Ethel Mary (Aird) Bell

January 25, 1926 ~ October 15, 2019 (age 93)


It is with heartache that we announce the sudden passing of Ethel Bell, age 93, of Burnaby BC,  on October 15th, 2019.

Born January 25th, 1926 to William Aird and Ethel Priscilla (nee Cannel) in Pacific, BC.

At age 4 Ethel’s family moved to North Battleford SK, where she grew up to be an accomplished figure skater, graduated from high school, taught Sunday School and attended Church Socials.  A cherished memory from 1941 to 1944 was playing piano and clarinet duets in her family home with David Mercer, a billet from RAF.

Staying in North Battleford, Ethel started an office career, and nursed her ill mother who passed away in 1953.  Ethel then moved to Edmonton to further her career, where she met and married John Wesley Bell in 1954. They created a family with two children, Linda and Ted.

Volunteering at the Anglican Church until the kids were both in school, she then resumed her career at the Separate School Board.  The Jasper Place School Board recognized her office skills and aptitude for coaching others and gave her a scholarship at the U of A (Education).

Ethel excelled at teaching Business Education at AVI, PVI and VCC between 1965 and 1988, accepting  family moves to Calgary and Burnaby as necessitated to support Wes’s career progression.

Retirement was celebrated by taking the family including Grandchildren to Hawaii.   This set the pace for extensive travel with Wes which included several, ever larger motor homes, travelling all over Canada and USA visiting friends and relatives.

In a twist of fate, a trip to England in 1999 to visit areas where Wes had been stationed in the war, included an impromptu visit with her old friend David Mercer, restoring the friendship.

With Wes’s passing in 2004, David’s  friendship was extremely supportive and their relationship again flourished over the next 14 years, including resumption of their piano and clarinet sessions.  David travelled to be with Ethel three times a year, until a couple years ago, when the trips became too arduous. A lifelong bachelor, at age 99 David has carried with him daily a picture from when they first met over 68 years ago.  He was extremely special to Ethel and remains that to her family today.

At 93, Ethel was strong, healthy, independent and smart, keeping herself busy with persistent piano practice, endless projects and correspondence on her computer, including email, Face Time, and daily calls with David. She regularly read spiritual inspiration and watched classic movies.  Ethel cherished time with her family and outings, especially to engage in her favourite sport of shopping. 

Predeceased by both parents, and husband Wes (ironically  15 years to the day). Ethel is survived by her daughter, Linda (Peter) Levar; her son Wesley (Joanne) Bell; her grandchildren Angie (Dan) Trites; Kristina Levar; Ken (Shanon) Bell; and her great grandchildren Maxx, Maggie and Paisley, as well as many friends and relatives

A private Celebration of Life will be held at a later time. Interment will be at Pacific Heritage Cemetery in Burnaby.

In lieu of flowers Memorials or donations may be made to the Heart + Stroke Foundation or the charity of your choice.

She was loved, respected and appreciated by all who knew her and will be thought of always.

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