By Diane Holloway
Our Founding Mother, Diana Bell, passed away Sunday evening, and Trinity Center is mourning her loss.
Diana and Doug, her devoted husband of 52 years, gave life to us and have stayed involved for almost 20 years. Their dedication to Austin’s homeless neighbors has always been both practical and spiritual, their love for all of us totally unconditional.
As we prepared to tout the accomplishments of Trinity Center for our Barbara Jordan Celebration in 2017, the Bells, who received our prestigious Pat Hazel Award that year, steered the bragging away from the number of meals and bus passes to our true mission in an interview.
“I just feel like what the neighbors are looking for is someone to listen to them – to see them,” Diana said at the time. “That means everything to them. Knowing them by name means a lot, too. And I think they like having a familiar face when they walk in – it helps them feel comfortable and accepted. We want them to feel warmth and hospitality, respected and loved.”
Diana and Doug were both regular volunteers on Fridays and for our Sunday worship service. Even after Diana was sidelined with mobility issues, she rode her scooter into Trinity Center to greet neighbors as they came to our annual Christmas party. Diana loved the antlers with bells; Doug preferred the Santa hats. The provided the happiest welcome of the season.