements are being handled by O'Bryant-O'Keefe Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Pascagoula Pride or Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Pascagoula, Mississippi.
VisitationSacred Heart Catholic Church
Pascagoula , MS 39567
4/9/2018 at 9:30-11:00
ServiceSacred Heart Catholic Church
Pascagoula , MS 39567
4/9/2018 at 11 am St Mary's Cemtetery
.North Holley Street
Helena , AR 72342
4/10/2018 at 11 am
IntermentSt. Mary's Cemetery
North Holley Street
Helena, AR 72342
Memorial ContributionsSacred Heart Catholic Church
Pascagoula, MS 39567 Pascagoula Pride
Pascagoula, MS 39567