Maria Bell

Obituary of Maria Erzsebet Bell

Marika’s Life

Maria (Marika) Erzsebet Szekeres-Plesko-Bell, was born on May 16, 1949 in Cinkota, Hungary on the outskirts of Budapest. As a child, she was an avid accordion player, playing in local hotels and restaurants. She lived in communist Hungary until 1963 when her family was finally able to relocate to South Africa as refugees to reunite with her father. In 1965, she started studying as a dress designer at Kirsten Academy of Fashion in Johannesburg, SA, and was named Miss Congeniality. She graduated in 1966 and married her first husband. In 1969, they emigrated to Los Angeles, CA while she was pregnant with her first child, Janos. A year later, they decided to move to Portland, OR, where they had two more children, Zoltan and Ildiko. For many years she was heavily involved with the Portland Chapter of the Hungarian Friendship Club. She continued to live in Happy Valley where she owned and operated Marika’s Mobile Boutique and worked as an interior designer in furniture sales.

In 2003, she married her current husband, Conrad Bell, and settled in the Oregon City area where they enjoyed the view of the many beautiful sunsets over the Portland skyline. They frequented estate and garage sales to maintain their antique shows and antique mall booths, and were fond of visiting the Oregon coast and Palm Springs. She was always ready to cook delicious Hungarian dishes for family gatherings. Her musical appreciation stretched from ABBA to the Scorpions.

Marika was a sweet caring individual who always thought of others first. Her vibrant, inspiring spirit will be greatly missed. She passed away peacefully from bile duct cancer at the age of 72 years old. She is survived by her husband Conrad and her three children, Janos, Zoltan and his wife Leah, and Ildiko, and by her sister Veronika, nephews Carl and Mario, grandchildren Saxon, Shelly, Kelsey, Ashley, and great-granddaughter Maddie.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made out to Oregon Humane Society of Portland.

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