Norma Ellen Bell, 93, of Houghton Lake and formerly of Hemlock/Shields passed away on Friday January 4, 2019 at The Brook with her daughter Donna, son Jack and their spouses by her side, after a 10 year battle with dementia.
Norma was born on June 11, 1925 in Mt. Haley Township, Midland County to F. Anton and Eva E.(Foster) Dahl. Norma grew up in the Midland County Area and worked for Eaton Manufacturing during WW II to help with the war effort. Norma married John Viola in Saginaw in 1944 and had 2 sons and divorced in February of 1951. On August 18, 1951 in Angola, Indiana Norma married Donald L. Bell. The couple lived in Hemlock where Norma was an active homemaker with her five children and bountiful one acre garden which produced much food and excellent baked goods for her family and friends. Norma was an excellent seamstress and made clothing and did clothing repair. Norma and Don moved to Shields in 1983 after her husband was diagnosed with cancer and passed away on March 2, 1984 after 32 years of marriage. Norma continued living in the Shields area and then spent the last 3 years by her daughter at The Brook in Houghton Lake. Norma was a member of Swan Valley United Methodist Church and a Lifetime Member of Hemlock-Merrill VFW Post #7302 Auxiliary, where she held many offices. She was an avid bowler, enjoyed snowmobiling with her husband, genealogy of her family, photography, collecting lead crystal dolphins, playing euchre, reading and doing cross word puzzles and loved traveling with her family and especially enjoyed going on cruises with her sister Ruby. Her special love was spending time with friends and family especially her grandchildren and her dear friend Genevieve McKeage. Norma very much enjoyed her friends from the VFW Auxiliary and all the numerous activities she was so active in. Their trip to Hawaii was her favorite.
Norma was very patriotic and so proud of her families dedication to the US Armed Forces. Her father-in-law Roy served in the US Army during WWI, her brother Martin served in the US Navy during WWII, husband Don served in the US Navy during WWII, son John "Jack" served in the US Navy during the Vietnam War and her grandson Troy Goodyear still serves in the US Air Force after 25 years.
Surviving Mrs. Bell are her two daughters, Donna L. (Greg) Goodyear of Prudenville, and Diane E. Bell of Saginaw; three sons, James A. (Joanne) Viola of Magnolia, TX, John M. (Judy) Viola of Hemlock; and Jerry L.(Linda) Bell of The Villages, FL; eight grandchildren; 11 great grandchildren; two great great grandchildren; her favorite baby sister, Eunice Kotcher of South Bend, IN; several nieces and nephews. Norma was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Donald L. Bell; seven sisters, Hazel Flauding/Weymouth, Pauline Allswede/Wenton, Frances Krupka, Dolores Dahl, Ruth Heintz/Welsh, Ruby Layman/Hoagland, and Betty Jean Bernard two brothers, Harold Dahl, and Martin Dahl and their spouses; her mother and father in law, LeRoy and Alice Bell.
The family would like to extended a special thank you to The Brook of Houghton Lake for their support, patience and loving care, especially Julie, Michelle, Lisa, Eric and Bridgette. They would also like to thank the wonderful people of Heartland Hospice for their support and kindness, Bonnie, Jackie, Amber and Pastor Lonnie. Also a special thank you to Bob Budzynski from Christler Funeral Home for all that he did for us.
Private Family Services will be conducted for Norma Ellen Bell. Interment will be in Roselawn Memorial Gardens in Saginaw. Memorial contributions in memory of Norma are asked to be directed to Alzheimer's Association - Greater Michigan Chapter,25200 Telegraph Rd., Suite 100,Southfield, MI 48033 or the charity of the donor's choice. Christler Funeral Home- Prudenville Chapel is serving the family. Condolences can be sent to the family online at www.christler-holdship.com