Our dearly loved Sidney passed away peacefully surrounded by family, November 25, 2019 at St. Mark’s Hospital, Salt Lake City. Her pacemaker could no longer keep her heart strong and healthy.
Sidney was born March 14, 1935 in Logan, Utah to Philip Leon and Roberta Smith West, the oldest of five children.
Sidney grew up in Logan, Utah, Pocatello and Preston, Idaho. She graduated from Preston High School and Utah State University in elementary education.
Sidney married Robert E. Bell, later divorced. Together they had three sons Steve, Chris and Greg, four grandchildren and six great grandchildren.
Through the years Sidney taught non-English speaking children in elementary schools at Fort Hood and Fort Bliss, Texas. She then taught in regular elementary classrooms at Boston, Massachusetts; Lansing, Michigan; Laramie, Wyoming; Lake Oswego, Oregon; and Madison, Wisconsin. Her final years of teaching were at Oakdale and Brookwood Elementary in SLC, Utah. While at Oakdale, Sidney was selected to be one of the first Jordan School District school-site computer specialists. Sidney served as a representative for teachers in Jordan School District on the UEA board. She was selected to be part of the UEA political action team and traveled with the delegation to Washington, DC. Her lobbying efforts helped teachers and students. Sidney retired at age 78 with many accolades and great appreciation expressed for wonderful years of service and commitment to children and education. She gave her creative and loving best, throughout those years.
Sidney has always been a devoted, loving mother, grandmother, and fun big sister. Sidney has been a special friend to many. She embraced and enjoyed her book club group and a variety of other social activities with dear friends. Special gratitude is expressed by her family to the close friends and neighbors who were always there for Sidney.
Her deep love and appreciation for nature, mountains, oceans, lakes and animals continues on in her family.
She was preceded in death by baby sister Patricia, parents, grandparents, sisters-in-law, Pat F. and Wendy S. West, nieces Katelyn West and Susan West Flygare.
She is survived by sons Steve (Erica) Bell, Chris Bell, Greg Bell, (Natalie Fuller); Grandchildren, Andrew (Jessica), Ian, (Kelsey), Cheryl Bell, and Jack (Nishele) Bell; Great Grandchildren Christian and Aric Bell, Archer and Alayna Sharp, Emma and Kaylee Bell.
She is also survived by brothers George (Janet) West, Ralph (Susan) West, Doug West, and cousin Jocelyn S. (Adrian) Fannin and Bell family members.
A Celebration of Life for Sidney will be on Saturday, December 21, 2019 from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm at Stark Funeral Parlor, 3651 South 900 East, Salt Lake City.
The following information was written by close friend and colleague Karen Anderson.
“When Sid returned to Salt Lake City in the late 70’s, she began teaching at Oakdale Elementary. Over the dozen or so years that she was there, both first and second graders were fortunate to experience the magic she practiced, while teaching them to read and how to explore the world around them through words and books. Sid was one of the first group of teachers throughout Utah to be designated a Computer Specialist in their schools. She helped teachers learn how to incorporate the abilities of this new technology into their curriculum areas.
Sid helped her professional colleagues through her activities with both the local and state education associations. Locally, she was on the teachers’ contract negotiation team for several years, was a local school representative, and served on the local association board of representatives. Sid was most passionate about her time as a legislative contact team member on the Utah Education Association Political Action Committee.
In the 90’s, growing organic foods became another passion for Sid. She was about 20 years ahead of her time. She composted, mulched, used drip line watering methods, avoided toxic pesticides, planted heirloom vegetables, and more. She was quite aware of the need for humans to stop polluting the planet years before that became a regular nightly news topic.
Sid followed her heart, paid attention to how she felt and used that information to guide her actions. She could use her brain, too; but her heart made most of her decisions. All people who came in contact with her felt her warmth, her mindfulness, and her caring.”