Obituaries » Mary Wilson Bell

Mary Wilson Bell

October 30, 1936 - August 16, 2021

Mary Wilson Bell, 84, of Forest, Virginia passed away peacefully on Monday, August 16, 2021. Mary was a gracious, loving and kind wife, mother, sister, friend and grandmother. She is now home with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Mary was born on October 30, 1936, in Glasgow, Scotland and was one of seven children of the late Robert and Catherine Reilly Wilson.  Mary and Bill met in Scotland and were married on December 12, 1958. They were blessed to have 63 years together as husband and wife.

Mary attended school in Scotland completing her education at Liberty University.  Mary devoted her life to supporting her husband, Bill, in his soccer career and ministry while raising three children. Mary and Bill came to know the Lord as their personal Savior in 1978 while visiting Ohio.  Mary and Bill moved from England to the United States in 1979 to Tustin, California to work with Campus Crusade for Christ.  Mary and Bill moved to Lynchburg, Virginia in 1981 to join the staff of Liberty University. Mary impacted countless students during her association with Liberty University.

Mary and Bill founded Within The Walls, a British prison ministry, where Mary continued to share her faith, love and thirst for knowledge. Mary encouraged those in prison to develop relationships with God and study His word. Many inmates hold certificates of learning today because of her influence and support.

She was a friend to all and a true light of the love of Jesus. She had a wonderful sense of humor, outgoing personality and was an amazing baker. Her Scottish shortbread was a favorite by all who had the opportunity to taste it. Mary loved to read, bake, entertain and was a woman after God’s own heart.

Those family members left to cherish memories of Mary are her loving and devoted husband, Dr. William Bell of  Forest, Virginia and her three children, their spouses and seven grandchildren.  Mary and Bill’s children are Dr. William Ronald Bell of Wales, Andrew John Bell and his wife Beth Wingfield Bell of Lynchburg, Virginia and daughter, Caroline Bell Grossman and her husband Glenn Michael Grossman of Weddington, North Carolina.  Mary and Bill have seven grandchildren who also loved Mary:  Andrew Bell, Ian Bell, Emma Bell, Aidan Bell, Elliott Bell, Liam Grossman and Aaron Grossman.  Mary is also survived by her brother Ian Wilson and his wife Cecily

Wilson of Scotland, sister Roberta Forbes of New Zealand, brother-in-law David Grant of Australia, brother and sister-in-law Dennis and Maura Bell of England and brother and sister-in-law Ann and John Hepburn of England.

A private memorial service will be held for the family.

Tharp Funeral Home & Crematory, Lynchburg, is assisting the family.

A private memorial service will be held for the family.

Condolences & Tributes

Celebrate Mary Wilson's life with a short message, photo or video!

Bill, I just learned of Mary's passing today and want to extend my prayers to you and your family at this time. Those words we all long to hear from our Lord and Savior, "well done good and faithful servant," I'm sure were said to your blessed wife of 63 years. Mary was indeed a woman of God who by his grace saved her soul that now lives in His presence FOREVER. Love you in the Lord brother and hope to connect with you soon. Brian ps my boys are from Ghana and I heard today you were set to meet with the President as were we on the 25th but LU is now rescheduling that event. I want to meet with you about Ghana soccer and the connection you have there. Lord bless you brother. Keep serving Him. Finish stronger than you started.

Posted by brian davidson on September 18, 2021

Bill, I just learned of Mary's passing today and want to extend my prayers to you and your family at this time. Those words we all long to hear from our Lord and Savior, "well done good and faithful servant," I'm sure were said to your blessed wife of 63 years. Mary was indeed a woman of God who by his grace saved her soul that now lives in His presence FOREVER. Love you in the Lord brother and hope to connect with you soon. Brian ps my boys are from Ghana and I heard today you were set to meet with the President as were we on the 25th but LU is now rescheduling that event. I want to meet with you about Ghana soccer and the connection you have there. Lord bless you brother. Keep serving Him. Finish stronger than you started.

Posted by brian davidson on September 18, 2021

Bill, I just learned of Mary's passing today and want to extend my prayers to you and your family at this time. Those words we all long to hear from our Lord and Savior, "well done good and faithful servant," I'm sure were said to your blessed wife of 63 years. Mary was indeed a woman of God who by his grace saved her soul that now lives in His presence FOREVER. Love you in the Lord brother and hope to connect with you soon. Brian ps my boys are from Ghana and I heard today you were set to meet with the President as were we on the 25th but LU is now rescheduling that event. I want to meet with you about Ghana soccer and the connection you have there. Lord bless you brother. Keep serving Him. Finish stronger than you started.

Posted by brian davidson on September 18, 2021

May God bring you all the comfort and peace to minister his love to your family. Sincerely, Ken and Susan Bussell

Posted by Kenneth and Susan Bussell on August 25, 2021

Wes and I have many memories with Bill and Mary. Their love for the inmates in the prisons in England was contagious. We had so much fun traveling abroad with them. Mary was so funny. We laughed, a lot. Our love and prayers are with Bill and the kids. Blessings.

Posted by Bernee Tuttle on August 22, 2021

I had the privilege of traveling to England and Scotland with Bill and Mary twice during my years at Liberty University as a part of Light ministries. I remember them being so warm and loving and I have thought of them so often over the years! What an incredible impact she has had on so many around the world! Blessing to Bill and their family!!

