By Robin Loving
Peggy Bell, well-known and well-loved resident of San Miguel de Allende for more than 25 years, passed away peacefully in her sleep January 31, 2016. Her three children are incredibly grateful to have been able to be with her in her last hours.
Peggy was born August 8, 1931, in Chundu, China, daughter of missionaries Lewis and Mardie Smythe. She and her younger sister, Joan, grew up in China and attended Shanghai American School, where Peggy met her first husband and father of her three children, Albert Poppen.
Peggy taught elementary school for nearly 20 years and was always involved in politics and charitable causes. After she and her husband, George Bell, moved to San Miguel, she continued her passion for doing for others. She, with her friends Marge Zap and Virginia Wheelwright, was instrumental in the founding of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of San Miguel de Allende, as well as Mujeres en Cambio and Jóvenes Adelante, raising money for scholarships for deserving young people to enable them to attend secondary school and go on to college.
Peggy briefly moved back to the US, but upon returning to visit, she acknowledged that her heart was in San Miguel. Her last year was here in San Miguel, where she received amazing round-the-clock care from some of the same people she had helped through her scholarship organizations. Being in San Miguel was very special to her as she had so many loving friends.
Peggy is survived by her children, Karen Goddard, Doreen Maxwell, and Eric Poppen, as well as her grandchildren, Brenda Landry, Kyle Poppen, Fayth Goddard, and Scott Poppen, and her great grandson, Walker Landry.
Peggy was a gentle, loving, and generous soul who will be sorely missed.