Santa Fe Living Treasures – Elder Stories


Charles & Danny Bell

Charles &
Danny Bell

Honored June, 1996

Charles G. & Diana 'Danny' Bell

Charles Bell was the son of a Mississippi lawyer, and grew up in a home devoted to social justice. Diane Bell (known to most of her friends in Santa Fe as “Danny”) was born into a Quaker family in Maryland, and grew up in a home devoted to social justice. They wedded in 1949 and shared a marriage of 55 years. Together they became Living Treasures in 1996, and seldom has a partnership been so well-bonded for the honor.

In an era when men usually led the way in a marriage, Charles was a Rhodes Scholar, and became a renowned professor at some of America’s most prestigious institutions of higher learning: Princeton University, the University of Chicago, St. John’s College in Annapolis, Md.--and then the sister St. John’s campus in Santa Fe, where he came in 1969, shortly after it opened. He taught here until he retired--and afterward.

Danny, however, was certainly an equal partner in the joint enterprise. She was the prime home-care-giver to their two daughters, she taught elementary school, she wrote children’s books--and once in Santa Fe she made sure that their home and this city were welcoming beacons on a worldwide scale. As a team, they did remarkable things.