Obituary: Jean Mary Bell

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A SERVICE of thanksgiving for the life of Jean Mary Bell was held at All Saints Church, Wragby, following a private family cremation at Lincoln conducted by the Rev Mark Holden.

Jean, fondly known as ‘Jeannie’ to family and friends, was born at Freiston in July, 1922, the second child of what was to become a family of six daughters and one son to the late Walter and Lucy Skinner.

Her early childhood was spent in and around Freiston and she attended the local school where she met James Bell, known to all as Jim.

Her teenage years were spent helping her father deliver bread to the surrounding villages, helping her mother look after her siblings and working on the local farms, planting and harvesting vegetables.

It was on one of those smallholdings that she met Jim again. The smallholding was run by him and his father.

The couple became close and were married in Freiston Church on August 10, 1946 – a marriage that lasted nearly 66 years.

They had three sons – John, Peter and Stephen - who went to get married and give Jim and Jeannie six grandchildren and one great grandchild.

The family moved house twice, first to Swineshead and then in early 1966 to Kingthorpe near Wragby.

It was there that she developed her great love of baking, making excellent pastry and cakes, especially Christmas cakes.

She helped with rearing chickens and turkeys, sometimes dealing with 1,000 chickens under lamps and also bottle-feeding lambs.

It was a real family atmosphere and the boys loved to come home to the smell of baking.

Jeannie loved knitting and was constantly turning out beautiful handmade clothes for family and friends.

She was especially proud of the many christening shawls which she made for so many people.

For a time she had worked as a knitting machine operator in Fiskerton.

She was always a social person and enjoyed local activities including Wragby Players, jumble sales and the weekly bingo sessions at the town hall.

At the age of 82, she and Jim set off on a great adventure and never having been out of the country in her life, she travelled to New Zealand to visit their son for three months at the beginning of 2005.

Her later years were spent at Holton-cum-Beckering along with Jim and she continued to go out whenever possible.

Despite her failing eyesight, she still enjoyed bingo and the over 60’s club meetings.

Jeannie was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother, taking such pleasure in running the home and being with family and friends.

She was the kindest, gentlest, warmest, caring person that anyone could have wished to have met and will be sadly missed by many.

Jeannie is survived by her husband and sons.

Funeral arrangements were by J Marshall, Funeral Directors, of Market Rasen.

Family mourners present were: Jim Bell, John and Linda Bell, son and daughter-in-law, Peter and Linda Bell, son and daughter-in-law, Stephen and Lisa Bell, son and daughter-in-law, Richard, Helen, Michael, Adam, Stuart and Rachael, grandchildren, Reg and Sheila Skinner, brother and sister-in-law, Judith Skinner, sister, Angela and Barry Wood, niece, Stephen Lawes, nephew, Suzanne Pinchbeck, niece, Sharon and Anton Forth, niece, Tom Richardson, brother-in-law, Mark Richardson, nephew, Paul Hocking, nephew, Ricky Magee, Richard Green, Eric Motley, cousin, Richard Woods, cousin, Georgia Pinchbeck, great niece, Joshua Forth, great nephew, Pauly Burnett.

Other mourners: Bob Clarke, verger, Andrea Ward, also representing Valerie Cooper, Dorothy Warr, A Riley, T Cook, Anne Buffham, also representing Caroline Hydes and family, Betty Ward, Jim Sutherland, also representing Margaret Sutherland.

Mrs Garton, Mr & Mrs A McBain, S Wynter, also representing Louise Wynter, Ray King, J Lomas, also representing G Lomas, Edie Martin, also representing K Martin and L Martin, Tim Earl, A Johnson, Sandra and Clive Riley, also representing Wragby Disability Lincs, Mr & Mrs D Bodily, Mr & Mrs Pickwell, Ann Harris, Vera Colley, Roy Sylvester, also representing Alison Sylvester, Annis Brown, also representing Andrew Wilmot, Margaret Jones, also representing Sylvia Lowman, Sheila Cartwright, organist.

Vicky James, Jean Warner, Mr & Mrs David Westbury, also representing, Rachel and Rebecca Westbury, Thelma Humberstone, also representing Sam Humberstone, Renee Mullen, Ruby Tuplin, Tressa Machin, Kathy Lowe, chairman of Wragby Town Hall, Pat Steel, also representing the bingo club, Murial Whittaker, also representing Sharon Whittaker.

Margaret Kane, also representing Saturday night bingo, Eileen Espin, also representing Ann and Ken Johnson, Jane Nutting, also representing Peter Makin.

Sandra and Derek Drewery, Sandra Roger, Jackie Hawkins, Anne Reeves, Monica Overton, Julie Leary, Peggy Shuttleworth, also representing Margaret Sergeant, Mr and Mr Russ Millson, Maureen Steer, Jayne Ingall, Ann Ingall, Kay Franklin, also representing B Robinson, Thelma and Derek, Joyce Dixon.