Joan Ruth Bell of Saginaw, Michigan
Beloved wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend passed away peacefully with her family by her side on Thursday, January 20, 2022, at Covenant HealthCare – Cooper. She was 82 years old. Joan Ruth Hopkins was born on June 10, 1939, in Saginaw, Michigan, to the late John Howard and MaryEllen (Clark) Hopkins. She was a public school teacher for 36 years, receiving her master's degree in education from the University of Michigan. She met the love of her life, Gerald Lee Bell, while playing piano at church. They dated, fell in love, and were united in marriage on August 10, 1962, in Wheeler, Michigan; he survives her. She was a faithful member of First Baptist Church of Bridgeport. She left her indelible mark in this world through her selflessness to others and the Christian Faith, her intelligence and wit, and for above all loving her family.
Surviving are her husband of 59 years, Gerald Lee Bell of Saginaw; two daughters: Kellee (Brian) Eckstorm of Corinth, TX; Barbara Bass of Midland; four grandchildren: Taylor Eckstorm, Kristopher Eckstorm, Jordan Eckstorm, and Charles Wyatt Bass; brother, Merlin (Sandy) Hopkins; two sisters-in-law and two brothers-in-law, Shirley Smith, Rose Roggow, Albert Roggow, and Ronald (Dianne) Roggow. Also surviving are many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents, John Howard and MaryEllen Hopkins; father and mother-in-law, Herbert H. and Emma Bell; sister-in-law, Alvina Kunitzer; brother-in-law, Gordon Smith.
A funeral service will take place at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, January 28, 2022, at First Baptist Church of Bridgeport, 2400 King Road. Pastor JD Howell will officiate. Burial will follow at Ridgelawn Cemetery in Breckenridge. Friends are welcome to visit with the family at the funeral home on Thursday at the W. L. Case & Company Funeral Chapel, 4480 Mackinaw Road from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and at the church on Friday from 10:00 a.m. until the time of the service. In lieu of flowers, those planning an expression of sympathy may wish to consider memorials to Bridgeport Baptist Academy. Please share your thoughts and memories with the family at the funeral home, church, or through www.casefuneralhome.com