Gloria Flathmann Bell
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Gloria Flathmann Bell

Indialantic, FL

Gloria Flathmann Bell, DDS, departed this earth on Sunday, December 21, 2014.  She was 88 years old. Gloria was born in Charleston, SC, the only child of Bertha Corin and Edward Sperry Flathmann.  Her father died suddenly when she was 13.  His death served to focus Gloria's attention on the health care as a career. Gloria completed high school with top honors by the age of 16 and then attended Winthrop University in Rock Hill, SC to study chemistry.  At age of 18 she moved on to Emory University School of Dentistry in Atlanta, eventually graduating 3rd in her class as a 22-year old. She earned Board Certifications in GA, SC, and FL.  In 1949 Gloria moved to Panama City, FL and began her professional career interning with Dr. Spencer Fields.  She also became the vice-president of Bay County Dental Society.

In 1950 Gloria met Lawrence Bell, Sr. on a blind date set up by a mutual friend. The two were married in 1951.  A few months following their wedding, Gloria's capabilities were again tested and now at 24, she found herself running Dr. Fields' office as he was called as a reservist to serve in the Korean War.  In 1958 Gloria and Lawrence, Sr. moved to Ft. Walton Beach, FL so they would be closer to Lawrence's work at Eglin AFB and Gloria took time off from dentistry to raise their two sons, Lawrence, Jr. and Scott.  In 1959 the family packed up again and moved to the Space Coast; Lawrence, Sr. had been transferred to Cape Canaveral to work as an engineer with NASA.

In 1960 the Bell home in Indialantic was built, and in order for Gloria to resume her career, as well as handle her mom-duties, the builder, Pete Echols, incorporated a dental office into one section of the home.  The practice grew and thrived.  Gloria's passion for dentistry was well-known by other dental professionals, and her skills and chair-side 'southern-lady manners' were appreciated and enjoyed by her patients.

Gloria and Lawrence, Sr. were involved in the community, especially in Boy Scouting and sailing.  The two loved traveling, dancing and cheering for Auburn.  During the '70's, they would make frequent trips to Auburn to watch Lawrence, Jr. march in the Auburn Band and Scott play basketball.  They were also active members at Eastminster Presbyterian Church.  In 1992, Lawrence, Sr. passed away and Gloria turned her attention fully to the dental practice with her son Scott, her partner since 1984.  Each Friday, she had lunch with Scott and on Sundays was dinner and shopping with Lawrence, Jr. In 1988, with the birth of their first grandchild, Gloria became a devoted grandmother and was christened with the name "Gimmie" by Laura when she was a toddler.  The three grandchildren all enjoyed her legendary oatmeal and visited her frequently as they lived in the house next door to hers.

Gloria was recognized as an Honorary Member of the Delta Kappa Gamma Teachers Society and by the American Dental Association as one of the few female dentists who had given 60 years of service to the profession.  She is also an Emeritus Staff Member at Holmes Regional Hospital / Health First in Melbourne, FL.

Gloria was predeceased by her husband of 41-years, Lawrence, Sr. and leaves behind her sons, Lawrence, Jr. (Rorie) and Scott (Alison); her three grandchildren, Laura, Davis and Wil, were the light of her life.  Gloria had many longtime family members and friends as well as the 'Girls in the Office' who became extended family.  Gloria had deep Charleston roots and leaves behind many family members including her beloved cousins, Barbara Weaver and Dolores Riggs.

Visitation will be held at Brownlie-Maxwell Funeral Home in Melbourne, FL from 5 - 7pm on Friday, December 26 with funeral services on Saturday, December 27 at Life's Oasis in Melbourne.  Internment shall follow at Florida Memorial Cemetery in Rockledge.

