OBITUARY

Lucy Justice Bell

March 28, 1934February 13, 2021

Lucy Justice Bell was born on March 28, 1934 in Palo Alto, California, to Bernard and Jule Justice and died on February 13, 2021, at the age of 86. Lucy grew up in Mill Valley, California where she completed high school and continued on to the University of California, Davis. At Davis, Lucy earned her Bachelor's degree in Home Economics and while there, met Don Bell, at a Cal Aggies Christian gathering. Soon after graduating, they married on September 2, 1956 and moved to Orange County, California. Lucy began what became a lifelong career in Education, teaching high school Home Economics in Costa Mesa. It wasn’t long before she found her true passion in Education to be Early Childhood Development. In 1965, Don and Lucy and their, then, two small children moved to Riverside. Lucy became the Director of the Calvary Presbyterian Church Preschool in 1969. She developed the preschool program from a half day program with 40 children to a full day program with 90 children. She recognized the growing need for families in Riverside to have quality programs that would accommodate the changing schedules of working parents. For 25 years, Lucy directed the programs at the preschool, encouraging growth and learning through play and active learning experiences. For over a decade, while working full time as the preschool Director, she also taught early childhood development classes at night, at Riverside Community College. She retired from the preschool in 1995. Only a few years into retirement, Lucy went back to work part-time for Lovett’s Children as a Curriculum Coordinator before fully retiring again. Somehow in the midst of two professions and raising teenagers, she found the time to pursue a lifelong dream to continue her education. Lucy completed her Masters Degree in Early Childhood Education at the University of Redlands. Lucy served throughout her career on many Community Boards in various roles. Some of which included, the Arrowhead Association for the Education of Young Children (AAEYC), the Riverside County Child Care Consortium and the PEO Sisterhood, Chapter HO. Lucy has also been a dedicated member of the Riverside Calvary Presbyterian Church since 1966, shortly after moving to Riverside. Lucy devoted her adult life to improving the lives of children in the Inland Empire. She was a fierce advocate for the development of early childhood education through her involvement at the preschool. Through her dedication to teaching our future teachers, she has touched the lives of many children and started the careers of many early childhood educators in Riverside County. A lifelong learner and avid reader, Lucy also enjoyed travelling with her husband throughout the world and spending time with her grandson, Bryce. She was a dedicated mother to her two children and devoted to creating traditions and family meals to remember. Lucy was predeceased by her husband of 58 years, Donald and is survived by her two children Warren of Yucaipa, CA and Sharon(Carel) Breytenbach of South Paris, Maine and by her beloved grandson, Bryce Bell. Bryce could always bring that sparkle to his grandmother’s eye, purely by his presence in her room. Her brother, Greg Justice, predeceased her. Lucy will be remembered for her generous heart, her listening ear and her ever willingness to encourage others. Over her life she has made an everlasting impact on the education of children within our community and beyond. Her celebration of life will be held on Saturday, February 27, 2021 at 11:00 AM, in the rear parking lot of Calvary Presbyterian Church located at 4495 Magnolia Avenue, Riverside, CA. In compliance with current Covid restrictions, guests will remain in their cars with masks. To attend, you must RSVP to church@calvarypresch.com as space is limited. Burial at Riverside National Cemetery will be private. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Lucy Bell Memorial Scholarship Fund. This fund will support scholarships for early childhood professionals to attend the annual FSA Early Childhood Conference. Please forward donations to: Family Service Association 21250 Box Springs Road, Suite 112 Moreno Valley, CA 92557 Or www.FSACA.org and follow the prompts or call 951-779-9623.

Services

  • Celebration of Life

    Saturday, February 27, 2021

Memories

Lucy Justice Bell

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Linda Lovett

February 26, 2021

Lucy was our mentor--extraordinary visionary, early educator, and teacher. Over 30 years, Lucy devoted her work to supporting children, families, teachers, program administrators, and served on countless boards and committees for quality programs, credentials, and early childhood curriculum. Her legacy lives on in those she inspired to be gate keepers for best practices. I am so thankful she was an inspiration and big part of my journey.

Erica Russell

February 21, 2021

I worked with Lucy at Lovett's and was always touched by her sweet spirit and her strong drive to see young children thrive and learn. She counciled, mentored, and became a sweet friend to me and she will be missed. I pray for her family during this difficult time.

Robin Warner

February 21, 2021

I worked with Lucy Bell for a brief time when she worked at Lovetts Children. During that time she counseled me showed great patience and kindness. That i have always remembered. She will be missed but never forgotten. My sincere condolences to her family and friends.

Elaine Hanson

February 21, 2021

Lucy was my mentor for 18 years I was honored to work with her as the director at Calvary Presbyterian Preschool . Lucy was such a sweet understanding and loving person. She took a chance on me as student teacher and then gave me the confidence to become a teacher for 43 years. The staff was able to have a reunion several years back and share our memories together which I hold in my heart. She was a great person and leader in the Early Childhood Education field she touched many families and the teachers whom she worked and taught. My thoughts and prayers go out to her family. Elaine Hanson

Barbara EASTON

February 19, 2021

Lucy was our director at Calvary Presbyterian Preschool in Riverside, and had done so for many years. It was always wonderful to have new parents bring their children to preschool and tell them what they remembered when they went there! I also had Lucy as a professor at Cal Baptist after she encouraged me to finish my degree. She created and left a legacy for children and families in Riverside as well as a multitude of early childhood professionals. We had a lunch reunion a couple of years ago, and still remain friends, Lucy will be missed, but never forgotten.

Mary Flyr

February 18, 2021

Lucy was my friend and colleague. We had many experiences together in the field of early childhood. She strongly valued developmentally appropriate learning for children, and certainly influenced this perspective in me and numerous others working with children and families.

Judith Wood

February 18, 2021

She was my mentor when I became a program director for the first time and was in way over my head. She was kind and supportive.
She cared deeply about children and families. She wanted to elevate the early childhood workforce so they received the respect they deserved.
She was a champion for early childhood educators.
She was my friend and colleague and she will be missed.

Brian Shibles

February 17, 2021

Our thoughts and prayers are with Sharon and her family. From your friends in Maine.

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