Genevieve Mae Bell Mero
Jennie Mero, a dedicated free spirit, "slipped the surly bonds of Earth and now dances the skies on laughter-silvered wings"--John Gillespie Magee.
Jennie was born in Greensburg, PA, and moved to DeLeon Springs in 1957. It became apparent early on that she wasn't going to live an ordinary life. After falling in love with bowling in high school she participated in, administered and volunteered with various bowling associations over 60 years. She competed in tournaments in most of the states and won many awards. One of the highlights of her bowling career was receiving the Florida State Women's Bowling Association Rose Kessel Award, one of the highest honors bestowed by the organization in recognition of individual achievements and service. Jennie was President of the West Volusia Bowling Association for eight years and chairperson for the Bowling for Veterans program. The veteran's program has raised funds for decades for donation to local VA hospitals.
Her passion for ballroom dancing was another long-time obsession. Over several decades, she participated in and won awards in many competitions throughout Florida.
Jennie worked in various fields including the Athens Theatre, Barnett Bank and Sherwood Medical Industries before she found her true calling at the Clerk of the Circuit Court's office. She made many life-long friends there and retired after 34 years as Manager of Civil, Probate And Appeals departments.
Once retired, Jennie became even more involved with volunteering. She continued her work at the Volusia County Sheriff's Citizens Observer Program (COP) and logged many thousands of hours on duty and received the Volusia County Volunteer of the Year Award in 2011.
Jennie was known for her love and care of abandoned animals. Especially well known was Sunny the Rooster, a particularly handsome bird that appeared at Sunshine Lanes bowling center one day. When she learned animal control would be called she immediately adopted him into her family of rescue cats. Sunny and Jennie's cats got along fabulously and Sunny was a celebrity among area school children and events throughout the community. He was a real character, which is probably why he and Jennie got along so well. Jennie immortalized him in her book "The Adventures of Sunny the Rooster" and he's also immortalized on a beautiful mural in downtown DeLand.
Jennie is predeceased by her mother, Evelyn Hails Bell, and father, Gerard Bell, Sr. She is survived by her brother, Gerard Bell, Jr. (Gayle), two nieces, Pamela Farneth (Rick) and Dianne Albina (Troy) and five great nieces and nephews.
A celebration of life will be held at Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church located at 509 E. Pennsylvania Ave. DeLand, FL on Saturday November 20th, 2021 at 11:00 AM with a reception to follow.
For a lasting memorial, donations may be made to Journey's End Animal Sanctuary, 1899 Mercers Fernery Rd, DeLand, FL 32720 or Division of Southeastern Guide Dogs, (800) 944-3647.
Please share your memories of Jennie with her family by way of her online guestbook at www.LankfordFuneralHome.com