Inez Alice Chappell, a former Pennsylvania Avenue manicurist and thoroughbred racing fan, died Nov. 2 of heart failure at Seasons Hospice at Northwest Hospital Center.
The Northwest Baltimore resident was 86.
The daughter of an a-rab and a homemaker, Miss Chappell was born and raised in West Baltimore and Harlem Park.
She was a 1943 graduate of the old Frederick Douglass High School and Cortez Peters Business School.
For more than two decades, Miss Chappell worked as a manicurist at Pennsylvania Avenue barbershops.
"She didn't have her own shop but went from barbershop to barbershop," said her nephew, Meredith Chappell, who lives in Baltimore.
"Her clients included boxer Joe Louis, comedian Flip Wilson, singer Nat King Cole and a host of other sports players and entertainers," said Mr. Chappell. "She was working on 'The Avenue' during its heyday."
According to her nephew, Miss Chappell's "love in life" was thoroughbred horse racing.
"The Afro American newspaper often referred to Inez as the 'Racing Aficionado,'" he said.
For years until ending it in the early 2000s, Miss Chappell sponsored an annual dinner at Pimlico Race Course that honored African-American jockeys and trainers.
She was a member of Trinity African Methodist Episcopal Church.
Graveside services were held Tuesday at Druid Ridge Cemetery in Pikesville.
In addition to her nephew, she is survived by three nieces, Barbara Dunlap, Patsy Chappell and Karen Young, all of Baltimore.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun