Pat contributed to the community in so many ways

Pat Bell who died peacefully last week.
Pat Bell who died peacefully last week.

A Forfar woman, who contributed in many ways to the town through her love of sport, music and charitable work, died peacefully at Ninewells Hospital last Tuesday at the age of 85.

Pat Bell was a former County Tennis player and champion at Forfar Tennis Club, but was also well-known through her involvement with the RNLI, Forfar Inner Wheel Club, Forfar Golf Club and as a music teacher to hundreds of pupils.

Educated at Forfar Lower Academy and the Higher Academy, Pat (nee Whitaker) was a tennis medallist at Forfar Academy.

Her love of tennis and her passion for the sport locally led to her successfully unearthing trophies belonging to Forfar Tennis Club three years ago and ensuring they were put on public display. She first picked up a tennis racquet at the age of eight when she and Betty Thornton were the only juniors at Forfar Tennis Club.

She went on to play in the 1st Division of The Midlands League and played for the Midlands District.

She won Forfar Tennis Club’s ladies singles championships four years running before leaving Forfar after her marriage in 1952 to John Ramsay Bell.

Prior to her marriage she was a member of St John’s Episcopal Church, playing the piano for the children’s Sunday School and also the organ on occasions.

She joined Forfar East & Old Church after her marriage and played the piano for the Ladies Guild.

She also formed a junior choir which comprised mainly of children from the Sunday School. Pat was a member of the Guild committee for a number of years and sang in the choir.

After her marriage she and her husband moved first to London, where she played badminton for a year, before moving to Edinburgh in 1954 when she went to play at Blackhall.

She competed against local clubs including Colinton and Dean, playing club matches in the first division.

She won the singles for five years in succession and won the ladies doubles and mixed doubles.

She was selected at Craiglockhart by selectors to play for the East of Scotland and won her colours as a County player before she and her husband returned to Forfar in 1970.

She joined the Games Club, Broughty Ferry and again played for The Midlands League before retiring from tennis after 49 years to join Forfar Golf Club where she was a past captain.

An avid sportswoman, Pat also played badminton, bowls, curling and squash.

Away from sport she was a member of the Luncheon Club of Forfar, of which she was secretary, and served as president of the Inner Wheel Club of Forfar.

She served on the committee of the Forfar branch of the RNLI for 24 years, holding the position of secretary for nine years.

Her dedicated service to the RNLI was recognised when she was awarded the bronze medal.

She and her husband were also well-known as teachers of music, with Pat teaching piano to many children in Forfar and Angus for 37 years.

Pre-deceased by her husband in 2004, she is survived by their daughters Susan and Alison, son Ramsay, four grand-children and one great-grandson.

Her funeral took place on Tuesday (yesterday) in the East and Old Parish Church.