Willodean Bell, affectionately known as Dean, passed away surrounded in love and comfort with the grace of God and family on Sunday morning, September 20, 2020.
She is survived by her children, Shirley Lea (Scott), Sandy Boykin, Danny Lee Bell (Lori Brisky) and Hope Bell. Surviving her also are grandchildren and step grandchildren. Bo Boykin, Matthew Boykin, Kathryn Lea-Rodriguez (Kevin), Joshua Bell (Jamie), Kayla Bell, Hope Bell, Sarah Bell, Emily Bell and Lillie Bell and great-grandsons, Rowan Bell and Bryden Bell.
Dean was born in Winston County, growing up in Double Springs, She worked in the home of Dr. Malcolm Blake and his wife Jayne prior to marrying and moving to Birmingham to live in Forestdale and raise her family. When her husband retired, they moved to Lay Lake/Bozo’s in Shelby, Alabama. She was a compassionate caregiver and loved every child she kept babysitting through the years as they were her own children, never forgetting each one of them. A Christian lady who loved the Lord and was a member of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Shelby, she was blessed to work and teach children’s vacation Bible School there. Another enjoyment after the passing of her husband was volunteering to work in the Widow’s Mite – Earthly Treasures ministry.
A wife and mother who saw that her family was always put before her needs and medical conditions through the years was a 24-year breast cancer survivor and blind from glaucoma. Unfortunately, dementia set in, taking away her means to respond, walk, think and be herself as known by so many who knew and loved her. She lived in the home of her daughter and son-in law the past year and enjoyed the comfort of being able to be with her family in her final days.
Dean is also survived by brothers, Shirl Daniel (Barbara), Truman Daniel (Carolyn) and Waymon Daniel (Dianne); sisters, Hazel Smith (Raymond) and Wanda Fannin (Dale) and sisters-in-law, Carolyn Martin, Christie Daniel, Era Jean Daniel, Fayrene Daniel, Gracie Daniel and Margaret Bell. Many nieces, nephews, cousins, extended family and friends are integral parts of her life that she loved dearly.
Dean was preceded in death by her husband, Leo Bell; parents, Bennie and Ollie Mae Chambers Daniel; son-in-law, J. T. Boykin, Jr.; brothers, Wayne Daniel, Gene Daniel, Lee Daniel, Bobby Daniel and Johnny Daniel and sisters, Betty Jo Daniel and Faye Williams.
Thank you, Dr. Rhonda Carter and Southern Care New Beacon Hospice - Dr. Megan Bullard. Words cannot express our gratitude and love for the caregivers who came into Dean and her family’s life these past weeks. Thank you Darlene Dowdy, Janet Anderson, Robin Pickett, Kim Parker, Vonda Kay Vick, Miguel Fergerson and Jackie Miles.
The visitation will be on Tuesday, September 22, 2020 from 9-10 a.m. at Bolton Funeral Home in Columbiana, with her funeral beginning at 10 a.m., with Bro. John Roland officiating. At the conclusion of the service, the family will depart and travel to her gravesite at Mt. Olive Baptist Church on Hwy 195 in Double Springs, arriving at approximately 12:30 p.m. for the committal service closure.
God blessed Dean’s family with her life and love. We know that peace and comfort awaited her as she entered heaven's gates.
See complete story in the Northwest Alabamian.