Richard Vernon (Dick) Sell passed away on April 15th, 2019 at home surrounded by his children. He had been in declining health the past few years. Dick is lovingly remembered as a husband, father, brother, uncle, grandfather, great-grandfather and great-great-grandfather.
Dick was born in Duluth, Minnesota in 1927 and raised in Reeseville and Superior, Wisconsin. His father owned the local Oldsmobile Dealership in Superior. After graduating from high school in 1945, he enlisted in the Navy and was assigned the job of radar man then ordered to the USS Murray. The destroyer was a staunch escort in many conflicts in the Pacific and present at the formal surrender at Tokyo Bay.
He married his darling wife of 58 years Willa Buxton in 1947.
Working as a stevedore on the docks and with the help from the GI Bill he financed his college education graduating from Superior State College in 1951. He was proud to be presented his diploma by the president of the college, his Grandfather Smith. As a young man Dick trained in the car business starting in the office at his father's dealership learning all aspects of the different departments.
In 1954, the Dick Sell family moved to Gunnison, Colorado where he bought Gunnison Motors Ford. During the early 1960's in Colorado his passion for breeding and raising paint horses was born spanning over 40 years. As one of the founders of the Rocky Mountain Paint Horse Association, he was instrumental in improving breeding programs. He was honored to be recently nominated into the American Paint Horse Association Hall of Fame.
The family moved to the California central coast in 1964 where Dick was employed in the car business managing, selling and other capacities until the age of 90. He loved the business and was extremely proud to work at his son, Mike and grandson Sam's dealership, Rio Vista Chevrolet in Buellton. Dick's grandfather, Otto Sell was one of Henry Ford's earliest Ford dealers in the country. Sam represents the 5th generation auto dealer in the Sell family.
He is survived by his children, Cindy Allan, Mike Sell(Tresha), Mark Sell(Krystal), grandchildren, Jeff Pedersen(Kelly), Sam Sell(Aimee), Corinne Brock(Travis), Jenna Osborne(Joe), Jared Sell(Emily), Adam Sell, (step)Shelby Merrill, 13 great-grandchildren, 1 great-great-grandchild, brother Jeffrey Sell and a loving extended family. Dick is preceded in death by his parents Vernon and Mildred Sell, wife Willa, daughter Linda Pedersen, sister Caroline Eaton and brother Carlton Sell.
A heartfelt thank you is extended to Doctors Beckman, Berkowitz, Alton, Santa Ynez Valley Cottage Hospital, Visiting Nurse and Hospice Care and respective staff for their loving and excellent care.
Dick will be remembered as a man who loved his family, his country, the central coast, watching professional football, basketball, baseball, Fox News and Hannity, a six pack of beer to bbq the perfect tri-tip and the “California Omelete” at the River Grill Restaurant for breakfast on Sunday. A celebration of life is scheduled for 11:00a.m. May 6th at Loper Chapel in Ballard.
Please make donations in his memory to Santa Ynez Valley Cottage Hospital or Visiting Nurse and Hospice Care of Solvang.