Monica Audrey Lester-Bell

March 7, 1956January 5, 2019

Monica Audrey Lester-Bell was born on March 7, 1956 to Collette and Alphonso, Sr., Lester, in Portland, Oregon. Monica graduated from James Monroe High School and attended classes at Portland State University. On August 18, 1979, Monica married the love of her life, Clyde Allen Bell, Sr., in Portland, Oregon. On that summer night at their wedding reception they danced the night away to “ring my bell” on repeat— a fitting description for the love that they shared for 39 years of marriage. Together, they raised a family and pursued many adventures, always sharing with each other wit and banter.

Monica was a computer scientist, engineer, artist, student, and teacher to many, dedicating her talents to the service of others in many ways. Professionally, Monica dedicated nearly 30 years to first Pacific NW Bell, and later U.S. West and Qwest where she trailblazed as an African American woman in a male-dominated engineering field. Her brilliance helped to pioneer some of the organization’s first mainframes and servers. The consummate learner, Monica taught herself various computer coding languages, programs, and hardware applications, breaking so many glass ceilings she didn’t bother to track nor mention them. To Monica, it was all in a day’s work.

Her love for reading created a catalog most libraries would be jealous of. Looking on her book shelf would reveal Stephen King novels as wide as the books are long. She loved science fiction and her favorite shows included Star Trek, The Outer Limits, and The Twilight Zone. You would never catch her missing an opportunity to watch the latest Star Wars’ movie and before there was Blue-ray or DVDs, Monica collected an impressive array of LaserDisc movies.

Her eclectic taste in music consisted of everything from Loreena McKennitt to The Stylistics to James Taylor and beyond. She knew the words to most ‘America’ songs and would equally blast Curtis Mayfield, “Keep on Pushing” at any chance. Though an accomplished professional, Monica’s pride and joy was her family---her loving husband, five kids: Marion Ntini, Zachery Fuller, Clyde Bell, Jr., Crystal Bell, Johnell Bell, and a host of grandchildren and great grandchildren. If you were to ask her what her proudest achievement was among the many awards and recognitions she’d simply answer, “mom”.

Full of wit and humor, Monica was always the sought-after advisor, friend and confidant. Her innate ability to see the love and positive nature in everyone allowed her to counsel many through some of their most difficult and challenging times. She could disarm any challenge with her humor and grace. She was a momma bear and would do anything for her loved ones.

Monica was a loving sister to Hazel Driver, Alphonso Lester, Jr., Dorothy Lester, and Melvin Lester (dec.), with whom she shared an unshakable bond and unparalleled love. Monica took immense pride in her family and in the truest term was a selfless, servant to others. Her deep-rooted faith in Jesus Christ carried her through until the end of her days. This faith she shared frequently and generously to everyone she encountered. Her hallmark was never being too far from her bible or being too busy to share a scripture.

Her love for the arts was a constant---whether it be musicals, plays, or museums—and a look at her wall, and the walls of many friends and family, would reveal her beautiful acrylic, oil, or water color paintings; her carefully executed stained glass creations; her intricate beaded earrings or necklaces; her gently knitted quilts, blankets or scarves; and a joy she discovered in retirement---her gorgeous, sought after mosaic masterpieces where piece by piece she turned her pain into beautiful works of healing art.Indeed, Monica was a renaissance woman.

We find comfort in knowing that in her final days she was surrounded by her loved ones. We know that she is at peace in a better place with her savior Jesus Christ surrounded by her mother and father, friends and family. And the love that she intentionally invested in all of us will continue to shine brightly and live on in each of us. Though Monica’s body is no longer with us; her spirit lives on forever.

Monica is survived by her husband of 39 years, Clyde Allen Bell, Sr.; children, Marion Ntini, Zachery Fuller, Clyde Bell, Jr., Crystal Bell, Johnell Bell; many grandchildren and great grandchildren.


  • Memorial Service Monday, January 14, 2019

Monica Audrey Lester-Bell

have a memory or condolence to add?

Colleen Landis

January 22, 2019

I met Monica at PNB we were young but she was a little older. She took me under her wing and shared so many days and so much laughter. We would change jobs and not see each other for years then get back together and it was like were never apart. I remember when she met her husband...and then later meeting her kids. She was always a joy to be around, spoke the truth and her smile and laugh were never far away. She will be missed

Terri Hamilton

January 22, 2019

I just learned of the loss of Monica, my heart is saddened. I will cherish many memories of working with her at PNB and Qwest. She was indeed an amazing woman, with a genuine heart, who could always make me laugh with her stories. Family, I'm praying for the peace and comfort that only our Lord Jesus Christ can provide. With heartfelt sympathy.

Bev Smith-Benedict

January 22, 2019

I worked with Monica in the computer room. She was always a bright ray of sunshine on graveyard shift. No matter how tired, she always had a smile on her face and a kind word for everyone. I'm so sorry for your loss. May the memory of her love and that 1000 watt smile help you move forward. Till you meet again.

Merrel Spencer

January 20, 2019

I love Monica had not seen her since I retired from the phone company. I love her whole family especially her Grandmother. We use to talk about her family and the Van Port flood and how as kids we we're fascinated by her Grandmother because she smoked a pipe. May she rest in heavenly piece.

Gloria Harris-Mills

January 13, 2019

I pray that God gives you and your family peace and comfort. Lean on God's word, family, friends, and your faith. Love Aunt Gloria and family.