Katherine F. Bell, 99, a retired Washington school teacher, died Sept. 16 at the Baptist Home in Washington.

An instructor in home economics, she taught at Eastern High School here for nearly 25 years before retiring in 1947. She also had taught at Central High School.

Born near Midway in Scott County, Ky., Miss Bell graduated from the Univeristy of Kentucky with a bachelor's degree in home economics. She taught in Kentucky for two years before moving to Wahington in 1923.

At Eastern she taught, at one time or another, every home economics subject there, including cooking, retail selling and textiles.

In an interview with The Washington Post shortly before her retirement, she confided that she once taught millinery, but that students "just aren't interested in learning to make hats anymore."

When she began teaching, students in her sewing classes were making hobble skirts. Miss Bell noted that as the years went on skirt lengths fluctuated, but not the desire of her students to clothe themselves in the extremes of fashion.

"I always tell a girl what is right for her, but she only learns by making mistakes. Then, when she remakes the dress or suit, she knows," Miss Bell explained.

As she approached the end of her teaching career, Miss Bell expressed concern for her students, whom she felt were not as diligent as they once were. She felt that her later students lacked the "will to work" that their mothers had and did not accomplish as much. She also felt that classes were becoming too large.

She was fond of travel, and had visited most of the national parks in this country as well as Bermuda, the West Indies, Mixico and nearly every country of South America.

Once during the 1930s she was stranded in Patagonia when all normal transportation between Argentina and Chile was ruptured due to diplomatic misunderstandings. Undaunted, Miss Bell crossed mountains and arrived in Chile via mule.

After retiring, she remained active in the University Women's Club international relations group. Miss Bell was a member of the National Baptist Memorial Church for more than 50 years.

She also was a member of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Baptist Home, the Robert E. Lee chapter of the Daughters of the Confederacy, the John Washington chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the American Home Economics Association and the Association of retired teachers.

There are no immediate survivors.