Southwestern Indiana's Catholic Community Newspaper

St. Louis Group Honors Sister Judy Bell As An Ageless, Remarkable St. Louisan

Franciscan Sister Mary Judith A. Bell

 St. Louis-based St. Andrew’s Resources for Senior System has honored Franciscan Sister Mary Judith A. Bell, formerly of Jasper, as one of 22 “Ageless, Remarkable St. Louisans.” Sister Judy joined other honorees for the 15th annual Ageless, Remarkable St. Louisans gala on Oct. 28 at the Hyatt Regency at the Riverfront in St. Louis.


The annual gala, this year attended by more than 500, celebrates the outstanding achievements of dynamic older adults ages 75 who use their golden years to better the region through continuing their careers, and volunteering time and talent to a range of charitable initiatives.


A nursing colleague and longtime good friend nominated Sister Judy for this honor. A portion of the nomination states: “Growing up in Southern Indiana, Sister Judy embarked on a nursing and religious leadership career that has taken her across the country from St. Louis, Kansas City and Wisconsin to remote areas of Appalachia, Kentucky and a Pima Native American Reservation in Arizona.” 


Sister Judy discovered a love for nursing while working at a local hospital as a high school student.  She turned that interest into a life-long pursuit, earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing, as well as a nurse-practitioner certificate.  In all of these roles, she has ministered to many in need, developed strategic programs and led efforts to develop new care models.  She has served as a Faith Community nurse at a St. Louis parish and also provided health care services to seniors living in an independent retirement community in Valley Park, Mo.


Her religious community, the Franciscan Sisters of Mary, elected her to serve as vice-president in 2015.  She had served previously on the Leadership Team in 2001-2007.  Currently, she volunteers as president of the board of directors of The Sarah Community a tri-level retirement community in Bridgeton, Mo.


Sister Judy’s kindness and collaborative spirit inspire all who witness her exemplary

life. A true servant leader, she finds unique ways to make a difference in the lives of those she touches. You can frequently hear her say, ‘there’s always more to do!’”


Attending the gala were her nephew and wife, Tim and Dee Ann Bell, of Jasper; a

great-nephew and his wife, Jon and Elly Bell, of St. Louis;  Franciscan Sisters of Mary; and friends of Sister Judy. 


Her parents, Denny and Jenny Bell, both deceased, were lifelong residents of Jasper and co-owners of Flick’s Drug Store when it was located on the Square.