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Published in FloridaToday from Dec. 24 to Dec. 26, 2014.
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Memories & Condolences
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26 entries
April 29, 2015
Dr. Flathmann was a lovely, kind and gentle person. She will be missed greatly. Our prayers and thoughts are with you.
David and Pat Claycomb
David and Patricia Claycomb
January 7, 2015
Our condolences to you and your family Larry. Your Mom was an amazing woman, I enjoyed reading about her... We feel your pain and understand exactly your sorrow... Your Mom will always be with you in spirit. I feel mine everyday day! Know that love and prayers with you...
Holly & Shad Culp
December 31, 2014
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
December 30, 2014
Our condolences to the Bell family. Your mother was a wonderful lady and great dentist. We looked forward to each of our visits. Larry and Scott, we wish you peace.
The Dale Cox family
December 30, 2014
I am very sorry for your loss. May the God of all comfort be with you during this difficult time. My thoughts and prayers are with you in your time of grief. May your memories bring you comfort. My heartfelt condolences to the family during this time of sorrow. (1Corinthains 15:26) (Isaiah 61:1,2) Please find peace in knowing that He understands your grief and He cares. 1 Peter 5:6,
December 29, 2014
Dear Larry and Scott
I love the memories I have of visiting you all through the years. Your mom Gloria was always so elegant and gracious with her twinkling eyes and smile. I remember how much we would laugh about Chipper.
I regret not coming to visit these last few years. But I will be in touch with you both. Your mom was a wonderful person. Love Rebecca
Rebecca Segal
December 29, 2014
Dr. Flathmann was just an amazing genteel Southern Lady. She will be missed by anyone who ever had the Blessing of seeing her. Always with a kind word and a good heart. Peace and Love to All of you during this hard time.
Lisa Taylor
December 28, 2014
I am so sorry to hear she had passed away. I will always remember how kind she was to me when I worked with her and her son!
Vickie Smith
December 28, 2014
My deepest sympathies to the Bell family. May your memories and strength from the God of all comfort help you all through this difficult time.
Pinckney Daniels
December 27, 2014
To the family and the girls in the office, please accept my sincere sympathy for you in your sorrow.
Rose Marie Adkins
December 27, 2014
We are all thinking about you all in this sad time of grief. We will all miss Aunt Gloria so much but our memories are of all the good times and love your Mom showed our kids and family. You and yours are in our prayers. Peace and comfort to all your family. From Jerry, Karen, Daniel and Katie Weaver
Jerry Weaver
December 26, 2014
Hi Scott, I was sorry to hear about your Mom's passing. Ted reached out. She was a wonderful, compassionate woman. I remember how she kept us in Chips Ahoy while we sat at her kitchen table and studied Math in HS
Cindy Smith
December 26, 2014
My most sincere condolences. May the peace of God comfort each and every member of the family.
Rose Shore
December 26, 2014
Rose Shore
December 26, 2014
I was so sorry to hear of your mothers passing. I never had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Flathman. Steve spoke so highly of your mom both as a fine dentist and a fine lady. My sincere condolences to you & your entire family.
Dian Croce-Halverson
December 26, 2014
Scott and family, Theo, Jacob and I are so very sorry to hear of Dr. Flathmann's passing. We have enjoyed her being our dentist for many years. It's always been such a blessing to visit your office and to see her. She always made us smile and definitely is one of the classiest women we have ever met.

Reading the obituary made me astounded at her achievements at such a young age. An amazing woman to say the least!!!

We are very sorry that we can not be at the visitation or funeral as we are in Panama City. We'll be saying prayers for you all here at the place your family all began. God bless you all.
Marcie Kinney-Adkins
December 26, 2014
Dr. Flathmann was my dentist and gave me my first job in 1971. I consider it a privilege to have known her and to call her my friend. She will be missed by all those who knew her.
Janice Del Buono
December 25, 2014
Larry, Scott, Alison, Rorie and grand kids, we were sad to hear of Aunt Gloria's passing last week. Even though we live in Charleston and rarely see everyone, the Bell family has always been close in our hearts and minds. Mom has been very sad over the loss of her dear friend and travelling buddy. She was telling me the story of their childhood when Aunt Gloria and her would ride their bikes through downtown Charleston and have the grandest time. She was like a close sister to Mom and Barbara Weaver Mom was able to see the world with Aunt Gloria and your family and she holds those times close to her heart with wonderful memories. She will be sadly missed and our family will hold her graciousness and loving soul in our hearts forever. May she rest in peace and the Lord's Grace look upon your family in this time of sadness. With all our love, Jody, Brenda, Joseph and Dolores Riggs (and all the family in Charleston)
December 25, 2014
So sorry to hear about Dr. Flathmann. She became our dentist in 1962 and Larry was my Supervisor at NASA. Her recommendation of Auburn University to our daughter was most influential in the course of our family's life. We are most grateful to have known her and her family.
J.D. and Barbara Collner
December 25, 2014
So sorry to hear about your mom's passing. She was my favorite dentist. She was always very sweet, kind, and happy! I will truly miss her.
Betsy Earle
December 25, 2014
This wonderful lady will be missed by all that know her.
Joe Sutphin
December 24, 2014
Wishing your family peace during this difficult time.
Libby White
December 24, 2014
My condolences for your family's loss. During these difficult times may you hold close to you the good memories. May you lean on Jehovah the God of all hope for comfort and peace. Jeremiah 29:11
December 24, 2014
My deepest sympathy to the family. May the Lord walk with you now and forever.
Rhonda Bell Metsker
December 24, 2014
Gloria was our dentist and friend for fifty years. She was a lovely person. Deepest sympathy to the family.
Andrea Deratany Blasy
December 23, 2014
It was a privilege and pleasure to work for/with you. A true Southern Belle. I will cherish the memories.
Phyllis McKay
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