Gail Van Horbek Bell passed away peacefully on February 1, 2022 in her home. She was born September 21, 1936 to George Van Horbek and Vida King Van Horbek. She grew up in Salt Lake City along with her older sister Betty. She began her musical training at age eight with piano lessons, which she faithfully continued into high school years, becoming a very accomplished pianist. While not really a tom boy growing up, she did love the outdoors with her family: camping, hunting, fishing and being her dad’s retriever. She also adored her two nephews Dick and Mike considering them her younger brothers with whom she played and grew up.
She met David Bell in her first year of high school. They became friends and later sweethearts. Just two years after graduating from high school they were married in the Salt Lake Temple in 1956. They lived in Gail’s parents’ home in a basement apartment until David graduated from the University of Utah. It was there that their firstborn, John David was born in 1958. Then they moved to Sandy Utah where their second child Susan was born in 1960. They moved to Southern California in 1962 as David accepted a job there working for Jet Propulsion Laboratory. They first lived in Altadena while building a home in La Crescenta. It was there that Joseph Edward was born in 1965, followed by James Arthur in 1968 and Karen in 1969. The family moved to a larger home in La Cañada that same year. These years were filled with all the busyness that comes with raising 5 children. Of note during this time frame were three wonderful cross-country long-term trips to Florida for David’s work in the Space Program, and rocket launchings of that era, (1964, 1967, and 1969).
Besides being a loving mother and homemaker, Gail taught piano lessons, completed nursing school, and worked in a hospital, doctor’s office and for Glendora school district as a nurse and clerical worker.
Life took a brief detour in 1972 when they moved back to Salt Lake to restore Gail’s Grandparents’ home. But in 1973 they moved back to La Cañada, where they stayed until 1977 when again life took a short detour and move to Beaver Utah. There David worked as a handyman and Gail opened a small craft store on their property. After 2 years they returned to Southern California, eventually settling in San Dimas. After the children were all grown Gail and Dave moved to Orem Utah in 1992. Dave took early retirement from JPL and they opened a children’s bookstore in downtown Provo - The Wee Bookshop. Gail loved using her creative talents running this shop for 5 years.
Her two passions have always been music and family history work. She served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints with Dave at the ROC –Research Operations Center from 2015-2017. She was also a ward organist for many years.
Gail is survived by her loving husband David E. Bell, 5 children, John D, Bell (Rhonda) Susan Blake (Duane) Joseph E. Bell (Kim) James A. Bell (Nancy) and Karen Arteaga (Isaac); 16 grandchildren, Thomas, Nathan, Tami, Lisa, Jacob, Alan, Dennis, Christopher, Aislinn, Alyson, Kayla, Caitrin, Meghan, Andrew, Eamon, and Treasa; and 10 Great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents and older sister Betty Humphries.
A Funeral service honoring Gail will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, February 10, 2022, at the Orem Park 2nd Ward LDS Chapel, 114 South 400 West, Orem, Utah. Viewings for family and friends will be held Wednesday, February 9 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at Sundberg-Olpin Mortuary, 495 South State Street, Orem, Utah, and Thursday morning at the church from 9:30-10:30 a.m. prior to the services. Interment will be in the Orem City Cemetery. For more information, life sketch and condolences go to www.SundbergOlpinMortuary.com
For those unable to attend the services they will be streamed at the following link: https://zoom.us/j/97404903199?pwd=cC9GNUViMElNaE8zYW9YZHBRaTBrQT09
Condolences may be expressed to the family on this page.