Retired Navy captain William Joseph Davis Bell Jr., 70, a former Washington representative of the Jones and Laughlin Steel Co., died Saturday in Hollywood, Fla., after suffering a heart attack.
Capt. Bell was born in Lynchburg, Va. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin and attended Harvard University's business school.
During World War II, he was wounded by shrapnel while acting as a Navy beachmaster in the invasion of the Japanese-held islands of Saipan, Eniwetok and Kwajelein.
After the war, he served as a planning officer for the Military Sea Transport Service.
He then moved to Washington and worked as a consultant in private industry. About 1966, he joined the Jones and Laughlin Steel Co. as their Washington representative. He retired in 1970.
Capt. Bell had achieved notice in the press at the 1968 Republican National Convention in Miami Beach by operating a free shuttle service for convention delegates unable to obtain regular taxi service. This "good will" gesture was so successful he repeated it at the conventions of 1972 and 1976. He was active as a political consultant after his retirement from Jones and Laughlin.
He lived at the Army & Navy Club in Washington, where he had also served as treasurer. Capt. Bell also had been treasurer of the Historical Research Foundation in Washington.
Survivors include his former wife, Louise Couch Atherholt, of Lynchburg, a daughter, Louis Atherholt, of Richmond, and a sister, Clara Bell Gurkin, of Norfolk, Va.
The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Army & Navy Club of Washington or to the Historical Research Foundation.