Frechetter O. Bell, 66, school administrator

December 10, 2003

Frechetter O. Bell, a retired Baltimore public school administrator and founder of an alumni organization that raises scholarship money, died of colon cancer Dec. 3 at Gilchrist Center for Hospice Care. She was 66.

Born Frechetter O. Cunningham and raised in Roxboro, N.C., she graduated from Person County High School there before moving with her family to Turners Station. She earned a bachelor's degree in education in 1961 from Coppin State College and a master's degree in education from what is now Towson University.

She began her career as an educator in 1962 as a teacher in the city public schools. As a senior teacher, she later provided assistance to new instructors. She spent the last several years of her career as assistant principal at Fort Worthington Elementary School, retiring in 1992.

"The faculty, staff and students proclaimed her to be a `genuine ambassador of integrity and professionalism' and a `charismatic educator,'" said Wynola Cunningham, her sister-in-law, retired principal of the school system's Waverly Career Center.

Several years after her retirement, Mrs. Bell took a part-time job with the school system as a staff associate, arranging placements for students returning from suspension, Mrs. Cunningham said.

Mrs. Bell was a member of Zion Lutheran Church and All Saints Evangelical Lutheran Church, and developed outreach programs for children and families at both.

She never forgot her days growing up in Roxboro or her high school. In 1990, she established the Roxboro Annual Reunion Weekend in Baltimore, which was attended by hundreds of alumni from Person County High School and raised scholarship money for its seniors planning to attend college.

She enjoyed cruises and attending family gatherings.

Mrs. Bell was married for 35 years to Edward James Bell, a retired Baltimore City Fire Department captain who died in July.

Services for Mrs. Bell were held yesterday.

She is survived by a brother, Sterling Cunningham of Howard Park, and two sisters, Mamie Cunningham of Randallstown and Lois Conaway of Woodlawn.

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