Frank A. Bell, who worked in the Maryland horse industry for more than 50 years, died of pneumonia Friday at Carroll Hospital Center in Westminster. The Reisterstown resident was 96.
Born in Randallstown, he grew up in the Cockeysville area. He attended a one-room public school in the basement of Gough United Methodist Church, of which he was a lifetime member, and sang bass in the church choir for decades.
Mr. Bell worked at Bethlehem Steel's Sparrows Point plant during World War II. He later worked as a groom and assistant trainer for Janon Fisher Jr. at his Baltimore County farms, The Caves and Black Rock. Family members said Mr. Bell was proud of his work with three-time Maryland Hunt Cup winner Mountain Dew.
In a 1989 article in Maryland Horse, Mr. Bell said that when Mountain Dew was foaled, "I was the first to put my hands on him." He added, "Mountain Dew was always quiet. ... The other horses might be kicking and bucking, but he'd just walk around -- until they blew the bugle."
The same article said Mr. Bell "devoted his career to the Fisher clan and its horses," adding, "Frank Bell has been a part of this scene since before most of the current Hunt Cup participants were born."
Mr. Bell retired about 30 years ago and later worked at Sportsman's Farm in Upperco.
He was a member of the Randallstown Odd Fellows Lodge.
Services will be held at 11 a.m. today at Reisterstown United Methodist Church, 246 Main St., Reisterstown.
Survivors include his wife of 68 years, the former Anna Jefferson; three sons, William A. Bell of Eldersburg, Henry T. Bell of Pikesville and John W. Bell of Baltimore; two daughters, Patricia Bell-Waddy and Elaine Bell-Smith, both of Reisterstown; a sister, Ruth Costley, also of Reisterstown; 16 grandchildren; 28 great-grandchildren; and nine great great-grandchildren.