Sarah H. Bell, 84, died Monday, October 7, 2013 at Kimball Farms Nursing Center in Lenox, Mass.
She was born Feb. 20, 1929 to Harry W. and Anna (Wade) Haglind.
A native of Howe, she was the niece of Dr. Alfred Wade and Dr. Frank Wade, prominent LaGrange County physicians, and her mother taught Latin at LaGrange High School. She graduated from Indiana University in 1950 and was a community and environmental activist for more than 60 years. She and her husband moved to Massachusetts in 1955. After commuting to the Western New England College of Law while working as a legal secretary, she received her law degree in 1979 and became a member of the Lee law firm Hannon, Lerner, Cowhig, Scully, and Bell with an emphasis on real estate, probate, and municipal law. She was a former chairman of the Massachusetts Board of Environmental Management and served as vice chairman of the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission and later as a planning and zoning consultant. She was also a consultant to the Berkshire Natural Resources Council and many other planning and environmental organizations on an informal basis. She served as chairman of the Lenox Planning Board and the Lenox Department of Public Works. She was chairman of a Lenox Town Government Study Committee in 1990-1991, whose work led to legislation creating a town manager form of government. More recently, she was a founding member of the Lenox Land Trust. She was also a founding director of the Massachusetts Outdoor Heritage Foundation. Especially in her early days in the Berkshires, she was active in the League of Women Voters and the NAACP.
She was married in 1950 to William F. Bell. He survives.
Also surviving are four children, James, Lenox, Mass., Charles, Ossining, N.Y., Philip, Northampton, and Sarah, Lewisburg, Penn.; two grandchildren; and one sister, Mary Brockway, Michigan City, Ind.
Liturgy of Christian Burial was held Friday, October 11, at St. Ann's Church in Lenox, Mass., by Msgr. John Bonzagni.
Memorials may be directed to the Visitation Monastery of Tyringham or to HospiceCare in the Berkshires.
Roche Funeral Home in Lenox, Mass., was in charge of arrangements.