Barbara “Babs” Hanna Bell

Published 10:48 am Friday, June 10, 2016

Barbara “Babs” Hanna Bell, age 88, passed away due to complications from Alzheimer’s disease, surrounded by her loving family on June 2, 2016.

Babs was an extremely kind, loving, smart, and talented person who dedicated her life to loving and caring for her family. She was an avid reader who especially enjoyed mysteries, American history, and biographies about U.S. and world leaders.

She loved nature and the great outdoors, delighted by all native flora, fauna, changes in weather (especially clouds), the ocean, the Great Smokey Mountains, and of course, chocolate.  She was an extensive gardener and loved to camp, hike and backpack.  She refinished antique furniture and was an accomplished seamstress, even trying her hand at upholstery.  She imparted her love of all these things to her children and grandchildren.

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Mrs. Bell is preceded in death by her parents, Elfreda and James Hanna; her sister and brother-in-law, Margie and Fred Harmon; her brother Jim; her brother Brandon and sister-in-law Emily; in-laws, Thelma and Corydon Bell; sister-in-law Pat Liston; brother-in-law Bob Solibakke; and her beloved cat, Miss Kitty.

She is survived by her loving husband of 69 years, Corydon W. Bell Jr.; her daughters, Nancy Bell (Ronnie Bounds) of Vicksburg; Holly Prosise (Randy) of Loudon, Tenn., and Jill Howe (Michael) of Philadelphia, Tenn.; her son, Michael Bell of Seattle; grandchildren Andy (Mallory) Bell, Abbie Bell, Tricia Howe, and Lyn Howe; her sister-in-law, Nancy Solibakke; and nieces and nephews.

The family is especially grateful to Mrs. Bell’s caregiver, Nan Woodbury, for her loving care of their mother.

Babs was born in Galveston, Texas in 1928 and lived in Houston and Dallas, where she graduated from Highland Park High School.

While in high school she learned to fly and soloed, paying for lessons with money that she earned while babysitting. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in fine arts from the University of Texas, where she met and married her husband, Corydon W. Bell Jr.

They moved to Knoxville, Tenn., in 1952, and it was here that she raised four children, active in all aspects of their lives.

She delighted in being a Girl Scout leader, a timer for the swim team, creating summer arts projects, and encouraging her daughters’ love of horses, helping with all aspects of horse ownership and horse shows. She also helped to rehab each of her children’s houses, laying wood and tile floors, refinishing floors, painting, and installing cabinets.

She retired as a librarian from the University of Tennessee undergraduate library and moved to Vicksburg for eight years to help raise two of her grandchildren. She played games, supervised art projects, sewed costumes, read untold children’s books, helped with homework, and was undoubtedly the best Gran ever.

While in Vicksburg, she also donated her time and talent to the Vicksburg Foundation for Historic Preservation. She returned to her beloved Knoxville in 2007.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Vicksburg Foundation for Historic Preservation, 1107 Washington Street, Vicksburg, MS  39183. Click Funeral Home – Farragut Chapel is serving the Bell Family.