Danvers — Shirley (Mello) Bell, 88, passed away at her home on June 9, 2014, surrounded by her family. She was the beloved wife of the late Elwin G. Bell, Sr. Born in Danvers on Aug. 27, 1925, she was the daughter of the late Manuel P. and Lena (Salvadore) Mello. Shirley was a lifelong resident of Danvers and graduated from Holten High School in 1943. She went onto Salem Commercial Business School. She had been employed at the former Murphy’s Fruit Mart in Danvers Square prior to becoming the Activities Director at Twin Oaks Nursing Home.
Known to all as Nana Bell, Shirley was the last of the Mello siblings who grew up on Mello Farm, a dairy farm once located on Burley Street in Danvers. She would raise her own family and live the rest of her life on Mello Parkway. For many years her home was considered “command central” and by her insistence it was the designated gathering place for her large family, friends and relatives who traveled both far and near to gather whether it was for a big celebration or simply a cup of coffee. It was her aspiration in life to give to others rather than receive. Whether she was cooking for what seemed like an entire army, boxing up 2000 cookies that she baked every year for her son's high school students on his birthday, or secretly slipping a few extra dollars into a loved one's pocket to send them on their way safely, Nana loved everyone and gave of herself tremendously. She will be missed for the sharing of long conversations, her strength and boundless energy, her devotion to family, her warmth towards others, and comforting hugs and kisses that were often planted on one’s lips even if you were a perfect stranger yet appropriate for a bonafide, full-blooded Portuguese. You taught us well, Mom and your gifts will never leave us. You worked so hard for so long, and although we will miss you terribly, it is now your time to rest in the glory of God’s paradise.