(Aug. 23, 2008)
Elvira Bell, a Powell Valley native and 34-year resident of Byron, died Saturday, Aug. 23 at Deaconess Hospital in Billings, Mont. She was 83.
Born on May 27, 1925, she was the second of 12 children of Victoria and Frank Cruz, homesteaders and long-time farmers north of Powell.
She married Don L. Bell in 1958 and had three daughters, Donna Bell of Billings, Victoria Abbott of Ucross and Bernadette Bell of Albuquerque, N.M. Don died in 2005.
Family gatherings and gardening gave her great joy for many years. Elvira was a natural caregiver and conversationalist. Humbly guided by her Christian faith, she dutifully visited the elderly and sick all her life, and her bilingual gift bridged worlds for those that spoke only Spanish. Independent and brave to the end her family honors a diverse woman of high integrity with a passion for caring.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 50 years, Don Bell, and is survived by her daughters Donna, Victoria and Bernadette; her grandchildren, Sarah Mauthe of Portland, Ore., (daughter of Donna) and Katie Wilhelm (daughter of Vickie). Her surviving siblings include Dixie Velasquez and husband Art of Garden Grove, Calif.; Pete Cruz of Fremont, Calif.; Tomasa Macias and husband Lupe of San Lorenzo, Calif.; Julia Mascarenas and husband Edward of Las Cruces, N.M.; Tim Cruz and wife Marge of Powell, and Martin Cruz of Salt Lake City, Utah; sisters-in-law Avelina Cruz and Sally Cruz, both of Powell; and numerous nieces and nephews whom she loved dearly
A vigil service is planned for Tuesday, Aug. 26 at 7 p.m. at St. Barbara’s Catholic Church. A funeral Mass, officiated by Father Glenn, will be celebrated at St. Barbara’s on Wednesday, Aug. 27 at 11:30 a.m. Burial will be in the Byron Cemetery.