Posted by Meredith Loggins Goad on August 22, 2021

To May, much beloved old friend from far away. Love is not possessive and we cannot love, unless we let go, so we give you to the Lord. I know her heart, for once it was ny own by just exchange, one for another given there never ws a better bargin driven

Posted by Carol & Norman on August 22, 2021

We will always remember Mary’s love for her Lord and Savior, her warm and loving character and her fun-loving laughter and joy. We were blessed to have known her (and your whole family) during our days at Liberty University. Our prayers are with you all during this time. Roy and Claudia

Posted by Roy & Claudia Yarbrough on August 22, 2021

Aunt May was a big influence in our lives. We have many happy memories spent with her and Uncle Bill. We will miss her forever. Now at peace. Xx

Posted by Norma and Bob on August 21, 2021

What a blessing Mary was, so kind and compassionate. I never saw her that she didn’t tell me she prayed for my children! My heart hurts with yours! Sending sympathy, love and prayers to each member of the family!

Posted by Carol Bryant on August 20, 2021

What a blessing Mary was, so kind and compassionate. I never saw her that she didn’t tell me she prayed for my children! My heart hurts with yours! Sending sympathy, love and prayers to each member of the family!

Posted by Carol Bryant on August 20, 2021

We were so blessed to know Mary and the whole family. She did make the best shortbread ever and was the friend who introduced us together as pen pals. John and I have just celebrated 38 years of marriage and it all started with Mary giving me the address of a"friend" who lived in England. Bill and Mary graciously invited me into their home when I was a student at Liberty University. The love, laughter and a deep faith in Jesus were the qualities that Mary radiated. She is now in the presence of her Lord. We send our love to all her dear family!

Posted by Judy Meads on August 19, 2021

Mary was the sweetest lady I have ever known my heart hurts knowing she has passed away . I loved her dearly . Praying for Bill & the family

Posted by Donna Rodriguez on August 19, 2021

Dear Bill and Family, Oh how much I loved Mary. She was a lovely, wise, gracious and godly woman with an engaging sense of humor. I consider it a genuine honor and privilege to have been called Mary’s friend. I will always have special memories of staying at Mary and Bill’s home in Lynchburg, sleeping in what I called the “Anne of Green Gables” bedroom and sharing sweet fellowship over a cup of hot tea and Mary’s never to be forgotten famous shortbread! I loved you Mary and will always remember how you and Bill demonstrated such genuine Christian love and kindness towards me. You will always have a special place in my heart. I have thought of Mary and Bill often and my heart is heavy that I had lost contact with this very special lovely couple. I love you Bill. I am so thankful for your testimony, your faithfulness to the Lord God and the godly example both you and Mary shared with all you met. My prayers are with you as you grieve the loss of dear Mary. Love in Christ. Pat McIntosh

Posted by Pat Mcintosh on August 19, 2021

My deepest condolences for the loss of my beautiful Aunty May and your blessed Wife, Mother and Grandmother. You are all in my thoughts during this incredibly sad time. God bless Shona xx

Posted by Anonymous on August 19, 2021

To reconnect with me…. Email: donnahubele@gmail.com Text or call: 6014211074

Posted by Donna Hubele on August 19, 2021

What a dear woman of God…..true salt and light in a very dark world. Our deepest sympathy and prayers for you all. Unfortunately I had lost contact with Bill and Mary a few years after moving to MS but you have been thought of often with very fond memories. Bill, I will try to reconnect as I have received contact information for you. Love and Blessings to your entire family as you grieve this dear loss. ❤️

Posted by Donna (Smith) Hubele on August 18, 2021

Dear Bell and Grossman families, I feel so blessed to have known such a beautifully inspiring, kind, caring and loving lady. We send love and prayers to all of you.

Posted by Adele, Vince & family on August 18, 2021

Dear Bill and Bell family, Your sweet Mary invested in my life and ministry in so many ways. I love you all and am so grateful for your friendship throughout so many years. I hope to be able to celebrate Mary’s life and legacy with you either in person or from a distance! Love you all, Donna donnabrazil@aol.com or donnafairclorth@worldhelp.net Cell: (901)488-2226

Posted by Donna Faircloth on August 18, 2021

Bill and family:: Oh what a precious beautiful godly lady that was loved by so many people!!! Sending love and prayers to each of you and heaven has gained another angel!!! With her Lord and many loved ones!!! God bless each of you and bless you!!!

Posted by Betty Hamlet on August 18, 2021

Dearest family, We loved Mary. What an amazing woman of God! Our love and prayers are with you

Posted by Don and Vangie Alban on August 18, 2021

Dearest family, We loved Mary. What an amazing woman of God! Our love and prayers are with you

Posted by Don and Vangie Alban on August 18, 2021

Dearest family, We loved Mary. What an amazing woman of God! Our love and prayers are with you

Posted by Don and Vangie Alban on August 18, 2021

Dearest family, We loved Mary. What an amazing woman of God! Our love and prayers are with you

Posted by Don and Vangie Alban on August 18, 2021

Dearest family, We loved Mary. What an amazing woman of God! Our love and prayers are with you

Posted by Don and Vangie Alban on August 18, 2021

Dearest family, We loved Mary. What an amazing woman of God! Our love and prayers are with you

Posted by Don and Vangie Alban on August 18, 2021

Dearest family, We loved Mary. What an amazing woman of God! Our love and prayers are with you

Posted by Don and Vangie Alban on August 18, 2021

Dearest family, We loved Mary. What an amazing woman of God! Our love and prayers are with you

Posted by Don and Vangie Alban on August 18, 2021

Dearest family, We loved Mary. What an amazing woman of God! Our love and prayers are with you

Posted by Don and Vangie Alban on August 18, 2021

Dearest family, We loved Mary. What an amazing woman of God! Our love and prayers are with you

Posted by Don and Vangie Alban on August 18, 2021

How to Write a Sympathy Message



Register now for the live seminar





Click here to access Obituary Archives from 2014 and earlier.