Clara Murphy Bond Bell

Published 8:13 am Thursday, July 24, 2014

WINDSOR – Clara Murphy Bond Bell of Windsor and Edenhouse in Bertie County, North Carolina died Monday, July 21. The oldest of four children of Mary Elizabeth Murphy and Walter Holland Bond, she was born August 9, 1925.

She was a graduate of New Hanover High School in Wilmington, the Woman’s College of the University of North Carolina, and the School of Social Work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

After graduation she worked in the Department of Public Welfare in MartinCounty and then in Bertie County. As the wife of a Foreign Service Officer, she accompanied her husband, the late Holley Mack Bell, II, of Windsor and Edenhouse to numerous stations. They were posted to Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and the Dominican Republic. Their final assignment was Washington, DC after which they retired to Windsor.  In every country where they lived, Mrs. Bell was an active volunteer in social service organizations, Diplomatic Wives groups and the Episcopal Church. While living in the United States, she was a social worker for a day care center in Annandale, VA and later worked for FLOC (For the Love of Children) in Washington, DC.

Mrs. Bell was a strong advocate for historic preservation, serving on the Friends of Hope Committee and the Historic Hope Foundation. She was also actively involved with Preservation North Carolina, the Museum of the Albemarle and the Historic Albemarle Tour (HAT).

A lifelong Episcopalian, Mrs. Bell served on vestries and as Treasurer and Senior Warden in parishes overseas and in the United States. She served as an alternate deputy from the Diocese of Ecuador at the 1976 General Convention of the Episcopal Church in Minneapolis, MN.

Mrs. Bell is survived by two daughters, Lisa Bell-Loncella (Jim Loncella) of Johnstown, PA; and CB Guess (Keith) of Summerville, SC; a son, Holley Mack Bell III of Raleigh; and three grandchildren, Robert Holley Kintner (Alli) of Chapel Hill, NC, Meg Cooley (Chip) of Johns Island, SC and Julia Bond Guess of Windsor.

During the recent past, Mrs. Bell was lovingly cared for by Zelma Holley, Regina Bond, Diane Moore, Delois Bunch, Teresa White, CelesteCofield and Joyce Rascoe.

Visiting hours will be Friday, July 25 from 2 to 6 p.m. at the home, 407 South King Street, Windsor. A Celebration of Life Service will be held Saturday, July 26 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church, Windsor, followed by a reception at the home. For details see

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions be made to Historic Hope Foundation, 132 Hope House Road, Windsor, NC 27983 ( or St. Thomas’ Church Memorial Trust, PO Box 400 Windsor, NC 27983. Both were causes to which Mr. and Mrs. Bell were dedicated throughout their lives.