Jane "Janie" E. Bell

August 13, 1945May 12, 2019

Janie Bell, 73, passed peacefully at home on Sunday, May 12, 2019. Visitation will be from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 19, 2019 at McLaren’s Resthaven Chapel in West Des Moines. A memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, May 20, 2019 at the West Des Moines United Methodist Church.

Janie was born in Ord, NE to Roger E. and Inez R. Burrows on August 13, 1945. She grew up in the North Loup, NE area and graduated from high school there in 1963. Janie attended the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and graduated from Drake University in Des Moines, IA with a BSE in 1970 and completed her MSE at Drake in 1977. Four years later, Janie attained a PhD in curriculum and instruction from Iowa State University.

As important as education was to Janie, nothing mattered more than her devotion to family. She was married to James Richard “Dick” Bell in 1964. They raised two children, a son and a daughter, in West Des Moines. She cherished her son Steve and his wife Kim and their son, Abdul; her daughter Erin and her husband Matt McKinney and their children Johnathon and his wife Lindsay, Nicolas and his fiancée Emily and their son Henry, Rachel, and Andrew. Janie so loved her siblings: Jackie Krutz and her late husband Rollie, Jo Corey and her husband Joe (both deceased), Betsy Keep and her husband Gary, and Roger Burrows and his wife Mary. Being all together was special for Janie.

Throughout her career as a dedicated educator, Janie taught humanities in the Urbandale School District, curriculum and instruction at Iowa State, and she and her best friend Joyce Shaffer formed Change Agents to help those in the business world be better communicators.

Janie’s memberships in various education groups are too numerous to list, but she was especially proud of her 18 years as a Board member at the Heartland Area Education Agency.

Memorials can be made in her name to the Des Moines Symphony or the Des Moines Art Center.


  • Visitation Sunday, May 19, 2019
  • Funeral Service Monday, May 20, 2019


Jane "Janie" E. Bell

have a memory or condolence to add?

Nikki Roorda

May 19, 2019

As a staff member of Heartland AEA, I had the pleasure of interacting with Jane on numerous occasions. She was always a great person to have a conversation and enjoyed "talking shop" about educational topics. Thanks to her family for sharing her with us....she will be missed.

Nikki Roorda,
Regional Director
Heartland Area Education Agency

Sue Bullis

May 19, 2019

As a student of the Change Agents many years ago, I have such fond memories of Janie (and Joyce). They indeed made me a better business communicator throughout my career in public accounting and afterwards. Whenever I hear the phrase "point in time" I always reflect on the Change Agents, who often said there is no such thing as a point in time. What a treat to have been part of those classes.

Art Kent

May 18, 2019

Our friendship has survived many years! Sorry we can’t be there with you and your family but hope to see you sometime in June. God bless.

Dana "Duff" Miller

May 16, 2019

Aunt Janie will be missed greatly !
Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during these difficult times !
Only a moment you stayed Aunt Janie, but what an imprint your footprints have left on our hearts !
Sorry we can't make the viewing and funeral, but we hope everyone is surrounded by much love !!
The Miller's

Patricia Smith

May 15, 2019

Janie will be missed here on earth. Angel's like her are a rarity, prayers to all! Love forever.
I thank God for the opportunity to have been blessed by her grace and love, even from afar.
Rest on peace angel.
We love you