Richard Sell, known as Dick to friends and colleagues, as Poppa Dick to his grandchildren, and as Mr. Sell to thousands of his former students, passed away peacefully at home on October 7, 2012 with his wife of 65 years, Ruth, at his side.
Dick was born in Rendsburg, Germany in 1920, emigrated to the United States with his family at age 5, and grew up in Chicago. He served his country in World War II as a radio man in the U.S. Coast Guard. While stationed in New London, he met and married Ruth Turner. He later attended Springfield College in Massachusetts where he was a standout basketball and baseball player and graduated with a Master's degree in Education Administration in 1949.
After graduation, he moved with his young family to Bucksport, Maine where he taught and coached basketball, baseball, and football at the high school level. A year after the birth of their third child, the Sells moved to Rutland, Massachusetts where Dick taught high school biology and continued to coach sports at Wachusett Regional High School.
In 1958, Dick and family moved to Wilton, Connecticut. While there, Dick earned an advanced certification in Education from New York University and became Assistant Principal at Wilton High School, later becoming Associate Principal, and served for over 25 years. Dick was a founding member and past president of the John Corr Memorial Scholarship Fund.
As a young man, Dick played college basketball and baseball and later played semi-professional baseball. He passed his love of sports onto his children as a coach and mentor. He was an umpire for Wilton Little League baseball when his two oldest sons played on opposing teams and they remembered him calling balls but mostly strikes when they were at bat. After retiring in 1985, he took up the game of golf and, at age 70, took up downhill skiing. He was a founding member of the Ridgefield Golf Club and a member of the Ridgefield Men's Club.
In addition to his wife Ruth and his brother Otto, Dick is survived by his five children and their spouses: daughter and son-in-law Margaret and Albert Abolafia of Charlotte, NC, son and daughter-in-law Richard and Carol Sell of Wilton, CT, son Robert Jantz-Sell of Bridgeport, CT, son and daughter-in-law Peter and Karen Sell of Queens, NY, son and daughter-in-law David and Susan Sell of Milford, CT; and by grandchildren Sophia, Christopher, Brian, Taylor, Eric, Andrew, Mary Elizabeth, Kevin, Olivia, Daniel, and Lauren.
His family will hold a celebration of his life at a future date.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Dick's name can be made to The Connecticut Food Bank and Springfield College.