Ellis Fell, 93, retired attorney, Baltimore public school teacher

February 27, 1999|By Frederick N. Rasmussen | Frederick N. Rasmussen,SUN STAFF

Ellis M. Fell, a retired attorney and former Baltimore public school teacher, died Tuesday of respiratory failure at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. The Roland Park resident was 93.

Mr. Fell practiced accident case law in the old Equitable Bank Building on North Calvert Street from 1946 until 1987, when he retired.

He taught civics from 1925 until 1942 at several city schools, including Gwynns Falls Junior High School, where one of his students was William Donald Schaefer, now the state comptroller.

"He was a good teacher, the kind that you remember," Mr. Schaefer said from his Annapolis office yesterday. "I never forgot him because he really cared about me."

Mr. Schaefer recalled Mr. Fell as a stern but fair-minded disciplinarian.

"He was a monitor out in the hall, and you didn't mess up when you went by him. He was very orderly, and you stayed in line when Mr. Fell was around," he said.

After World War II, student and teacher renewed their acquaintance, which lasted until Mr. Fell's death.

"I went to his 90th birthday party. He was so well-liked and, most of all, he was my good friend," Mr. Schaefer said.

Born in Little Italy and raised near Park Circle in Northwest Baltimore, Mr. Fell was a graduate of city public schools and graduated in 1924 from the old State Normal School, now Towson University. In 1928, he earned his law degree from the University of Maryland Law School.

During World War II, he was a training officer in England preparing servicemen for the D-Day invasion. He was discharged in 1946 but remained active as a reserve officer until he was discharged in the 1960s with the rank of captain.

He was a past commander of the Jewish War Veterans Free State Post in Baltimore, a past commander of the Jewish War Veterans of the State of Maryland and a past president of Reserve Officers of the U.S. Department of Maryland. He also served on the board of directors of the Navy League of the U.S. Department of Maryland.

He was a member of Har Sinai Congregation.

His wife of 51 years, the former Lucie Hyman, died in 1983.

Services were held yesterday.

He is survived by a son, Alan T. Fell of Reisterstown; a brother, Bernie Fell of Delray Beach, Fla.; two grandchildren; and a great-grandson.

Pub Date: 2/27/99

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