Kathy was born on June 23, 1948 at St Mary’s Hospital in St. Louis to parents Fred and Loraine Bell. Coincidentally, her mom and dad lived on Tiemann Street when she was born. The Bells moved to Florissant when Kathy was 7. She attended Our Lady of Fatima grade school and graduated from Aquinas High School in 1967. Kathy had lots of practice in helping around the house and with kids as the oldest of ten children, with seven sisters, Janet, Lynne, Laurie, Theresa, Holly, Amy, and Jen and two brothers Freddy and Bob. After graduation, she worked and took some classes and eventually moved into an apartment while working. She worked for a while at what is now the Airport Hilton but back then was known as Stan and Biggies, where Stan Musial was her boss. She also worked for a trucking firm in the office and then at Brightman Distributing Company. After losing a roommate, she returned home for a while. That is when she and Gregg met. Gregg was teaching school at the time and had moved in with another teacher in the house next door to her parents. Gregg and his two roommates befriended Kathy and she socialized with them often at their gatherings, where they would often sit out on the front lawn, watching Cardinal games, on a TV perched on top of a car. They attended Cardinal games together, and were all good friends. But after several months, Gregg felt a particular tug, stronger than friendship, and asked Kathy out on a date. Their first date was a Marx Brothers movie, Animal Crackers. They continued to date, it was fairly easy, no drive to pick her up, just come on over when you’re ready! In November of 1974 Gregg asked Kathy to marry him as they talked while sitting on the back porch step at the house on Derhake. Kathy said yes and they were married on March 22, 1975, Gregg marrying the “girl next door”.
They rented a small house in Ferguson for the first year of their marriage where they also experienced the birth of their first of five sons, Brian. Brian was the first grandchild in both the Tiemann and Bell families. They then bought their first home, still in Ferguson, Robert Ave. It seemed with each house would come another son. Brad was born, eleven months after Brian. Another two years, another house, this one only a half mile away on Larkin in Ferguson. In 1981, Gregg, Kathy, Brian and Brad moved to Maryland where Gregg worked at the Patuxent River Naval Station for McDonnell Douglas on the F-18 and AV-8 Flight test programs. They had wonderful two years there, living on the water with a dock and a boat, traveling often in the region and up the East Coast, and socializing with the other McDonnell families. They returned to Ferguson to there house on Larkin which they had rented out. Shortly after that Eric was born.
After another couple of years in their Larkin home with three boys, Gregg made a career move and accepted a position with Martin Marietta and the family moved to Orlando, Florida for the next eight years. Gregg and Kathy helped plant a new church in Orlando, Willow Creek Presbyterian where they became part of a loving congregation and made many friends. Kathy worked hard helping establish the nursery, decorating it, supplying it, and coordinating the nursery worker schedule. Both Jeff and Joel were born in Florida, bring the total up to five boys, and Kathy never got that girl. She would have to wait on that until grandkids came along.
Kathy enjoyed her role as being the queen bee in a family of men. She especially enjoyed going to the boys sporting events, whether it was baseball, basketball, cross country or track. She was the heart and soul of the family, making a wonderful home for all of her guys and taking care of them.
Kathy and Gregg grew restless after eight years in Florida, and yearned to return to the midwest. In 1994, Gregg returned to McDonnell Douglas and they bought a log home on three acres in North County. This was Kathy’s dream house in terms of her decorating style. She loved the house but made it a home. Kathy and Gregg got involved in their second church plant, a multi-cultural Presbyterian church plant in North County. Kathy continued using her gifts as nursery coordinator. After eight years in North County, Gregg’s work took the family to Los Angeles for two years. Kathy was getting practice decorating different styles of homes but always knew how to make it a home. When returning to St. Louis in 2004, the family located to St. Charles, where Kathy had another house to make into a home. The older boys were maturing into men, and Brad and Stacey were married and provided Kathy with three grandchildren and Kathy finally got her girls in Samantha and Hailey. She formed a special bond with Sammi, watching her daily for the her first three years while mom worked. Kathy filled half her closet with girls clothes as she finally got the opportunity to go shopping for a girl.
Brian and Lisa married, moved to Melbourne, Florida and then Zach was born, Kathy’s fourth grandchild. Kathy enjoyed a number of trips to Brian and Lisa’s home, fishing in their lake behind their house, she loved to fish.
When learning of her Stage IV melanoma in June of last year, Kathy didn’t flinch at all. She was ready for all that was coming, because she knew that her ultimate hope was in the Lord though her faith in Christ Jesus. She fought a noble battle, and when she left this life on Friday, she was surrounded by her loving family, saying good-bye. She was kinder that most, her smile was so endearing which reflected her personality. Gregg says she was a sweetheart, not only his, but everyone’s.