Jeanne Marie Bell

Jeanne Marie (Cathcart) Bell, beloved mother, sister, and aunt, passed away on January 6, 2024 at the age of 72 with her daughters by her side. Born on May 24, 1951, Jeanne was raised in Oberlin, Kansas. She built her life in Pearland, Texas for over 40 years before returning to Salina, Kansas in 2016. She was the eldest child of Gerald Lee and Beth Elaine (Vernon) Cathcart. Jeanne was a joyful, caring, and compassionate individual, known for her generous spirit and sense of humor.

Jeanne is survived by her cherished daughter, Jennifer Phipps, and her husband John; her loving daughter, Jacinda Riess, and her husband Kasey; her dear stepson, James Owen, and his wife Allison; her devoted sister, Joyce Colvin; her beloved brothers, Bill Cathcart, Robert Cathcart, and Gary Cathcart; her adored granddaughter, Nova Owen; her sweet great-grandchildren, Rosie and Myles; and numerous treasured nieces and nephews.

Jeanne was preceded in death by her loyal husband of 50 years, Jackie Bell, her precious mother and father, and her dearest grandson, James “JT” Morgan.

Jeanne attended Decatur Community Jr Sr High and later pursued higher education at Kansas Wesleyan University where she studied nursing. Shortly thereafter she was whisked away to Texas by a handsome G.I. from Fort Riley. After settling in Pearland, Texas, she and Jackie were joined in marriage on March 10, 1973. Jeanne dedicated over 35 years of her life to her career in the insurance field, working tirelessly until her retirement in 2012 from United Fire Group in Galveston, Texas.

Outside of work, Jeanne had a passion for various hobbies including ceramics, sewing, crochet, knitting, and embroidery. Anyone who had the pleasure of knowing Jeanne would tell you that her most treasured pastime was, by far, making porcelain dolls. Whether they were intended as gifts, winning competitions or simply just for fun, her talent and attention to detail were second to none. A proficient seamstress as well, Jeanne made nearly every outfit herself. She could only play dress up with her daughters for so long, after all. Over the years Jeanne brought people under her wing and cared for them like they were her own. She considered them her unofficial children and that went on to include their children too. With a sweet and generous spirit, she was born to be a mother and never hesitated to open her heart. This beautiful quality extended to animals too. From chickens to goats to dogs, and even that injured baby possum she had for a while, she could never say no to an animal in need.

Jeanne courageously battled various health conditions in recent years but always emerged with grace and renewed perseverance. It’s difficult to find words to express the sense of loss felt by her family and friends. C.S. Lewis once wrote, “Her absence is like the sky, spread over everything.” Although accurate, it somehow seems inadequate, for the loss of Jeanne has seeped into every crack and crevice of the lives she left behind. We can only take comfort in the memories we hold dear, the support we can give each other and the knowledge that Jeanne has been reunited with the loved ones she lost before. One thing is for sure – The ripples created by her beautiful spirit will be everlasting.

A celebration of life will be held at a later date to honor Jeanne’s memory. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to St. Jude in her honor.


  1. Kayle on March 2, 2024 at 5:56 pm

    Rest in peace dear cousin!

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