OBITUARY

Kathleen "Katy" Bell

March 3, 1938August 12, 2020
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Kathleen (Katy) Goforth Willems Bell, 82, died on August 12, 2020, at her home in Kansas City, MO, surrounded by her loving family.

Katy was born on March 3, 1938, in Long Beach, California to Harold and Janice Fannon Goforth. The family returned to Missouri in June, 1942 as WWII was raging. Katy graduated from Maryville High School in 1956. She attended Missouri Valley College in Marshall, MO, where she met Robert (Bob) Willems, a recent US Navy veteran. They were married on December 28, 1957. They moved to Rolla, MO where Bob earned an engineering degree and Katy worked in a clinic. To this union was born Shelley Kay Willems and Donald Robert Willems, Jr.

After Bob’s sudden death in 1970, Katy returned to college to complete her degree. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree from Avila College in Kansas City and a Master’s Degrees from Drury. She was a math and science teacher at Grandview East Junior High for several years.

She married Jerry Bell on July 1, 1974 bringing Michael Bell and Brenda Bell from a previous marriage and later to this union Marsha Bell was born. The family later moved to Shell Knob, MO, where they owned and operated Bell’s Big Bobber resort for fourteen years. Katy also continued her teaching career in the Washburn School District.

Upon retirement Katy and Jerry moved to The Villages in Florida and to the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina where they enjoyed several years riding motorcycles and playing golf. They returned to the Kansas City area in 2017.

Katy is predeceased by her first husband, Bob Willems; son, Don Willems; parents, and siblings, Della, Virgil and Gene Goforth. She is survived by her husband, Jerry Bell, of the home; daughters, Shelley Kelly (Neil), Kansas City, MO, Michael Bell (Karen) Midlothian, VA, Brenda Fischer (Scott), Blue Springs, MO and Marsha Bell, Clearwater, Florida; grandchildren: Katie LaForge (Brian), Patrick Kelly (Rachel), Maegan Kelly (Luis, fiancé), Robert Kelly, Corrinne Willems, Payton Fischer, Logan Fischer, Michaela Bell, and Reagan Bell; great grandson, Gerard Kelly, great grandchild expected in January 2021 (Patrick Kelly); daughter-in-law, Donna Schnorf Willems; siblings, Sue Schenkel, Maryville, MO and Bill Goforth, Lompoc, CA; a special cousin, JoAnn Outs, Maryville, MO and many nieces and nephews.

Katy was a voracious reader and an avid knitter and for over fifty years she knitted special Christmas stockings which included the person’s name and year of birth. She started the project with her children and then branched out to other members of the family. That included siblings, grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces and nephew, great nieces and nephews and most recently, a great great nephew. In-laws knew they had been accepted into the family when they received their special stocking. Katy was diligent and recently began teaching her granddaughter, Maegan, to knit so she could continue the tradition.

In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to the Wounded Warrior Project: Support.woundedwarriorproject.org\donate

  • DONATIONS

  • Wounded Warriors Project

Services

  • Walk-thru Visitation

    Saturday, August 15, 2020

  • Memorial Service

    Saturday, August 15, 2020

Memories

Kathleen "Katy" Bell

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Robin Harwell

August 13, 2020

Shelley, I remember family gatherings at Christmas. What good memories. When we would have Christmas at your house, I remember the delicious food. And your mom always had a beautiful fruit cake. Katy sent many Christmas cards telling the family events of the year. Love to you, Shelley, and your family. Your cousin, Robin Kilp Harwell.

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Biography

Kathleen (Katy) Goforth Willems Bell, 82, died on August 12, 2020, at her home in Kansas City, MO, surrounded by her loving family.

Katy was born on March 3, 1938, in Long Beach, California to Harold and Janice Fannon Goforth. The family returned to Missouri in June, 1942 as WWII was raging. Katy graduated from Maryville High School in 1956. She attended Missouri Valley College in Marshall, MO, where she met Robert (Bob) Willems, a recent US Navy veteran. They were married on Dec. 28, 1957. They moved to Rolla, MO where Bob earned an engineering degree and Katy worked in a clinic. To this union was born Shelley Kay Willems and Donald Robert Willems, Jr.

After Bob’s sudden death in 1970, Katy returned to college to complete her degree. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree from Avila College in Kansas City and a Master’s Degrees from Drury. She was a math and science teacher at Grandview East Junior High for several years.

She married Jerry Bell on July 1, 1974 bringing Michael Bell and Brenda Bell from a previous marriage and later to this union Marsha Bell was born. The family later moved to Shell Knob, MO, where they owned and operated Bell’s Big Bobber resort for fourteen years. Katy also continued her teaching career in the Washburn School District.

Upon retirement Katy and Jerry moved to The Villages in Florida and to the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina where they enjoyed several years riding motorcycles and playing golf. They returned to the Kansas City area in 2017.

Katy is predeceased by her first husband, Bob Willems; son, Don Willems; parents, and siblings, Della, Virgil and Gene Goforth. She is survived by her husband, Jerry Bell, of the home; daughters, Shelley Kelly (Neil), Kansas City, MO, Michael Bell (Karen) Midlothian, VA, Brenda Fischer (Scott), Blue Springs, MO and Marsha Bell, Clearwater, Florida; grandchildren: Katie LaForge (Brian), Patrick Kelly (Rachel), Maegan Kelly (Luis, fiancé), Robert Kelly, Corrinne Willems, Payton Fischer, Logan Fischer, Michaela Bell, and Reagan Bell; great grandson, Gerard LaForge, great grandchild expected in January 2021 (Patrick Kelly); daughter-in-law, Donna Schnorf Willems; siblings, Sue Schenkel, Maryville, MO and Bill Goforth, Lompoc, CA; a special cousin, JoAnn Outs, Maryville, MO and many nieces and nephews.

Katy was a voracious reader and an avid knitter and for over fifty years she knitted special Christmas stockings which included the person’s name and year of birth. She started the project with her children and then branched out to other members of the family. That included siblings, grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces and nephew, great nieces and nephews and most recently, a great great nephew. In-laws knew they had been accepted into the family when they received their special stocking. Katy was diligent and recently began teaching her granddaughter, Maegan, to knit so she could continue the tradition.

In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to the Wounded Warrior Project:
https://support.woundedwarriorproject.org/

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