7:06 PM EDT, March 28, 2012
Eleanor was born on Nov. 24, 1914, in Sharpsburg, Md., to the late Beulah Land Wilson and Victor Reichard Mumma.
She attended schools in Hagerstown and Sharpsburg, Md. She sang in the Episcopal Church Choir in Sharpsburg, and later sang in the Christ Reform Church Choir and the Hagerstown Christian Church Choir.
She graduated from Boonsboro High School in 1934. After graduation, she won a Kay Diamond contest for the state of Maryland by writing the following poem:
"A Victor Herbert melody Sung by the one and only one and to no other Puts the Heart and sole into an enchanted world of bliss Which eventually leads to this ... Kay's Diamonds."
Later the same year, she was crowned Miss Antietam by popular vote during a commemoration of the Civil War battle of Antietam. The Mumma family had owned a farm on the battlefield.
She worked at the L.B. Hat Shop in Hagerstown and Cumberland until it closed and later worked at Fletchers.
On Sept. 20, 1940, at the First Christian Church in Hagerstown, she married Daniel M. Bell Sr. They lived in Hagerstown, Leitersburg and Ringgold, Md. They honeymooned at the George Washington Hotel in Winchester, Va., and set up housekeeping in Hagerstown. They were married for 37 years until his death on Oct. 21, 1977.
She was a homemaker and lived in Leitersburg, Ringgold, Hampton, Va., Seabrook, Md., Bradenton, Fla., Spencer, W.Va., and most recently in Madison, Va. After her husband's death. she traveled to Europe, Australia and Hawaii. She was a charter member of Goddard's Women's Club and was chairwoman of the Antiques Club. She loved oil painting, sewing, cake decorating and making candies.
She is survived by five children, Bonnie Bowen of South Jordan, Utah, Daniel M. Bell Jr. of Fredericksburg, Va., Sarah A. Fowler of Port St. Lucie, Fla., Kathie B. Turner of Leesburg, Va., and Bette S. Sotomayor of Spencer, W.Va.; 19 grandchildren; and 17 great-grandchildren.
She was a beloved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, and we will all miss her.
A graveside service will be held at the Ringgold Cemetery on April 21 at 2 p.m., where she will rest beside her husband.
Arrangements are by J.L. Davis Funeral Home in Smithsburg.
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