Bella Rees

Bella Rees, 101, of Fall River passed away on December 16, 2020 at The Meadows of Fall River.

Bella was born in Fox Lake township of Randolph, WI on October 19, 1919 to Daniel O. and Margaret (Jones) Rees.  Bella grew up on a farm in Fountain Prairie township near Fall River.

Bella completed her elementary education in 1933 at the Bennett School, a rural one-room schoolhouse with all eight grades also located in Fountain Prairie.  She graduated from Fall River High School in 1937.  Bella then commenced to seek college level degrees in Upper Elementary Education by graduating from the Columbia County Normal School in Columbus in 1939 and subsequently graduating from the Oshkosh State College with a Bachelor of Science Degree.

Bella was an elementary grade school teacher for a total of 17 years of which the first 14 years were in three different one-room, all eight grades, schools in Columbia County.  With the closings of these rural schools, she concluded her teaching career with three years in the Watertown Public School System teaching her favorite two grades of 5th and 6th.

Bella was married to Merlin W. Owen of Cambria on May 23, 1942 at the First Presbyterian Church of Columbus.  The marriage produced two sons John Milton and James Merlin Owen.

Bella was involved with a number of clubs and organizations throughout her lifetime with the Royal Neighbors of America being one of her fondest memories.  She loved putting together a vast number of well documented scrapbooks and family photo albums as family keepsakes.  She was proud of her Welch heritage from which she participated in Welsh song-fests (Gymanfa Ganus) and cooking using Welsh recipes.

Bella was a very active, kind and generous person.  She loved her family, her grandchildren and her great grandchildren.  She loved to can, cook and bake, especially baking those white Christmas cookies which were everyone’s favorite.  Bella always enjoyed a well-kept yard and flower beds making her home a place where everybody felt welcome and loved.

Bella is survived by her son John M. (Liliane) Owen of Germantown; daughter-in-law Dagmar Owen of Fall River; grandchildren: Annett (David) Geringer of Middleton, Anastasia R.P. Owen of Viroqua, Adrian (Ling-Wen) Owen of Crystal Lake, Illinois; great grandchildren: Athena and Bryce Owen and Wyatt Geringer.  Bella is further survived by nieces, nephews and other relatives including those in Wales, Great Britain along with many dear friends.

Bella was preceded in death by her parents, her son James M. Owen, her sister Mary G. Miller, and two brothers Owen E. Rees and Haydn J. Rees.

A private funeral service will take place and a Celebration of Life event will be planned when it is safe to gather. Internment will take place at the Fountain Prairie Cemetery, township of Fountain Prairie.

The family wishes to express special thanks to the staff at The Meadows of Fall River for the wonderful care given Bella over the past nearly nine years.  Also, a heart-felt thanks to all the nurses and doctors at Columbus Hospital and Generations Hospice staff for making Bella as comfortable as possible during her past two weeks on this Earth.

Condolences for Bella Rees may be sent to her son:   John M. Owen, W165N10643 Wagon Trail, Germantown, WI  53022.

Koepsell-Zeidler Funeral Home in Columbus is serving the family.  Online condolences may be made at