Wanda June Bell of Windsor, Illinois joined the Lord on March 13, 2021. She was a resident of Copper Creek Cottages in Mattoon, Illinois, where she lived for the last year.
Wanda was born on August 11, 1924 to Jesse Franklin and Nelle Olive Waters Swinford and lived nearly all her life in Windsor. Balancing both a family and a successful career, she was one of the many silent pioneers in her generation who paved the way for what later become a movement advancing the rights of women in all aspects of life. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Education in June 1946, and as a full-time teacher, wife and mother earned a Master of Science in Education in 1962 both from Eastern Illinois University. She taught home economics briefly in Neoga, Illinois and concentrated on physical education in Sullivan, Illinois serving both high school and elementary school students until her retirement in 1987. Her elementary school program, begun in 1965 and focusing on kindergarten through second grade, was showcased at the annual Illinois teachers’ convention as one of the first and best in the state. She also organized and managed women’s summer athletic camps and a summer recreation program at the Windsor Community Park for many years.
After her retirement from teaching, Mrs. Bell volunteered for organizations including the Shelby County Home Extension, Illinois Retired Teachers’ Association and her church of more than seventy years, Windsor United Methodist Church. She was an avid traveler and visited most of the continental United States. However, her most cherished accomplishment was earning the title of “best grandma ever.” She took great pride and enjoyment sitting in the stands watching her granddaughters’ many sporting events, softball, volleyball, gymnastics or cheerleading. She very seldom missed a game or competition.
Mrs. Bell was preceeded in death by her husband of forty-eight years, Ross Franklin Bell, sisters Wilma Jane Swinford and Nadine (Harold) Wilkey and parents, Jesse and Nelle Swinford. She is survived by her children Doug, of Windsor, Illinois and Susan, of Washington, D.C., granddaughters Daphney (Dereck) Bly, Danielle (long-time boyfriend Dominic Lucchesi) and Cori (fiancé Justice Long), great-grandchildren Addilyn Bly and Jensyn Long and brother Paul (Donna) Swinford of Hendersonville, NC.
Visitation will be held from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 17, 2021 at Lovins-Lockart Funeral Home in Windsor followed by the funeral service at 1:00 p.m. with Pastor Rena Whitcher officiating. Burial will take place in Windsor Cemetery. Memorials may be made in Wanda’s name to the Windsor United Methodist Church and mailed to Lovins-Lockart Funeral Home, %Wanda Bell, 207 N. Oak, Windsor, IL 61957.
Family and friends are invited to light a candle or share a story in Wanda’s honor at www.lockartgreenfuneralhome.com.
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Windsor United Methodist Church
1200 Ohio Avenue, Windsor IL 61957