05/14/2013 2:28PM

Wende Bell, wife of Darley America president Jimmy Bell, dies at 56


Wende Laine Stone “Happy” Bell, wife of Darley America president Jimmy Bell, died on May 9 at her home in Lexington, Ky., according to an obituary released by the Kerr Brothers Funeral Home. She was 56.

A native of Lake Forest, Ill., Bell grew up in Potomac, Md., and received an art history degree from Hollins College in Virginia. On a family trip to the Keeneland July yearling sale, she met Jimmy Bell, whose father founded Jonabell Farm, now Darley America’s Kentucky headquarters. They married in 1979.

Bell worked as a fashion consultant with the Carlisle Collection and was an active volunteer with a number of organizations and charities, including Baby Health, the Lexington Cancer Foundation, Horses for Hope, and the Idle Hour Country Club.

She is survived by her husband; children James Gatewood Bell, Jr., Tyler Bell Jones, and Shelby Bell Gressett; grandchildren Eloise Stone Bell, Daisy Williams Bell, James Brereton Jones, Lucy Bell Gressett, and Laine Christian Gressett; sister Hilary Stone Carroll; and father Thomas Edwin Stone.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to Baby Health Services, 1590 Harrodsburg Road, Lexington, Ky., 40504. Services were to be held on May 15 at Christ Church Cathedral, 166 Market Street, Lexington, followed by burial at Lexington Cemetery. Kerr Brothers was handling arrangements.