Cover photo for Harriet Bell's Obituary
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1939 Harriet 2024

Harriet Bell

February 22, 1939 — February 9, 2024

Harriet Gray Bell aged 84 died on February 9, 2024, in Vermont surrounded by loving family. A celebration of life will be held with food and drink at the Weatherby Lake Community Center on Saturday April 13 from 1 to 4 p.m., where we will talk, laugh, and share stories of Harriet.

Harriet was born in Kansas City, Kansas to Elizabeth and Arthur Gray on February 22, 1939. She met the love of her life, Jerry Bell, at Wyandotte High School. They eloped at age 17 to California, where their daughter Diane was born. They spent 35 happy years together, the last of which were spent at their home on Weatherby Lake.

After returning to Kansas City, Harriet and Jerry welcomed their son David, completing their family.

Harriet later returned to school and earned a degree in Elementary Education, graduating with Highest Distinction from the University of Kansas in 1972. She went on to complete her Master's program in Gifted and Talented Education. She was a loyal fan of Jayhawk basketball.

Harriet was a beloved teacher at Line Creek Elementary and later Plaza Middle school, where she taught the rest of her influential career.

She touched the lives of many students who remained close to her over the years. She was a teacher who kept in touch, attending their weddings and graduations. She loved watching their families grow up.

She never hesitated to offer her time and support, and was known for her care, inclusivity, and tireless advocacy to those in need. Harriet was extraordinarily generous, always willing to help friends and charities in any way she could.

Harriet had a deep appreciation for theater, film, architecture, art and literature. Her passion for culture was infectious, and she loved to discuss art and film with her family and students. She supported many local theater groups, volunteering with her good friend Amanda Giesler.

Harriet was an avid traveler, and enjoyed meticulously planning every waking moment of family trips. Vacations were always packed with every site, and included a well- researched history of the region, and plenty of cemetery visits (to her children’s chagrin). She traveled a great deal to see her grandchildren grow up in different parts of the country creating very special and influential relationships with them.


 She shared many of these activities with her late husband Jerry until his death in 1996, and with her former companion and continued friend, Jesse G. Camacho, Jr., and her beloved dog, Dexter.

Harriet had a great sense of humor and it was always wonderful to listen to the way she could tell a story. Not only a gifted educator, she was a lifelong learner - she could talk about social issues or politics with anyone regardless of their beliefs.

Harriet is survived by her daughter, Diane Bell Hendy (Dennis), Fairfield, VT, her son, David Bell (Staci Zeil) Houston, TX, grandson Paul Church, Brooklyn, NY whom she loved discussing books and movies with, Clayton Bell, Houston, TX with whom she always made cookies and played games, two granddaughters Erica Bell of Houston who tried to keep her up to date on technology, Jessica Bell of Wisconsin, and several nieces and nephews. She loved them and was successful in keeping Jerry's memory alive to them over the decades.

Harriet requested that donations in her name be given to Harvesters, Planned Parenthood, Doctors without Borders or any other charity you find meaningful.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Harriet Bell, please visit our flower store.

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