Concord, MA — Barbara E. Bell, 92, of Concord, MA, former long-time resident of Sudbury, died Sunday, November 18, 2012 after a brief illness.
Born in Bennington, Vt., on September 6, 1920, she was the daughter of the late Henry P. and Emma L. (True) Thurlow. She grew up in Danvers, with two younger siblings, Henry and Lois. Barbara attended Holten High School in Danvers , then furthered her education at Salem Teachers College earning a bachelor’s degree in teaching primary grades. Her life-long teaching career began in Danvers prior to her marriage. Barbara married Leonard Bell in Danvers, on October 2, 1955. They lived on Hudson Road in Sudbury, nearly all of their married life. Her teaching career continued at the Center School in Sudbury and later at the General John Nixon School until her retirement in 1976. Barbara and Leonard had a passion for travel. They spent most of their forty years of marriage exploring many of the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii, as well as many countries around the world. Their love of photography documented their travels; they were always keen to share their slide shows with family and friends. After Leonard passed away in 1996, Barbara became active in her church again and loved singing in the choir. She also continued to serve as an officer of the Sudbury Grange, for a total of fifty-three years service. Barbara was not one to sit at home, she thoroughly enjoyed family gatherings at the holidays or ‘just because’. Although Barbara didn’t have any biological children, she certainly acquired many "daughters" throughout her lifetime. She was known for her sweet, gentle nature and loved by many. Barbara was predeceased by her parents, Henry P. and Emma L. Thurlow; her husband, Leonard Bell; and her beloved sister, Lois Schwarz. Barbara is survived by her brother, Henry P. Thurlow, Jr. of Salisbury, his children and their families, Roger Thurlow of Salisbury, and Janet Fournier of Sumner, Maine; her brother-in-law, James Schwarz of Cleveland, Ohio; his children and their families, Richard Schwarz, Mark Schwarz and Robert Schwarz, all of the Cleveland area. She is also survived by many cousins, great nieces and nephews. The family would like to thank the members of Memorial Congregational Church for their love and support of Barbara.