Barbara Ann Bell was born January 15, 1948 in Chicago, IL to Leo and Cora (Gregory) Bell. She was educated in the Chicago Public school system, where she graduated from Parker High School.
Barbara lived in several cities while trying to decide where to settle down. She lived in Chicago for 21 years and St. Paul, MN for 22 years before finally setting down roots in Waterloo, IA She wanted to be near her children so she moved one more time to Des Moines. IA
Barbara made a life for herself in Des Moines. She found a job working for the Des Moines Public Schools as a janitor at Hoover High School, before she retired. She also found a place to worship. Initially she was baptized at the Virden Creek Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witness in Waterloo, IA. She united with the Union Park Kingdom Hall when she moved to Des Moines. When Barbara wasn’t working she could be found in the kitchen. She was a wonderful cook. Oh, the sweet potato pies, pound cake and meatloaf that came from her kitchen! She would teach you to cook, but she would supervise until she knew you had it right. She loved cooking for family and friends. She was also a bible scholar. She read her bible every day and attended meetings until her health began to fail. She instilled her love for Jehovah in all her children.
Mary passed away on March 20, 2018 at Fountain West Care and Rehab Center. She was preceded in death by her parents, Cora and Leo Bell; her husband, Lawrence Kelley Sr; a daughter, Linda Allison; and her brothers, Charles and George Artise.
Barbara is survived by her children, Lawrence Kelley Jr, Antionette Kelley and Adrian Kelley; her grandchildren David Lee Walter II, Michael Kelley, Jermain Kelley, Devon Kelley, Ma`kel Kelley and Angel Kelley; her siblings, Frank (Wendy) Bell, Leola (Joe) Harrison, Henry Mae (Charles) Bellaphant, Arthur Johnson Jr, Paulette (Clyde) Pare, Harold (Josephine) Johnson and Leverne (John) Berry; an uncle, John T. Reed and a host of nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.