Marilyn J. Bell, 85, of Rossville, passed away at 3:55 a.m. Thursday, May 28, 2020, at Heritage Health, in Hoopeston.
Marilyn was born on January 8, 1935, in Evanston, Illinois, the daughter of George B. and Elizabeth (Christy) Payne. She married Charles “Ray” Bell on December 23, 1951, in Rossville. He preceded her in death on March 31, 2017.
She is survived by one daughter- Karen (Ron) Kochell of Rossville; three grandchildren- Keith Bell of Hoopeston, Heidi (Justin Wilcox) and Josh Kochell of Lafayette; four great-grandchildren- Lilly, Annika, Ashton and Carter; one great-great grandson- Colt Lee Thomas; one brother- George (Carolyn) Payne of Pinehurst, North Carolina; son-in-law- Rex Kochell Jr. of Lafayette; and several nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, daughter- Katherine Kochell and sister- Ellen Payne.
Marilyn graduated from Rossville High School. She previously worked as a cook at Rossville/Alvin Grade School, for 6 years. Later on, she worked at Stokley USA, as a quality control grader, for asparagus, sweet corn and pumpkin seasons, until the factory closed. She was a member of the Rossville United Methodist Church, Rossville American Legion Auxiliary Post 733, United Methodist Women’s Group, sang in the church choir, former member of Women of Today and the Rossville Historical Society. Marilyn was also an avid member of the Ronnie McDowell Fan Club and enjoyed going to his concerts and making many friends throughout the last 42 years. Marilyn was responsible for bringing Ronnie McDowell to Rossville 2 times for fund raisers through the Women of Today, for community projects. She was known affectionately as “Ma Bell”. Another trivia fact that Marilyn was born on the same birthdate and year as Elvis. She also got to see Elvis 3 times and was there at his final concert June 1977, at Market Square Arena, in Indianapolis, Indiana. She also attended his funeral in Memphis, Tennessee. Marilyn loved her family dearly and never met a stranger. She enjoyed talking on the phone to her many friends and taking photographs.
Graveside services will be held at 2:00 p.m. Monday, June 1, 2020, at Rossville Cemetery, with Pastor Chris Quick officiating. Memorials may be made to the Rossville United Methodist Church, Heritage Health and Iroquois Memorial Hospice. The family has entrusted the Blurton Funeral Home to assist them in honoring Mrs. Bell’s life. Condolences may be shared with the family on her everlasting memorial page at: www.BlurtonFuneralHomes.com.
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