The Norman Transcript
July 5, 2004
E. Virginia Bell died at her home Saturday, July 3, after a long battle with multiple sclerosis. She was surrounded by the love and support of her family and friends. No services are scheduled at this time. Virginia, as she was known to her friends and family, was born Emily Virginia Merz Aug. 3, 1917, in Wilmington, Ohio. She married Robert E. Bell of Marion, Ohio, Aug. 31, 1938. They had two children, Patricia and David. The family moved to Albuquerque, N.M., to attend school and then to Chicago for more university work. In 1947 they moved to Norman where Robert took a position with the University of Oklahoma's anthropology department. Mrs. Bell started teaching French and Latin in the Norman school system in 1958. She was the Norman Teacher of the Year in 1977 and retired in 1980. She and her husband loved to travel and spent time living in New Zealand and in Ecuador, but France was dearest to her heart. She was preceded in death by her mother, Nina Merz; two brothers, Jack and Paul Mertz; sister, Margery Mertz; and a grandson. Survivors include her husband of 66 years, Robert E. Bell of the home; daughter, Patricia and husband, Paul Lindsey, of Duncan; son, David E. Bell and wife, Kathy, of Norman; grandchildren, Kimberly Lindsey of Austin, Texas, Stephanie Shedd and husband, David, of Duncan, Kathryn Bell of Newport Beach, Calif., Shannon Bell of Edmond and Christopher Bell of Norman; and two great-grandchildren, Kali and Kayden Shedd of Duncan. She also is survived by her sister, Bertha McCullough and husband, Archie, of Washington CH, Ohio; brother, Don Merz and wife, Irene, of Carmel, Calif.; several nieces and nephews; and hundreds of Norman High School French students. Memorial donations may be made to the Southern Poverty Law Center, 400 Washington Ave., Montgomery, Ala. 36104.