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Carol Jean BellAugust 21, 1939 ~ May 4, 2020 (age 80)
Carol Jean Bell
A Celebration of Life service will begin at 11 a.m. on Saturday, November 21, 2020 at Stauffer Funeral Home, Frederick. Those attending are asked to wear a face covering and social distancing will be observed.
Carol Jean Bell, RN, 80, longtime Frederick County resident, entered her heavenly home on Monday, May 4, 2020 at Kline House following a recent diagnosis of heart failure (not COVID-19). She was the loving wife of the late John William Bell, who predeceased her on July 30, 2019. They were married for 62 years and she missed him immensely since his passing. We’re pleased, yet saddened to say they are happy to be “Together Again.”
Born August 21, 1939 in Redding, California, she was the daughter of the late Don Robert Wheeler and Dorothy Ruth (Potter) Wheeler. Carol was always proud of the fact that she was a direct decedent of the pioneer, Kit Carson. In fact, her father always called her Kit and never Carol.
In her younger years, her family moved to Spokane, Washington for better work opportunities for her father. In 1957, she met her husband on a blind date while attending a community dance in Spokane, where he was stationed in the U.S. Air Force.
Upon leaving the west coast in 1958 and arriving in Maryland with her husband, and young son, Ronnie (who she still referred to as the most beautiful baby ever!), they set up home in a three-bedroom apartment at the dairy farm in Ceresville.
While living at the farm, the family expanded to five with the addition of two daughters, Rhonda and Jacqui. In an effort to help provide for the family, Mom attended and was a graduate of the first nursing class at Frederick Community College. She took the Maryland State Board Licensing Exam during the flood of Agnes in 1972. The rising flood waters of the Monocacy River and Israel Creek made returning home quite the challenge for Carol. But she was determined to be with her family.
She began her nursing career as the night charge nurse in the men's ward at Springfield Hospital Center. Carol gained valuable experience there as a newly licensed Registered Nurse. After a few years, she went to work at Suburban Hospital. It didn’t take long for her to realize she did not like the commute and decided to work closer to her family and home. Carol then began working at Frederick Memorial Hospital, during which time, she and John welcomed their fourth child and second son, Jody, who was extremely loved and doted on by his parents and older siblings. Carol spent many years on 2A, working full-time, part-time, nights, days, and per diem…whatever was needed in order to spend as much time with her family as possible. She finished her nursing career with FMH Home Health, retiring in 1994 after 20 plus years of service as a Registered Nurse.
Mom, as a nurse, and Dad, as a farmer, made certain to provide the best love, care and time to raising their four children. They instilled in us the value of hard work, a good education, lots of family time, and the love of God.
Carol was a two-time cancer survivor, beating Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2005 and Colon Cancer immediately after in 2006. Mom never liked the fact that a partially paralyzed vocal cord from the lymphoma left her with a faint, soft-spoken voice. But being the strong woman that she was, she persevered and didn’t allow that to get in the way of her daily life.
Mom was one tough cookie and, growing up, you better have either a fever or be sick to the stomach if you ever thought about not going to school. Needless to say, we rarely missed a day. In later years, her nursing skills, diligent love and compassionate care are what kept Dad alive and surviving during his 20-month illness.
Mom loved spending time with her family and enjoyed spoiling her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. In later years, she and John enjoyed rides throughout the countryside. She and her daughter, Jacqui, spent many hours walking in Baker Park admiring the changing of the seasons and the beauty of each day. Occasionally, they would venture off the beaten path and journey down the alleys and side streets just to catch a glimpse of the beautiful backyard gardens. Finishing off the walk with a milkshake was the perfect ending to the day.
Mom was an avid gardener and spent countless hours tending to her flower beds and vegetable garden at the family’s home of 48 years that they so lovingly built and cared for over the years. She also loved spending time at Assateague Beach watching the waves crash against the shoreline, children playing in the sand, and the ponies cooling off in the ocean.
Carol was a devoted member of Brook Hill United Methodist Church, where she attended the 9:30 contemporary service (although she loved the traditional hymns) with her husband, daughters and their families. Mom so disliked not being able to attend church recently due to the closure, but often watched the service via ZOOM with her daughter, Rhonda.
Mom was a very private person and never enjoyed being the center of attention and would probably not approve of this story telling. But she was a wonderful, soft spoken mom who deserves her story to be told. So private, in fact, that we recently just discovered her talent and love of writing poetry. I’m sure Mom would attribute that skill to her great aunt, Anna L. Dunlap, a poet and author who penned a poem about mom that appeared in the Poets of America, 1941, and simply titled “Carol Jean.”
Her soft brown eyes twinkle bright,
Like the stars on a summer’s night,
When she smiles at me;
Nothing could sweeter be,
My baby dear, my little love,
God sent you from heaven above
To give me hope which cheers me on
By filling my heart with a happy song.
With the joy there may be tears
Throughout the coming years,
But I’ll love you deeper each new day,
“May God guide us along the way.”
She is survived by four loving and devoted children, Ronnie Bell and wife, Dania, of Thurmont; Rhonda Starmer and husband, Steve, of Lewistown; Jacqui Kreh and husband, Richard, of Middletown; and Jody Bell and fiancée, Melanie Day, of Frederick; 14 adored grandchildren, Rebecca Kent (Steve), Wes Biser (Erin Davis), Jennifer Janinek (Mike), Shannon Klar (Ryan), Brianna Starmer (Bryan O’Rourke), Bryan Starmer, Katelyn and Kourtney Bell, Megan Smith (Justin), Sara Seiser (Drew), Derek Kreh (Ashley), Blair and Brandon Kreh, and Joangel Ventura; five sweet great-grandchildren, Madison, Lucy, Mark, Stella, and Ciara; her cousin, Ellen Guyton and her family of Reno, Nevada; two sisters-in-law, Delores Neal and Rosalyn Bowman, both of Damascus; numerous nieces and nephews and their families; additional cousins; and her many, special friends that she met along the way.
Carol was predeceased by her brother, Robert “Bob” Wheeler, a Vietnam veteran; sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law, Ruth Ellen and Ken Hruska, Richard G. and Bev Hines, Donald and Carolyn Bell, LaVerne Neal, and James Bowman; and a nephew, Richard D. “Denny” Hines.
Due to the mandated restrictions with the coronavirus, a private burial will be held at Glade Cemetery where Mom will be reunited with Dad. True to Mom fashion, she wouldn’t have it any other way.
Our family plans to celebrate Mom at Brook Hill United Methodist Church at a later date and will be announced once restrictions are lifted.
Mom would want to be remembered as a loving and devoted wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, daughter, aunt, cousin, sister and friend, but most importantly as a Christian. Her love of God and her family was like no other.
If your heart so desires, a memorial contribution in Carol’s name may be made to Brook Hill UMC, Kline Hospice House, or a charity of one’s choice that would encourage God’s work and love to others.
“I am but a visitor to your shores and come as ‘oft as I can,
To marvel at your wondrous waves which cannot be tamed by man.”
Rest easy, Mom…we’ll take it from here.