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Above our fireplace mantel in the family home hangs a stunning portrait of a Moroccan horseman; other masterpieces of faraway faces adorn the walls. In art collections across the globe hang the portraits of US Presidents, a pope, a king. In homes across the Salt Lake Valley are found precious pastel drawings of children. Luxury hotels in Orlando and Park City feature masterful murals on walls, arches, and ceilings. Time Life book collections include tender illustrations of mothers and children.
Around the world, doors have been opened, lives have been touched.
In Holladay, Utah a family mourns the loss of a talented artist, an incredible home chef, a world traveler, a linguist, a hostess, a teacher, a grandmother, a mother, a wife. Marguerite (Peggy) Ellen McCool Bell passed away the morning of Friday, September 7th surrounded by her devoted family.
Marguerite Ellen McCool was born on June 4th, 1942 in North Hampton, Massachusetts. She moved to Orlando, Florida at the age of 14. In 1960 she graduated from Bishop Moore High School. A few days after graduation, Peggy secured her first passport for a journey to South America, launching her love of travel that would take her to over 20 countries and spur her passion for languages.
After returning from her travels, Peggy began her art career as an illustrator at Martin Marietta. During a chance encounter at an office supply store in Orlando, Peggy met Larry Bell who valiantly returned her forgotten sunglasses as she approached her car. Little did Peggy know that this would lead to a happy eternal marriage and a blended family of six children.
Peggy and Larry were married May 27, 1965 in Orlando, Florida where Larry was stationed for four years while serving in the Vietnam War. Their adventures would take them next to Merced, California where Peggy was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It was there that they first dreamed of one day securing a diplomatic position at the American Embassy in Paris, France.
For the next 14 years, Peggy and Larry would make their homes between the Washington, DC area and exotic locales, including Guam, Morocco, and finally, Paris, France. Larry’s work took them around the globe where she was the perfect companion to his role as a diplomat, bringing grace and warmth to their many roles and responsibilities.
This demanding military career ensured that the family changed houses every two to four years, but Peggy turned every house into a home—she made everything beautiful!
After Larry retired from the Air Force, Peggy and Larry returned to the US and made their home in Park City and Holladay, Utah.
Over the years, Peggy served in various church callings, including Activity Chairperson, Relief Society teacher, Cultural Refinement teacher, and Primary teacher. (In fact, she was a Sunbeam teacher before she was even a member of the church.)
Peggy’s life centered around sacrifice and service. At our house, the door was always open, as was the fridge. Peggy showed a genuine love to everyone, inspiring in her family a passion for different cultures, cuisines, backgrounds, and religions.
Peggy applied her artistic talents in so many ways: from portraits, to murals, school projects, student council posters, science fair projects, in communicating with foreigners, decorating her home, entertaining, and making games for grandchildren.
Her home was always filled with children, leaving little handprints she hesitated to wash away. Taped to her cabinets are French breakfast recipes for grandchildren, written on notepaper from hotels in Italy.
As a family, we are grateful for a beautiful life, so generously lived, and for a love that transcends this life through eternity.
Peggy is preceded in death by her father Thomas (Big Dad) McCool, mother Alma (Grammy) McCool, and sister Susan Smey. Left to honor Peggy and to carry on her legacy of love are Lawrence (Larry) Bell, her husband and sweetheart of 53 years; children Tamara Aglaure, Shannon Martin, Heather Moore, and Erin Proctor; her step-children Sherri Simons and Dana Bell; 23 grandchildren; and 5 siblings.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, September 15, 2018 at 11:00 am at the LDS Meeting House at 5450 Holladay Blvd, Holladay, UT. The family will greet friends at the church on Saturday from 10:00 am until the time of the service.