Bell, Frances

Frances Ferebee Bell

July 3, 1930 - January 5, 2019

Frances Ferebee Bell, at age 88 passed from this life in the care of hospice and her immediate family on January 5, 2019.  She was born on July 3, 1930, known as Sook to her family and friends, Sara Frances was the fourth child of Sina Ipock and David Willoughby Ferebee of Ernul, North Carolina.  She earned her Bachelor of Science in Physics at the Women’s College of the University of North Carolina, where she also excelled in basketball and archery.  She worked at the Naval Ordinance Laboratory in Bethesda, Maryland, with a focus on x-ray crystallography of hydro acoustics transducers for submarines.

While in the D.C. area, she met and later married Wilbur Orrin Bell of Shinglehouse, Pennsylvania on June 10, 1961.   They settled in Columbia, Maryland, and had three children: Eric Weldon Bell (Tracey) of Frisco, Texas, Wilbur Randall Bell (Sherry) of Arlington, Virginia, and Donna Franceine Zane, nee Bell (Francis) of New Providence, New Jersey.  

Frances, Wilbur and their family spent four years in Germany and later three years in England. During this time they also bought their vacation home in Deep Creek Lake, Maryland.  They retired to Deep Creek for several years after their children graduated. She enjoyed skiing, golf, tennis and swimming.  Eventually Frances and Wilbur retired to Lady Lake, Florida and stayed active with golfing and reading.

In 2017, they relocated to live with their eldest son in Frisco, Texas, where they enjoyed playing with their great-grandsons before finally settling at the Village at Stonebridge in McKinney, Texas.

Frances is survived by her loving husband of 57 years, Wilbur Orrin Bell; three children; seven grandchildren, Paige, Morgan, Bryce Anne, Trent, Ian, Jackson and Daisy; three great-grandsons, Braden, Zachary and Chase; and her younger sister, Kathryn Fagg.

She was preceded in death by older siblings, Alice Elizabeth Ferebee, David Willoughby Ferebee and Margaret Louise Harkleroad.

A small memorial service will be held at 4:00 p.m., Saturday, January 12, 2019 at the Village at Stonebridge, 3300 S. Stonebridge Drive, McKinney Texas where Frances lived the last year of her life.

Memorial contributions may be made to Visiting Nurse Association of Texas (VNA), who expertly and caringly provided her hospice support in her last few months. Donations can made online in the name of Frances Bell at or mailed to: VNA, 1600 Viceroy, Ste. 400, Dallas, Texas 75235.  

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I was Frances’s dental hygienist in Oakland, MD. I just moved to The Villages and saw her obituary in the local paper. She was one of my favorite patients. So gentle and soft spoken with a wonderful sense of humor. I shall miss her! She always spoke so lovingly of her family and appreciated all that she had in life. Rest In Peace dear Frances.
Virginia Chorpenning, January 10, 2019 A Wonderful, Fiery, Red Hair Aunt whose special laughter will be missed. Sending love and blessings to my Uncle Will and cousins. - Cousin,
Roxanne Ferebee, January 9, 2019 What a blessing it was to visit with Frances and Wilbur over the last months. His love and care for her was moving. I so enjoyed experiencing Frances exploring all of the musical instruments I brought and seeing the sparkle in her eyes when she was amused. I will always remember Frances when I hear Carolina Moon, and will think of Wilbur and his lasting love of his wife. Blessings to all of your family. - with love from Karen Sholander, music therapist with VNA.
Karen Sholander, January 8, 2019