Wanda Lee Bell Lovejoy, 77, passed away in her home in Virginia Beach Saturday, Dec. 17, 2016. She was born and raised in the Wythe County, Cripple Creek/Ivanhoe, Va., area as the daughter of Mary Richardson and Emory Lawrence Bell.
She is survived by her husband of 57 years, Jay Lovejoy; two sons, Vincent, and his wife, Pam, of Baltimore, Md., and Jeffrey Lovejoy, and his wife, Jana, and granddaughter, Shelby Lee Lovejoy, of Dallas, Texas. She also has several surviving nieces and nephews, including niece Julia Lee Bell of Red Bank, N.J., with whom she maintained a very close relationship.
She was a devoted wife and mother and loving grandmother who dearly loved gardening, flower-arranging, raising butterflies, and especially cooking, where her kitchen creations would regularly rival the best professional chefs. She was a longtime member of the Lake Smith Terrace garden club and won several flower-arranging awards, including one at the annual Virginia Beach Flower Expo.
She enjoyed luncheons with her many friends and was part of a spa limited exercise group. During her more active years, she worked as a companion-aide for a few wonderful women who practically adopted her as an extension of their family. She did all this despite a longtime battle with a severe case of rheumatoid arthritis that first attacked her in her late teens and over the years forced her to undergo nearly continuous medical treatments, numerous joint replacements, and all but completely crippling her hands and feet.
Despite these challenges, she maintained a perennially sunny, happy disposition, was exceptionally considerate of others, remained empathetic to the shortcomings of others, had a relentless “can-do” spirit, and facing her own adversities in ways that made others marvel at her perseverance and accomplishments despite her physical limitations. The world lost a true Christian spirit in her passing. She will be greatly missed.
A funeral Mass will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 22, at St. Gregory The Great Catholic Church, 5345 Virginia Beach Blvd. Interment will follow in Woodlawn Memorial Gardens.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the VBSPCA.
Condolences may be offered to the family at www.hollomon-brown.com.