|the good aunt|

Tuesday of this week was spent honoring my amazing aunt Mary.  She was married to my mom’s oldest brother, had 7 children, and lived just blocks from Dave and I (my uncle was in the previous Stake Presidency).  My aunt Mary was such a beautiful person, both on the outside and inside.  She was very talented, especially in the cooking department — everyone wanted Mary’s recipes.  She was very giving; and I have some great memories of spending time at their house growing up playing with my cousins.

The funeral was phenomenal – each of her children and husband talked and they did an outstanding job.  The spirit in that room was so strong and it was so nice to be together as a family.  The day was emotionally draining, but served as a good reminder of how important our families and the gospel are in this life.  I couldn’t help but think that this could have been me and my family; that we could have lost our mom to the awful disease.  It certainly hit close to home and made the day that much more meaningful.  I am so glad Mary is in a place where she can once again be healthy.  Here is her obituary:

Mary Ellen Stettler Bell 1952 ~ 2010 Farmington, Utah – Mary Ellen passed away Wednesday evening surrounded by her adoring family after a courageous battle with cancer. Miraculously sustained by the faith, prayers, and love of countless friends and family, Mary repeatedly rose above the debilitating effects of disease and the gradual loss of physical capability. Each trial was faced with fierce determination, void of complaint, and punctuated by her truly mesmerizing and enduring smile.Mary was the third child of Golden (deceased) and Hazel Campbell Stettler. She is one of 14 siblings. Six infant siblings preceded her in death: Christian, Alexander, Thomas, Timothy, Anna Maria, and Richard. She grew up in Logan, Utah and served with her family on an LDS mission in the British Isles during her early teenage years. She graduated with high honors from Logan High School and later attended Brigham Young and Utah State Universities. She met her life-long companion, soul mate, and best friend, David A. Bell, prior to his LDS mission to Japan while both were serving on a general church Bishop’s Youth Council pilot program. They were married December 15, 1972 in the Logan LDS temple. Mary was an accomplished homemaker, beloved mother, and grandmother extraordinaire. As a mother, Mary was truly a “Lioness of the Lord.” She loved the doctrines and exemplified the principles of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. These she taught with loving patience to her family, and to any and all within her varied and numerous stewardships in mortality. Mary was filled with a radiant kindness and an unreserved acceptance of all. She anxiously sought to bless the lives of others with an uncompromising zeal, forever endearing her to her posterity and those privileged to know, work, and serve with her. Mary’s passion for excellence permeated all she engaged in. Her skills as a homemaker, gourmet cook, master seamstress, fixer of all things broken, and mender of cuts and bruises continue to inspire her children and awe her husband. She was an accomplished musician, poet, last-minute editor of over-due essays, and chief architect of countless gorgeous birthday cakes and complex gingerbread mansions. Though she required little and sought even less, she could coax a song from an unwilling child, find joy (even humor) in abysmal distress, and brighten the heart of the despondent and hopeless. Mary loved serving others and found genuine joy in their happiness. Mother’s Day will be forever brighter because of Mary Bell! Mary is survived by her mother Hazel (David Manning), her husband, David A. Bell, and seven of her eight children: Jennifer Lyn (Russell Lindberg), Amy Kathleen (Brent Lay), Melanie Kay (Daniel Stewart), Sheron Marie (Branden McKnight), Carrie Ann (Clinton Taylor), David Andrew, Madisen Eileen; and 19 grandchildren. Infant Matthew Christian preceded her in death. Surviving siblings: Anita (Spencer Cranney), Carl Stettler, Ruth (Darrel Spendlove), Betsy (Jerry Toombs), Ginny (Kip Meacham), Alan Stettler (Wendy), and Sara (Vernal Hurst). Mary’s family expresses sincere gratitude to the many skilled heath care professionals at the Huntsman Cancer Institute, Utah Cancer Specialists, as well the University of Utah, Davis, Ogden Regional, and Lakeview Hospitals and Life Care Center of Bountiful. We extend special thanks to Mary’s physicians, surgeons, oncologists, radiologists, physical therapists, and many ICU, ER, and Hospice team members. You became our friends through exemplary compassion and our saviors by exercising unparalleled skills. Thank you! We will celebrate Mary’s life, Monday evening, May 10th from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at the Russon Brothers Mortuary at 1941 North Main, Farmington, Utah. Funeral services will be Tuesday, May 11th in the LDS Farmington South Stake Center chapel at 695 South 200 East at 12 noon. Friends may call from 9:30-11:30 a.m. at the chapel prior to the service. Interment will be at the Farmington City Cemetery. Online guest book and condolences at www.russonmortuary.com
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