Virginia Bell Bell | News, sports, jobs

MARKETTE, Michigan – Virginia Bell (Hamilton) Bell, 86, of Marquette, died Sunday morning, April 10, 2022, at home, in the care of her loving and comfortable family and UP Home Health and Hospice.

Born December 30, 1935, in LaPierre, Michigan, the daughter of Roy Lee and Margaret Lavina (Raw) Hamilton, Virginia grew up on a family farm outside of Capac, Michigan. At the age of seven, Virginia was inspired by her church pastor and a visiting missionary to consider being called up for service, a call to which she would answer later in life. When she was young, she was her father’s assistant and participated in the 4-H Club, later becoming a St. Clair County “Dairy Queen” He went on to win the 1953 title for Michigan State as well. Along with the title, she was awarded a scholarship at Michigan State University, where she earned her BA in Education. She married her old boyfriend and high school sweetheart John “Jack” Bell, Sr., on August 28, 1955, in Kabak, and had two children. She taught sixth grade in Bancroft, Michigan and special education at Macomb County Middle School based in Mount Clemens. She taught her students life skills, including gardening, home maintenance, auto shop, and cooking skills. Throughout her years of education, Virginia worked as a missionary, using her vacation to serve others and spread God’s word. She made regular trips to Haiti for two weeks at a time from 1981 to 2012. She worked at the Ministry’s guesthouse in Les Cayes, and hosted a team of medical workers from Marquette in the aftermath of the earthquake in 2012. She also worked on several other missions in Russia, Poland, Cuba and Liberia and Alaska. After retiring from teaching, Virginia and her husband, Jack, moved to the Eastern District in the Paradise District. Virginia has become an approved pastor of the United Methodist Church serving the Paradise Community and other small communities in the Co-operative of God’s Country. She was a store manager very similar to The New Free Store. Jack and Virginia spent the winters of 2014 and 2015 at Marquette and attended Grace United Methodist Church in 2016. Virginia participated in the free shop at Grace United Methodist and helped in the kitchen serving soup and sandwiches to shoppers. After the store moved to Harvey, Virginia was still involved in the many food-oriented fundraisers the new free store had made over the years. I also worked at the front desk on shopping days to greet shoppers, carry babies and puppies, and help keep records. Virginia and her daughter, Jamie, are generous donors to The New Free Store and their friends. Virginia has also continued to contribute to our community through quilting and knitting. She was a member of Christ Lutheran Church, Messiah Quilters, and a member of Knotty Knitters. Over the years, Virginia has impacted the lives of many through her hard work, dedication, friendship, and direction. (Previous information is from an article on Virginia in the Winter 2022 issue of the New Free Shop newsletter.)

Virginia is survived by her children, Jamie Bell of Marquette and John (Colin) Bell of Macmillan; her grandchildren, Samantha (John) Viscorne, Jill Placer, Joseph Dubius; Great-grandchildren, Alley, Kayla (Joey), Brianna, Gabby, Alanah, Emma; and great-grandson, Joe.

Virginia was preceded by death by her parents; husband, john “Jack” Bell, Sr., in 2017 and her sister Gertrude.

Friends can call in at Christ Lutheran Church on Saturday, May 7, starting at 11:00 a.m., until service time at 12:00 p.m. This will be followed by a reception at Magnuson Hall. Burial will be at Paradise Methodist Cemetery at a later date. Memorials may be directed to The New Free Store, 1428 EM-28, Marquette, MI 49855; Messiah Quilters, 305 W. Magnetic Street, Marquette, MI 49855; God’s Country Cooperative Parish, 110 W. Harrie Street, Newberry, MI 49868, the Marquette City Band, 300 W. Baraga Avenue, Marquette, MI 49855, or UP Home Health and Hospice, 1125 W. Ridge Street, Marquette, MI 49855.

Fassbender Swanson Hansen Funeral and Cremation Services offers a family service, where condolences can be expressed online at

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