Isabella "Bella" Frazier Sanders
Isabella "Bella" Frazier Sanders, 85, of Park Rapids, MN passed away on Thursday, October 1, 2015 at Heritage Living Center in Park Rapids, Minnesota.
Isabella "Bella" Frazier was born on August 21, 1930 in Abington, PA to the Rev. Robert and Luella Frazier. The family lived many places all over the country with their missionary father. Bella graduated from Tucson High School in 1948. She attended the University of Arizona and then the University of Maine in Orono, where she graduated in 1952 with a Degree of Bachelor of Science in Education. Bella was chosen Outstanding Maine Women in 1952 by the University of Maine. This is "The highest honor for a woman sportsman at the University of Maine". She taught physical education and coached field hockey and basketball in Peterborough, NH. Bella taught physical education and health at the State Teachers College in Farmington, ME (now the University of Maine, Farmington). In 1956 she started teaching oversees for the Department of Defense schools near Casablanca, Morocco where she met her future husband. After a year there she transferred to Bitburg, Germany where she taught physical education in junior and senior high school for 6 years. While there Bella married John Sanders in a civil ceremony in Geneva, Switzerland followed by a church wedding in Bitburg on May 30, 1959. In 1963 they moved to Africa to Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and taught in the public schools of that county for 3 years. Upon returning to the USA, Bella and John lived in Mahtomedi, MN. After obtaining a degree in library science from Augsburg College in Minneapolis, she served as elementary librarian in two schools in Mahtomedi until she retired in 1984.
The Little Theater was of great interest to Bella, and she played many leading roles in Broadway musicals, both on the military bases oversees and in the little theater in White Bear Lake. She played percussion in the #M Orchestra in St. Paul and in the Lakewood Community Orchestra in White Bear Lake for several years.
After spending many summers at their cabin on Long Lake in Park Rapids, she and her husband brought new Long Lake property, built a retirement home and moved permanently to Park Rapids in 1987. From 1979 to 1999 Bella and John had a small business making scale model dollhouses, room boxes and green-houses which they sold at miniature shows from coast to coast and by special order. They started the Paul Bunyan Miniature Club in Park Rapids which members from Fargo, Detroit Lakes, Bemidji and Walker as well as Park Rapids. Occasionally club projects were on display in various store windows in these towns and at the North Country Art Museum. Bella was an active member of the Midwest Miniature Guild in Minneapolis from 1995 until her death.
Bella enjoyed the Park Rapids library and spent many hours volunteering there and was an active member of the Friends of the Library. She was a member of Trinity Episcopal Church serving as Vestry person, Treasurer, lay reader, chalice bearer, lector and newspaper editor for 10 years. She was very involved in the remodeling of the church and the building of new parish hall in 1994-96.
Bella is survived by several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, 1 sister, 2 brothers, 1 brother-in-law and 3 sisters-in-law.
Memorial Services will be held on Tuesday, October 6, 2015 at 11:00 AM at the Trinity Episcopal Church in Park Rapids, MN. Visitation will be held for 1 hour prior to services at the church.
Cease Family Funeral Home of Park Rapids is assisting with the arrangements. For more information call Cease Family Funeral Home of Park Rapids, MN at 218-732-7264. You may leave online condolences at www.ceasefuneralhome.com .