Inez Alice Chappell, manicurist

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 arabber 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

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



In addition to her nephew, she is survived by three nieces, Barbara Dunlap, Patsy Chappell and Karen Young, all of Baltimore.