Well Crafted Obit

Nancy Ballantine Bell 93, died February 11, 2016, in Louisville.

Born on Green River in Calhoun, KY in 1923, Nancy was the youngest and last surviving of eight children of Wilmot Bewley and Tilden Hendriks Ballantine. Her family was distinguished: her father operated the toll ferry across Green River; her mother was the first woman in McLean County to hold a driver’s license. During the flood of 1937 they moved to the second floor, where from the landing she and her sister made daily assessments of the room arrangement as the piano floated across the living room.

After high school Nancy attended college in Bowling Green, then worked for the FBI during the war. In 1944 she married John Bell, a Navy doctor from Hopkinsville, after a year of correspondence arranged by their sisters. When he completed his residency in New York they moved to Louisville, where they raised five children.

She was a delegate to the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago, served on the Kentucky Council on Higher Education, and was a long-time supporter and board member for Wellspring.

Nancy loved bridge, cross-word puzzles, a well-crafted letter, Lake Michigan, and dogs. She loved politics, FDR and John Kennedy, Nixon not so much. Through her final days she loved the people she encountered and the stories of their lives.

Nancy was preceded by her son John in 1968, son-in-law Tom McKune in 2007, and husband John in 2008. She is survived by four children, Jane, Walter, David, and Victor; and nine grandchildren, who will miss her dearly.

The Bell Family wishes to thank the able and forever-patient staff at Treyton Oak Towers. They were genuine friends to Nancy and to her family. A memorial celebration of her life is planned for April.

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