Winnie Elizabeth Bell, age 97

Winnie Elizabeth Bell, age 97, of Crossville, Tennessee, died November 28, 2022, in Crossville. She was born July 7, 1925, in Waxahachie, Texas, to John Clifford Bell and Ineeta (Brooks) Bell. Winnie grew up in Texas and graduated from Waxahachie High School in 1942. She earned a BA in Business Education from Harding College, Searcy, Arkansas, in 1949.

After graduation, she worked as a secretary to the president of Security State Bank, Wewoka, Oklahoma, from 1949 to 1959 when she moved back to Searcy to work at the Brackett Library in the bookkeeping position. The next year she earned a BS in Library Science from Peabody University in Nashville, Tennessee, returning to the Brackett Library as Assistant Librarian. She was the head librarian from 1975 until 1990. After retirement, Winnie continued to volunteer in various capacities at the library. She was a member of the American Library Association, Arkansas Library Association, American Association of University Women, Harding Business Women, and Christian College Librarians. Her honors and awards include the Arkansas Library Association Distinguished Service Award in 1987, Tribute of Appreciation from the Christian Librarians Conference in 1990, Distinguished Service Award from Harding College in 1978, and Bell House on Harding University.

Beginning at the age of 39, she became a foster mother to teenage girls, including Lana Davis, Lynnette Jeffrey, Gwendolyn Carter, and Joanne Satele. After retiring from Harding University, Winnie traveled with and took care of her sister, Mildred L. Bell, who had Parkinson’s disease. After her sister’s death in 2005, she continued to live in Searcy until 2007 when she moved to Crossville to live with Lana and J.C. Davis. She was a member of the Crossville church of Christ.

Winnie is preceded in death by her parents, her sister Mildred L. Bell, brother Robert William Bell, foster daughter Gwendolyn (DeLong) Carter, and foster granddaughter Angela Chandler. She is survived by five nieces: Leslie Higbee (Robert), Judy Burnham (Walt), Jan Wray (John), Susan Edens (Eugene), and Amy Hardaway (Daryl); three foster daughters: Lana (DeLong) Davis (J.C.) of Crossville, Lynnette (DeLong) Jeffrey (Stanley), and Joanne (Miller) Satele (Tama) of Hawaii; foster grandchildren, Jason Davis, Landon Davis, Staci Medlock, John Thomas Jeffrey, Johnny Carter, Marsha Lindsey, Tala Satele, Daniel Satele, Tommy Satele, and Russel Satele; and 27 foster great-grandchildren.

Visitation will be at the Crossville church of Christ from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday, December 17, with Memorial services following. Burial will be in Bell’s Chapel Cemetery in Waxahachie, Texas.

Memorials may be made to one of the following: World Bible School P.O. Box 2169 Cedar Park, Texas 78630

Harding University Library Box 12267 Harding University Searcy, Arkansas 72143