It is with deep sadness and emptiness that I am sharing the passing of my beloved husband, partner in life, and best friend, Walter “Wally” C. Bell. Wally passed away suddenly at 8:28 AM on Monday, June 13, 2022, at Mary Washington Hospital in Fredericksburg, VA, with family and friends at his side.
Born in Endicott, NY, on February 2nd, 1942, to Harold V. and Edith M. Bell. He grew up in Owego, NY, where his parents owned and operated an Owego landmark, Bell’s Fruit Stand. Wally graduated from Owego Free Academy High School in 1960, and went on to study music briefly before deciding cars were his passion.
Wally was drawn to cars and the sport of drag racing in his teen years, attracting him to Automobile Sales, and his first dealership sponsors. That opened the door to what became his first factory sponsors and the beginning of a 38 year career in Drag Racing, becoming an icon to the sport.
Following the birth of his beautiful daughter Vicki, he was recruited into the Life Insurance industry where he climbed the corporate ladder never leaving behind his participation in racing.
He raced a variety of cars over the years including Super Stock in the early days. In the 1980’s Wally became one of the original Pro Modified drivers becoming a popular fixture on the Super Chevy circuit paving the way for what would become Pro Mod. Wally had many accomplishments and received many recognitions within and following his racing career, including being inducted to Drag Racing’s “Legion of Honor” in 2007 and induction into The East Coast Drag Racing Hall of Fame in 2008. After retiring, Wally became a voice of drag racing on Jeff Guilder’s ZEUS Radio broadcasting network, being listened to within many countries throughout the world. “The Wally Bell Show” ran from 2010-2015.
As friends would tell you, Wally loved anything sports and could sit and talk about the recent and past events in just about any sports venue. Of late, he especially enjoyed calling his brother-in-law Rodney while watching the current game or race on TV and discussing the play-by-play action and outcome with him.
Wally was a man of deep love, passion, and opinion which he shared over long conversations with all those who would listen. He had many tidbits of wisdom and he loved to make you laugh.
Wally leaves behind his loving and devoted wife of 39 years, Beverly; daughter Vicki Bell (Raymond Grappone) of Endicott, NY; son Paul Sowers (Rhonda) of Marblehead, OH; grandchildren Nick and Bridget Sowers of Marblehead, OH; sister-in-law Renee Henson (Rick) of Charlotte, NC; brother-in-law Rodney Quick (wife Donna) of Mooresville, NC; several nieces and nephews whom he loved very much; and several cousins and relatives that he kept in touch with through the years.
He was pre-deceased by his parents, Harold and Edith Bell of Owego, NY; brother Ted Bell of Daytona Beach, FL; and brother-in-law Richard Quick and sister-in-law, Debbie of Rehoboth, MD.
The family will receive friends from 2:00-3:00pm on Friday, July 15, 2022 at Covenant Funeral Service, Fredericksburg. A service will follow at 3:00pm in the Covenant Funeral Service chapel where Reverend Bishops Joe and Doris Henderson will be officiating.
We also invite you to “a celebration of Wally’s life” at the Kingdom Family Center located at 400 Bragg Hill Dr. Fredericksburg, VA. 22401 at 5:00 pm. We kindly ask that you RSVP to “the celebration” in one of two ways either by leaving a message under on the Tribute Wall on this site or you may private message Beverly on her or Wally’s Facebook page.