Katharine H. Bell, 90: Travels, students spanned the world

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TOPSHAM — Katharine Hubbard Bell, 90, a resident of The Highlands retirement community, died June 14.

Bell was born in Ashtabula, Ohio, on Feb. 2, 1925, the daughter of Burritt Seymour Hubbard and Elizabeth Harmon Hubbard and a descendant of one of the town’s founding families.

She initially attended local schools, but graduated in 1942 from Walnut Hill School in Natick, Massachusetts. She went on to earn a degree from Mt. Holyoke College in 1946.

In 1945, she married Philip Wilkes Bell, and the couple raised four children. 

Over the next 35 years, she supported his academic career as an economist, a career which took the family to both coasts of the United States as well as to England, Uganda, Kenya and Malaysia.

In the late 1970s, Katharine pursued her own career interests and earned a master’s degree in English as a second language from San Jose State University. After her divorce in 1980, she worked for Boston University’s International Programs and subsequently at Green Mountain College. Her students came from throughout the world, and she served them as a devoted teacher and mentor.

Bell loved music, golf, travel and swimming. She deeply valued education and family life, and instilled those values in her children and grandchildren.

She was a lifelong member of the Episcopal Church.

Bell was predeceased by her brother, Burritt Seymour Hubbard. She is survived by her children: Susan Bell and her husband, Philip Hart, of Brunswick; Geoffrey Bell and his wife, Christine, of Granville, New York; Mary Ellen Bell, of Bath; and James Bell and his wife, Kristine, of Vienna. She is also survived by grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and her sister, Carrie Adams, of Cape Coral, Florida.

A memorial service will be held in Ashtabula at a later date.

Memorial donations may be made to St. Paul’s Church, c/o Senior Warden Chris Sears, P.O. Box 726, Wells, VT 05774.

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