Iris Deane Bell
March 28, 1933 – April 11, 2019
Iris Deane Queener was born in Coal Creek, Tennessee, 28 March 1933, to Ira “Jack” David and Esta Mae Queener. Iris went to be with her Lord and savior on 11 April 2019. Although coming from a family of little means, Iris ultimately traveled the world, raised a family, and succeeded in business ... all while helping people, volunteering her time and efforts, and making the world she touched a better place.
Iris, the oldest of seven children, was a momma’s helper from a very early age. At the age of 9, she started working in her Aunt Johnnie’s Cafe. She stood on a chair to wash dishes in the kitchen. Her last sibling, Lola Annette, was born a month before Iris turned 13. Before Lola came along, and her daddy added to the house, all 4 children and Jack and Esta shared the back bedroom of their 4 room, 600 square foot home.
When Iris was 16, she sold tickets at the local theater of less than 100 seats. She also worked in her dad’s grocery store. The family were active members at First Baptist Church in Lake City.
Her proudest moment was graduating as Valedictorian at Lake City High School. She attended East Tennessee State College for five quarters, working in the library and the cafeteria where she met her future husband, Arthur “Duck” Frank Bell, Sr. She chose to discontinue her education and work while he completed his BS and Master of Divinity at Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville KY. He pastored at Victory Baptist Church in East Tennessee until he received his commission as a 2LT in the Army becoming a Chaplain, his career culminating as the Senior Chaplain, Letterman Army Medical Center, Presidio of San Francisco, CA, retiring in 1984.
Iris was the epitome of a Pastor’s wife, serving in multiple roles at 10 different posts, moving more than 30 times while raising 5 children. She was President of the PWOC (Protestant Women of the Chapel), President of the ACS (Army Community Services), sang in the chapel choir at every post they were assigned. An accomplished cook and baker, she took cake decorating classes so she could provide cakes for chapel functions and friends, becoming a small business owner. She was an excellent seamstress making every type possible. She made the first prom dress for Art’s baby sister and her nieces and Sharons wedding gown. She excelled in mathematics and became an in-demand bookkeeper, working with several H and R Blocks in California and Texas.
When only 2 children were left in the nest, she got a job working in a craft store on Staten Island while stationed at Ft. Wadsworth, S.I., NY. She was promoted to Store Manager and held the position until Art was reassigned to Bremerhaven Germany.
When Art retired from the Army, they fled to San Antonio, Texas. Art became the Senior Pastor at the Air Force Village and they became members at Trinity Baptist in San Antonio. They were members until Art passed away in 2007 and in 2013 Iris moved to Papillion NE to live with her daughter and son-in-law, Sharon and Don Ingram. She joined LifeSpring Church and participated in Life Group, took care of children in the Heavenly Harbor and attended the Thursday worship.
Iris lived in Papillion until illness took her to The Lodge in Papillion and finally to Richmont Terrace where she became a beloved resident. She volunteered in the store and shared her love and laughter with all.
Iris loved to read and transferred that love of reading to her children. She was an accomplished and talented needleworker, teaching her daughters to knit and crochet, and leading them to become avid cross-stitchers. She loved arts and crafts, learning to paint in oils, sharing that talent with her sons, Tom and Mark.
Iris shared her passion for making cards with her neighbors at Richmont Terrace, teaching classes and providing materials to her friends.
Iris was predeceased by her husband, Arthur Frank Bell, Sr., and son, Arthur Frank Bell Jr. and five brothers, James Kelley Queener, Jerry David Queener, Joe Mack Queener, Bobby (lived 24 hours) and Baby Boy Queener (stillborn).
Iris is survived by her sons, Duane Thomas Bell (Sheila) and Mark Stephen Bell; daughters Sharon Elaine Bell Ingram (Don) and Patricia Arlene Bell Amerson (Steve); sister Lola Annette Queener Jennings (Glenn, deceased); grandchildren Jason Cody Bell; Christopher Daniel Ingram (Christina), Jonathan Michael Ingram; Allison Michelle Ingram Garza (Emilio); Rebecca Lyn Amerson; Karl James Amerson (Ashley); Stephen James Amerson (Carolina); Megan Elizabeth Amerson; Jacob Matthew Amerson; greatgrandchildren, Cailey McKinley Ingram, Caleb Isaac Ingram, and Analisa Grace Garza. Many nieces, nephews, cousins and extended family and friends were well-loved by Iris.
- Memorial Service Saturday, April 13, 2019
Iris Deane Bell
April 15, 2019
I am Tom's sister-in-law, Shiela's sister. My heart is broken for your loss and pray God stills you with His love. May your grief be lightened with wonderful memories of your dear mother and family.
April 15, 2019
Iris was a lovely person who left her imprint on this earth. Am sure she is enjoying heaven with her husband and our Lord and Savior. I am Tom and Shiela's aunt. My heart breaks for Tom at the loss of his dear mother. Linda Parker Toledo OH