August 29, 1928 ~ February 19, 2023
Mary Elizabeth (Wilson) Bell passed away from natural causes on Sunday, February 19, 2023, at the age of 94. Born in Tahlina, Oklahoma, August 28, 1928, to Harlan and Bertha Wilson, where she grew up on the family farm on the outskirts of town. Mary was a proud resident of Hugo, and a member of Hugo High School’s class of 1946. Shortly after graduation, Mary eloped with Cecil Kenneth Bell, and the two shared a marriage of nearly 74 years. The couple were the proud parents of two daughters and a son- Lynda (Bell) Canezaro, Dianna (Bell) Guidry, and Kenneth Bell.
Mary and Cecil relocated their family throughout the midwestern states to follow Cecil’s career, until they ultimately settled in Baker, Louisiana in 1958, where they lived for the following forty-six years. While simultaneously raising her three children, Mary worked as an administrative assistant for Baton Rouge Fire Department Chief Robert Bogan. After a hiatus from the workforce to focus on her family as a homemaker, Mary embarked on a fulfilling career with the East Baton Rouge Police Jury Association. Within the Police Jury, Mary worked with legislators throughout Louisiana to lobby for local causes to improve the quality of life throughout East Baton Rouge Parish. Service to the Police Jury was Mary’s proudest career accomplishment, during which she traveled to conventions throughout the United States while working with various governors and dignitaries. Upon retirement, Mary enjoyed traveling throughout the United States with Cecil in their motorhome, especially their extended sojourns to southern Arizona to visit their son, Kenny.
Mary was a lifelong member of the United Methodist Church of Baker, LA and Hugo, OK. Mary is survived by her sister, June (Wilson) Pizzolato and daughter Lynda (Bell) Canezaro, and preceded in death by her husband, Cecil, and children Dianna and Kenneth. Mary and Cecil Bell leave behind a legacy of three children, eleven grandchildren, twenty-one great grandchildren, and six great-great grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held at Seale Funeral Home in Denham Springs, Louisiana, on Friday, February 24, from 10:00 a.m. until noon. A funeral procession will follow to Hillcrest Memorial Gardens in Baker, LA immediately after the service.