Mary Gatlin Bell

MINNEAPOLIS, MN – Mary Gatlin Bell entered into eternity on Monday, May 24th, after a brief but courageous battle with cancer.

Mary had a deep love for animals (especially cats), travel and living life to its fullest. Mary combined her love of animals and travel by launching her own cat-sitting business caring for animals in both Minneapolis and New York City. Her services were so valued that clients would fly Mary from Minneapolis to New York City and back just to have their fur-babies cared for by her.

Mary traveled to many world destinations, but two of her favorites were Venice, Italy and Cascais, Portugal where she lived for two years.

Mary loved the arts, theater, foreign films, movies and music, but she also had a soft spot for TV programs – especially Jeopardy and host Alex Trebeck. In New York City, she could often be found at the Met Museum or exploring the galleries in Chelsea. She was a creative person and excelled at improvisational cooking, costume design, jewelry making and writing short stories.

Born February 28th, 1943, to Raymond and Leone Erickson of La Crosse, WI, she is survived by her son, Nicholas Edan Smaby (wife Effie) of Marquette, MI, and daughters, Mai-Britt Erika Chaffee of Anoka, MN and Macalester Chelsea Bell of Philadelphia, PA. Mary is also survived by her grandson, Brandon Adam-Allen Smaby of Marquette, MI and former husband, Ward Thomas Bell of Minneapolis.

Mary was preceded in death by two sons, York Christopher Smaby and Maceo James Gatlin – as well as, her first husband, Peter Alan Smaby of La Crosse, WI. Mary’s second husband was Herman “Bobby” Gatlin of Minneapolis, MN.

A celebration of Mary’s life will take place Saturday, July 10th, at the base of Minnehaha Falls, in Minneapolis, MN, at 11 a.m., followed by a luncheon. Condolences may be expressed on Facebook by searching for Mary Gatlin Bell.

The family would like to thank the staff of the J.A. Wedum Residential Hospice in Brooklyn Park, MN for their outstanding support, care and compassion during Mary’s final days.