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Sarah Ellen Gholston Bell, 101

Sarah Ellen Gholston Bell, 101

Sarah Ellen Gholston Bell, 101, passed away on February 24, 2015. Sarah was born July 9, 1913, in Fitzpatrick, AL, to the late Thomas Hough Gholston and Jane Elizabeth Jones Gholston. She was preceded in death by her husband of 51 years, Jack Bell, and her grandson, John H. Bell, III. She is survived by her daughter, Barbara Bell Carter and husband, Joseph, of Flat Rock, NC, and her son, John H. Bell, II and his wife, Teresa, of Mountain Brook, AL; three grandsons, Charles J. Carter, Jr. and his wife, Rebecca Carter, of Columbia, SC, Timothy A. Carter and his wife, Heather Randolph Carter, of Charlotte, NC, and Jeremy Bell and his wife, Amy Bell, of Pell City, AL; three great-grandchildren, Joseph Quinn Carter, Piper Claire Carter, and John Benjamin Bell. Formerly a resident of Birmingham, AL, she moved to The Bridge at Lake Pointe Landing, in Hendersonville, NC, five years ago.

Sarah grew up a child of the depression, and, like many of her generation, that experience influenced her adult life. The oldest of six children, she was raised on a farm in rural Alabama. Sarah and her family lacked material wealth, yet wanted for little; the land provided for their needs. Sarah took pride in the family's personal history and deep ties to our nation's founding as early settlers. Later in life, she became a member of The Jamestowne Society and was active in local chapters of The Daughters of the American Revolution.

Sarah graduated high school in Union Springs, AL, and then moved to Birmingham to attend secretarial school. It was there that she met Jack, whom she wed on August 24, 1942, in Bel Air, MD. In the early years of their marriage, she contributed to the war effort as a civilian secretary at the Edgewood Arsenal in Maryland.

The true work of Sarah's life was making a home and raising her family, vocations she elevated into art form. She found purpose and joy in caring for her husband and in nurturing and guiding her children. As an accomplished cook and hostess known for perfect dinner parties, Sarah supported Jack's successful career. Their home was always a warm and inviting place for business guests, as well as personal friends and family. Additionally, she was an accomplished seamstress and needlepoint artist.

Sarah firmly believed that gracious behavior and beautiful surroundings matter, and she ensured that her children appreciated these as well. The epitome of an accomplished Southern woman, Sarah taught by example, creating an environment in which setting a beautiful table, writing thank you notes, and demonstrating impeccable manners were expected and respected.

Like so many Southern ladies, Sarah's manners did not lack for resolve. She was pragmatic, loathed complaining, and insisted that everyone make the best of any situation. She committed herself to seeing that her children had advantages greater than those she knew as a child. This included opportunities for formal and informal education, foreign travel, and exposure to the arts.

Her commitment to others extended beyond her family, as Sarah was active in her church and as a community volunteer, particularly as a hospital "pink lady" in Tallahassee. Her favorite avocation was bridge, where her skill, even into her late 90s, was admired by her many partners.

For all that she was and all she helped them to become, Sarah left an indelible mark on her children and grandchildren. She was loved and will be deeply missed. The family would especially like to thank the staff at The Bridge at Lake Pointe and the staff at Elizabeth House for their exceptional care.

A graveside service will be at 11:00AM on Wednesday, March 4, 2015, at Culley'sMeadowWood Cemetery in Tallahassee, FL. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to The Employee Appreciation Fund, The Bridge at Lake Pointe Landing, 334 Thompson Street, Hendersonville, NC 28792, or to Four Seasons Elizabeth House, 571 South Allen Road, Flat Rock, NC 28731.

An online register book is available for family and friends by visiting www.thosshepherd.com. Thos Shepherd & Son Funeral Directors are in charge of arrangements.