Following a brief illness and with her loving family at her side, Barbara A. (Brauning) Bell, 61, Harrisburg, went to be with her Lord and Savior on Saturday, August 17, 2019 at Osteopathic Hospital.
Born July 14, 1958 in Harrisburg, she was the daughter of Priscilla J. (Gutshall) Brauning and the late Harry G. Brauning. A 1976 graduate of Central Dauphin High School, she attended HACC briefly before going to work for Fruehauf Trailers. Following employment there, she worked for Zion Lutheran Church and St. Michael’s Lutheran Church until 2002 when she joined the staff at Colonial Park (now Crosspoint) United Methodist Church. As Executive Director at Crosspoint, Barb was the hub of the church; depended on by so many because she was always so dependable.
A lifelong member of Paxton United Methodist Church in Harrisburg, it was there she met her one true love and husband of 39 years, Robert W. Bell, Jr. Both 12 years old when the Methodist and EUB Church merged and they first met, their affection didn’t blossom until three years later. They eventually married in the church on June 22, 1980 and have been inseparable ever since. In Bob’s words, “We were like two trees whose roots became entwined.”
With a heart for Jesus, Barb was a devoted church member- singing in the choir, as a hospitality leader, a Sunday School teacher and VBS director and was deeply involved in the church’s “Rise Against Hunger” campaign, providing food for disadvantaged persons in other countries. Knowing she entered Heaven and came face to face with her Lord brings her family a much needed sense of comfort during a difficult time of loss.
Barb enjoyed many activities; cheering on Penn State, the annual trips to the nurseries for outside flowers, travelling and cooking. She was a wonderful cook, and truly enjoyed caring for her beloved family more than anything else. Travelling was an important part of their lives, especially going on cruises, vacations to the shore, wine tours and any gathering that would bring her family together. As a young girl, she became a member of the Girl Scouts, and continued her dedication to this day. She has always been a volunteer or troop leader, and most recently, had taken on the role of cookie manager.
She was a loving daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, niece, aunt, cousin, co-worker and friend and will be dearly missed by all who had the privilege of being part of her life.
Surviving is her beloved husband, Robert W. Bell, Jr.; her mother, Priscilla J. Brauning; her children, Robert W. Bell III (and Trisha) and Elyse A. Hammaker (and Garrett); her sister, Deborah Brauning; her brother, Harry G. Brauning (Lisa); her granddaughter, Morgan Dearmond; her two precious kitties, Achilles and Molly, and many nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins, and dear friends.
Funeral services will be held 11:00 am Saturday, August 24 at Paxton United Methodist Church, 3550 N. Progress Avenue, Harrisburg 17110 with Rev. Brent Salsgiver officiating. Friends will be received Friday from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the church and Saturday from 9:30 am until 10:30 am at the church. Burial will follow the service at Woodlawn Memorial Gardens.
Contributions in her memory may be made to her church’s Memorial Fund or to Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania, 350 Hale Avenue, Harrisburg, 17104.
Kimmel Funeral Home, Harrisburg, is handling arrangements.