Grey Cloud Island
Elizabeth Bell (née Bette Kohlmeyer Jung), a beloved wife, mother, Nonnie, and treasured friend, died on March 25, 2022, of pulmonary complications from cancer.
A graduate of Rochester High School and Minnesota School of Business, Elizabeth spent her professional career in property management and most recently served 2 terms as Grey Cloud Island Town Clerk.
She brought her energy, compassion, vision, dedication and organizational skills to everything she valued - family, friends, birding, gardening, preparing meals, the environment, politics, and more. A friend says, “Her warmth and enthusiasm for life, birds, and people was infectious.”
She was a pro at family dinners and events for her blended family: husband Tom Bell; five children, Kerry (Bernard) Bogenreif, Vicki Jung, Gregory Jung (Cathie Gallagan), Michael (Julie) Jung, and Stephen Jung; four stepchildren, Julie Bell (Michael Campbell), Mindy Bell (Darrell Kaufman), Jennifer Caskey (Joel Jongewaard), and Erik (Fran) Bell; and eight grandchildren, Alexandria Caskey, Becca Burlingame, Lindsey Bell Kaufman, Benjamin Burlingame, Matthew Jung, Madison Jung, Cecilia Bell, and Luke Bell. She was preceded in death by her parents Lorenz G. Kohlmeyer and Pearl M. Shannon.
She and Tom met through birdwatching and shared that passion during their 40-year marriage which was accentuated by birding trips, most recently to Panama. She extended this commitment to the Minnesota Ornithologists’ Union, serving for 30 years as newsletter editor, secretary, and membership secretary. One MOU friend shared, “I’ve known a lot of birders in my lifetime, but not one who’s been warmer or more thoughtful, gently insightful, and quietly helpful than Elizabeth Bell. … I can’t imagine anyone who could be more pleasant company with a steadier disposition day to day, even during weather that could make lesser beings quite cranky.” Her family witnessed this same forward-looking disposition as she faced cancer.
Elizabeth was an avid reader and enjoyed camping and traveling. She maintained her valued relationships the same way she nurtured her gorgeous gardens of flowers and vegetables, conquering sun, shade, drought, and hungry animals with her indomitable spirit. She was a treasured and inspirational member of the Pineridge Garden Club. Her gourmet dinner club, Curves friends, and the Monday Morning Birding group brought added joy to her life.
A celebration of her life will be held on Sunday, April 24, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. at Carpenter Nature Center, 12805 St. Croix Trail South, Hastings, MN, 55033. Casual dress welcome; event outdoors, weather permitting.
A special thank you to Fairview Accent Hospice, Karen, and Sue for compassionate and professional care.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial gift may be made to Sax-Zim Bog, a wildlife preservation habitat cherished by Elizabeth or other charities that support gardens, birds, or the environment.