- Josephine Wakem Bell passed away peacefully on May 18, 2017, surrounded by family. She was born in Caribou on August 12, 1923, the oldest daughter of Antoine and Sallemae Saffayer Wakem.
A life long resident of Caribou, Josephine was raised during the Great Depression. Like many of the greatest generation, she spent the early forties contributing to the war effort working as an aircraft starter electrician at the Army Air Corp Base in Presque Isle. After the war, she married Ronald Bell of Bridgewater, Maine, and began her family. Following Ronald's premature death in 1966, she dedicated herself to raising her three young children. Working full time and raising a young family did not stop her from continuing to play an active role in the community. She was an active member of the Holy Rosary Parish, and volunteered for a number of organizations. As a member of the Ladies Auxiliary - Veterans of Foreign Wars, she was active in Veterans issues as well as many community service projects that benefited Caribou and the surrounding communities. During her tenure with the VFW Auxiliary, she held numerous local and state offices including State President in 1985.
A first generation American born to Lebanese immigrants, Josephine was a proud American who celebrated her Lebanese heritage. She was best known in the community for her love of cooking and sharing the Lebanese cuisine handed down to her by her mother, Sallemae. Many Caribou families enjoyed the fresh bread that she continued to make throughout her life.
She is survived by her three children; Sheree Belanger and husband Hector; Christopher Bell and wife Kathleen; David Bell and wife Lori; grandchildren Molly Bell, Jonathan Bell and wife Melony; Joshua Bell; and her very special great-granddaughter, Avelyn Bell; as well as many nieces nephews and extended family members, all of whom she cared for deeply.
Josephine was predeceased by her husband Ronald Bell, her brothers Mitchell (Mike) Wakem, Edward Wakem, Joseph Wakem and "Baby" Lewis Wakem, as well as her younger sister Pricilla Wakem Divito.
Relatives and friends are invited to call 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Monday, May 22, 2017, at Lancaster Morgan Funeral Home. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m., on Tuesday, May 23, 2017, at Parish Precious Blood, Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Caribou. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Jefferson Cary Foundation, P.O. Box 89, Caribou, ME 04736 or by visiting www.carymedicalcenter.org/about-cary/jefferson-cary-foundation/giving/.
Memories and condolences may be shared at www.lancastermorgan.com
Published on  May 19, 2017