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Karen Jean (Hollingsworth) Bell
May 24, 1957 ~ November 14, 2023 (age 66) 66 Years Old
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Karen Jean Hollingsworth Bell, 66, passed away Tuesday, November 14, 2023.
Karen was born on May 24, 1957 in Huntsville, Alabama. She was the daughter of Ellis and Jean Hollingsworth and was the middle sister of three girls. She grew up loving baby dolls, playing store, birthday parties with cousins, her family, and her future husband, Irv.
Karen graduated from Madison County High School in Gurley where she met Irvin when they were just kids. He was her only love, and they married on June 16, 1973. The high school sweethearts celebrated fifty years of marriage this year.
Karen spent the early years of their marriage being a high school student, a homemaker, and then a mom. She went to college to become a nurse while she and Irvin were raising babies. Karen juggled children and all their activities, night shifts in the emergency room, caring for aging and sick relatives, and later grandchildren with little to no sleep and made it all look easy.
Karen was generous, loving, and spirited, a fierce defender of the underdog, her children and grandchildren and any others she loved. She was everyone’s on-call nurse and a lifetime animal rescuer.
Out of all these roles, Karen’s favorite role was probably that of “Nina.” She adored her seven grandchildren, and spent over 25 years of her life spoiling them rotten.
Karen, better known as “Ma Bell” at work, put in nearly forty years as an ER nurse in several local hospitals. She worked most of those later years at Crestwood with her work babies and eventually retired from the Surgery Center in 2020. She spent her retirement enjoying time at home and with her family, trying to lure bears with waffles in Gatlinburg, and eating seafood at their favorite Destin restaurants on RV trips with Irv. She loved rocking on the porch with him while watching hummingbirds, their grandkids, and their dog, Annie Jean.
Karen is survived by, dearly treasured, and deeply missed by her mother, Jean Hollingsworth; her children, Kara and Daniel Williams, Kane and Amy Bell, and Kaitlin and Greg Chando; her grandchildren, Luke Williams, Jillian Williams and Cole Cagle, Haille Bell, Cameron Bell, Levi Williams, Shaan Piper Chando, and Rowan Chando; her siblings, Kathy and Charles Cook, Kayla and Terry Rice, Mary Ann and Paul Ferris, and Marilyn Hill; her nieces and nephews, Chip Cook, Lauren and John Mark Mitchell, Jared and Haley Rice, Jacob and Tasha Rice; her siblings-in-love, Shirley and Charles Collins, Tommy and Earlene Bell, Reba and Steve Hays; her nieces-and nephews-in-love Stacey and Roger Thompson and Leigh Hayes; and many loved great nieces, nephews, cousins, and kids she claimed as her own.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Irvin Bell; her father, Ellis Hollingsworth; her father- and mother-in love, Willie and Reba Bell; and her niece-in-love, Angela Bell.
A Celebration of Life will be held at Monte Sano Lodge on November 26, 2023 from 2-5pm.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Graces of Gurley, 201 Wood St., Gurley, AL 35748.