OBITUARY

Jean Carolyn Bell

November 19, 1935March 28, 2021
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In Loving Memory

The recording of the Live Stream will be available for 30 days following the funeral service. Please copy the following Link into your search bar. ipickart.ca/stream/JeanBell/

Quietly slipped away from us after a brief but valiant fight with Stage IV Metastatic Melanoma. Born in Evanston, Illinois, to Carl Burton French and Ruth Maretta Arnold. Loving older sister to the late Carol Maretta French Palaith Shohet of NYC. Survived by her two daughters, Carolyn (Norm) Crisp of Ottawa, and Barbara Thurston of Toronto. Beloved Nana of Alexander (Nela), Gregory, and Kyra. Great-grandmother to Jacob and William Crisp. Dear friend and companion of Jim Purcell of Newmarket. Fond cousin to Jeff (Sharon) French of Sutton. Jean attended Havergal College, St. Clement’s School, and Northwestern University. On March 1, 1957, Jean married John Ross Thurston, the father of her two daughters. On November 11, 1988, she married retired Brigadier General George Gray Bell.

Passionate about curling, tennis, Scottish Country Dancing, golf, bridge and endless travel adventures, she was a keen photographer, especially on her adventures with George while attending military functions. Mom loved her winters in Sarasota, Florida, where many of her Thornhill friends would join her.

In the 60s and 70s, Mom volunteered with the Junior League of Toronto, the Canadian Opera Company, and was a lifelong member of Alpha Phi sorority. From the 70s until recently, she was an enthusiastic member of Thornhill Country Club, beginning with curling, and later expanding her horizons to tennis, golf, and bridge. Having been an avid golfer since her teenage years, she spent many happy hours on the greens with her Angel Friends, and she was a competitive bridge player who loved being at the club, or playing online during the pandemic.

Always a social butterfly, Jean was very outgoing and vivacious until her final days. She will be sadly missed by numerous family and friends around the globe. A special thank you to the wonderful PSWs at Canterbury Place Retirement Living. Thanks as well to healthcare at NYGH, St. John’s, Princess Margaret, Toronto Western, and TGH; Mom, Carolyn, and Barbara all appreciated her excellent care.

A celebration of Jean’s life will be held on Thursday, April 8, 2021, at 1:30 PM. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, only immediate family will be in attendance; however, all are welcome to attend the virtual celebration livestream hosted by Kane-Jerrett Funeral Home at ipickart.ca/stream/JeanBell/

In lieu of flowers, Jean hoped memorial donations be made to Princess Margaret Cancer Research Foundation.

We will meet again, Mom, but until we do, we hope you are on Heaven’s golf team by day, and painting beautiful sunsets by night.

Services

  • Celebration of Life

    Thursday, April 8, 2021

    VIEW VIDEO

Memories

Jean Carolyn Bell

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Chris Chance

April 9, 2021

Like so many other people have said, yesterday's service was beautifully done. Your Mum, had she been present, not just in spirit, as she was, would have been so proud of you all, and probably had more than a few tears in her eyes. Thank you for allowing me to be with you, and for sharing her wonderful life with all of us.

Jacqueline Shohet

April 8, 2021

What a beautiful service ! Jean was such a doting older sister to Carol when she and Ruben lived at Bishop Gadsden. She always made sure Carol was well dressed and coiffed! And she never came by without chocolates for our dads and his sweet tooth:)

Jeff French

April 8, 2021

I was touched by the ceremony, it made me think of all the good times we had together in our childhood at Mimi & Pops house and farm. She lead a very full life, but that doesn’t make it any easier to say goodbye.
RIP Aunt Jean
Jeff French

Joy Sjare

April 8, 2021

Dear Carolyn and Barbara, The tribute to your Mom was lovely. She was a good fried and fellow Scorpion. We enjoyed golf at Thornhill, and my friend Bob and I had times tougher with Jean and Jim. She will be missed, Joy

Marilyn Fennell

April 8, 2021

What a beautiful and touching service. Meeting her family was a privilege for me. The last several years Jean and our St Clements group have met periodically for lunch, usually twice a year at someone’s home or restaurant. It has been these past years I have come to know Jean and enjoy the many times we had together. Thanks for sharing your memories.

Carla Shohet

April 8, 2021

What a beautiful service and tribute to Jean! Jean and Carol clearly had a strong bond and Jean called and visited her sister regularly. As a big sister, Jean made sure Carol had what she needed in her later days from a better wheelchair to a muff to keep her hands warm. The sisters are together again!

Karen(Tuckey) Abbott

April 8, 2021

Barbara and Carolyn: Ross and I were part of your Mom and Dad’s wedding. Jean called me on March 1 and we reminisced for a while. Your Mom and I were great friends when we were children living one block from each other. I am remember your great grandmother, Maudie and of course your grandparents and Jean’s cousin, Pete and his wife, Bev. Please know our thoughts and prayers are with you. God bless

Enno Kerckhoff

April 8, 2021

Jean was such a lovely presence for years and years at all our Regimental events.

Her dedication to all Dragoons was unparalleled and she was so generous with her time, chatting with soldiers of all ranks after every parade.

Generations of Dragoons will remember her fondly with gratitude.

LCol Enno Kerckhoff
Commanding Officer
The Royal Canadian Dragoons

Elizabeth Escoffery

April 8, 2021

Jean and I shared many fun times and a few sad ones together. She was a thoughtful, caring friend. I will miss seeing her but she will always be in my fond memories and in my heart.
My sincere sympathy goes to Jim, Barb and Carolyn.
Betty Escoffery

Clive and Marlene Addy

April 8, 2021

What a loss to us all of this remarkable and ever kind lady. Our sincere sympathy to Carolyn, Barbara and Jim .

So many times Marlene and I shared the pleasure of the wonderful company of General George and Jean , the highlight of which remains their visit to our Dragoons in Germany with an added visit to Caen in France and Juno with all the officers during my command. We remained in touch through the years, mourned George' s departure, welcomed Jim and visited in Florida.

It was a privilege to have her as a friend and we will miss her greatly. Sincere condolences to her wide chorus of family and friends.

Clive and Marlene

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