Etta Bell, a devoted family matron and active churchwoman, died July 17 of natural causes. She was 82 and lived in Wynnefield Heights.
"Etta was truly a servant and brought smiles, encouragement and inspiration to the hearts of everyone she met," her family said in a tribute.
"Family was not simply a word but her mantra, love was not something enchanted but expressed and acceptance was without delay or judgment.
"Etta had a heart of gold. She left an indelible print on the hearts of many. For those who loved her, the world will be a very different place without her."
She was born the sixth of the seven children of William McKinley and Etta Crawford Green. She graduated from William Penn High School. She worked as a data processor for the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard.
Etta was 17 when she married Ralph D. Bell. He was a machinist for Westinghouse Corp. He died in 1982.
She was a devoted music fan and liked to listen to oldies while doing housework. She was a fan of Etta James and Patti LaBelle, and liked gospel music. Her favorite hymn was "Take Me to the King":
Take me to the king.
I don't have much to bring.
My heart is torn in pieces.
It's my offering.
Much to the amusement of her grandchildren, Etta liked to hum as she worked. "She didn't even know she was doing it," said her daughter, Francine Bell Scipio Cooper.
Etta was an excellent cook. When word would leak out that she was making fried chicken and baking her famous cheesecake, friends and family would knock on her door.
Etta was baptized at Shiloh Baptist Church and later became an active member of Monumental Baptist Church under the pastorate of the late Rev. Dr. M.M. Peace Sr.
She read her Bible every day and liked to do crossword puzzles and watch the soaps on TV. She and her sister Dorothy Green Davis would talk on the phone about the soaps at great length.
"She was very sweet," her daughter said. "Everybody loved her."
Besides her daughter, she is survived by two sons, Ralph D. Bell and Gregory C. Bell; four grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.
Services: Were Saturday. Burial was in Fernwood Cemetery.