Dorothy Marie Bell (née Kennedy) passed away on August 16, 2023.
Dorothy was born on December 18, 1924, to Fred and Myrtle Kennedy in Covel, WV. She attended elementary school at Raven, Virginia, and high school at Richland, Virginia. She moved to Washington, DC as a young woman, where she met her husband, Robert S. Bell, Jr. They were married on October 7, 1944. After Robert’s return from serving in the US Navy during World War II, they settled in the Washington, DC area. Dorothy was a devoted wife and mother, faithfully caring for her husband, her children, and her local church in countless ways.
Dorothy’s main priority in life was her family. From its beginning in 1944 through her final days, the welfare of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren was her chief concern. Family gatherings were the highlights of her year, and she always spent tremendous effort in making each one special for her family. Her love for her family was evident to all who knew her.
Dorothy’s other passion in life, particularly in her later years, was sewing. She took classes both in person and through videos to became an expert seamstress, with quilting as her specialty. Her quilted jackets were works of art, and admired by all who saw them. She created a keepsake quilt for each of her children, and these prized possessions are cherished and will be for many years to come.
Due to complications during the birth of her fifth child in 1962, Dorothy suffered neurological damage that required her to relearn all of her basic motor skills, including speech, basic self-care, and walking. Her tenacious nature kept her motivated to overcome these physical challenges, while her concern for her family motivated her to do whatever she could to take care of her family. Though she never fully recovered from this ordeal, she persevered each day to care for her family with the same excellence as before. Dorothy was not one to give up, as anyone who knew her would attest. Central to her indomitable spirit was her faith in Jesus Christ as her Savior, Lord, and Provider. Although she suffered many hardships, including the death of her husband, the loss of her mobility, and the loss of her eyesight, she would often express her gratitude for the Lord’s faithfulness and goodness to her.
Dorothy is survived by her sister, Gaynell Elswick; her children, Robert, Brian, Linda, Pamela, and Mark; grandchildren Paul, Nicole, Robert, Jamie, Isaac, Rebecca, Joshua, Daniel, Anthony, Robert (Robbie), John, Jay, Elise, and Jessica; and great-grandchildren Luke, William, Jackson, Joey, Sunnie, Jacob, Hannah, Noah, Grace, Vesper, Aline, Elijah, Dominic, Weston, Violet, and Logan.
Dorothy was preceded in death by her husband, Robert S. Bell, Jr.; sister, Dolly; brothers Eugene, Max, and Earl Kennedy; grandson Vincent.