Connie Bell, beloved daughter, wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, died peacefully on May 18 surrounded by her four children. Connie was born June 2, 1934 in Columbus, Ohio to John and Josephine Conklin. She and her younger sister Jane had a happy childhood after which she proudly attended Ohio Wesleyan University graduating with a degree in Elementary Education. She went on to Union Theological Seminary where she met and married Robert Hudnut. She and Bob moved to Minnetonka and St. Luke Presbyterian Church in 1962. Connie remained an elder and member of St. Luke for the next 62 years. Connie was devoted to her family and celebrated the blended, growing family she later created with Duane Bell, and cherished the decades of fun, travel, and love she had with him. She was always loving and encouraging. She delighted in playing games with her grandkids. She is dearly missed by sister Jane Setterlin, children Heidi (Jim), Rob (Caitlin), Heather (Jeff), Matt (Stacey), stepsons Scott (Chris), and Kirk (Paul), thirteen grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Connie dedicated her life to advocating for children. She co-founded the Greater Minneapolis Daycare Association in 1969, was board chair and then joined the staff in 1973. During her 25 years at GMDCA, she was responsible for training, referral services, subsidies for low-income parents, planning, and advocacy at local, state and federal levels. She published papers, spoke as an expert to the US Senate Finance Committee, and received numerous awards for her leadership and dedication to the needs of children. She retired after serving as Executive Director from 1991 - 1995. Connie committed herself to good works and social justice. As a young mother, she helped establish Zion Baptist Nursery School in North Minneapolis and was active in the League of Women Voters. In retirement she made annual trips to help women and children on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. She placed water for the thirsty in the Arizona desert and bandaged feet in Nogales, Mexico. She was a lifelong learner and voracious reader. She organized adult education programs at her church and at Folkestone with zest, guiding others in engaging tough subjects with grace. A Celebration of Life Service with reception following will be held 11:00 a.m. June 28, 2024 at St. Luke Presbyterian Church. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be given to St. Luke Presbyterian Church, Southside Presbyterian Church (Tucson, AZ), BorderLinks (Tucson, AZ), or the charity of your choice.

Published on June 2, 2024