Richard E. Sellers

Richard E. Sellers

 

“The best portion of a good man's life is his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love.” -William Wordsworth

Richard E. Sellers, 93, who died on June 1, 2022, surrounded by family, lived such a life.

Richard (Dick) was born in Yakima to Benjamin F. and Agnes Sellers. He grew up in Yakima attending Catholic schools. Among his fondest memories was any time spent at the cabin that his father helped build near the American River. He liked skiing, camping, and stargazing in the eastern Cascades. He learned the importance of work. First jobs included sweeping floors at a local drugstore, picking hops, apples, and “candling eggs at a chicken farm, not much fun, and bad for the lungs.”

Dick graduated from Marquette High School in 1947 and started his banking career as a messenger for Seattle-First National Bank in Yakima. He joined the National Guard. He met the love of his life, Patricia (Pat) Lamb, at the bank. When he first saw her, he was speechless, too taken to ask her out. Eventually, a friend at the bank set up a double date, and the rest is history. He said that his wedding day was the most beautiful day of his life. Pat and Dick had three children, Gregory Richard, Sharron Patricia, and Linda Ann.

Dick’s banking career took the family to Coulee Dam, Bridgeport (vice-president and manager, Security Bank of Washington), and to the Tri-Cities. At times, he took second jobs in the evening and on weekends. He became certified as a real estate appraiser, working for Rainier Bank and Great Western Savings Bank, and later became self-employed as a residential appraiser. After retirement, he retained an active interest in managing investments and finances.

He was always there for his kids. Ran out of fuel? He brought a gas can to you. Car broke down? He drove miles to pick you up. Missed your ride to the airport at the crack of dawn? He got you there in time. Need someone to wave a campaign sign? He was there at the corner. Working double shifts? He picked up your groceries. He was there for his grandkids, too. Need a ride to or from school, music lesson, or sport practice? He was there. He attended sporting events, concerts, plays for his children and his grandchildren.

After Pat died in 2001, he moved back to Yakima to be near his grandchildren and to renew old friendships. He took walks almost daily with long-time friend, Art Marsh, who said, “He’s one of the nicest, most honest, and generous persons I’ve known in my life.” He became close friends with his new neighbors, Dale and Shirley Phipps. He’d drive hours to visit family and friends, to see how they were doing, to reminisce, or to enjoy Husky football or Mariners baseball with them.

Dick loved cars. He bought his first car as a teen and his last car at 90. He loved the freedom of driving. He could talk cars. His favorite stories often involved road trips. Like the time he drove a new car solo from Chicago back to Yakima for a local car dealer when he was barely 20. That trip involved going to a baseball game at Wrigley Field, visiting an old family friend, and being delayed by a flat tire on a mountain road late at night. Then there was the time he drove to San Francisco with his best friend. And of course, there was the honeymoon road trip to Las Vegas. The road trip tradition continued with his family. Vacations to visit northwest mountains, beaches, national parks, as well as adventures in other states and in Canada.

In his 70s and 80s, his road trips often involved travel with one of his children, whether it was going to Cougar football games, exploring his grandfather’s past at Fort Laramie, Wyoming, or revisiting the American River area of his childhood. And, the short and important road trips for strawberry shakes and hamburgers.

Not all his trips involved cars. He traveled with family and friends to places he had longed to see: Elvis’s Graceland, Hawaii, Alaska, the Normandy Beaches, Paris, London, and Iceland.

Throughout his life, Dick got up in the morning and tried to do his best. His life was fraught with challenges, but his resilience saw him through his 93 years. He was funny, a little bit wry. He was engaged. He enjoyed talking about the news, history, politics, films, and sports. He loved reading. He appreciated good meals. He took pleasure in seeing old movies and shows with quirky characters. Late in life, he developed an interest in watching birds and sunsets from his window.

Dick was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Pat, his son, Greg, his older brother, Ben, and other much-loved family members and life-long friends.

 

He is survived by his daughter Sharron Sellers and her husband Marlin Appelwick, daughter Linda Sellers and her children Jae, Annaliese and Megan McCambridge, and his nieces and nephews.

He loved. He was loved. His generosity of spirit and sense of humor touched everyone he met. He will be greatly missed.

A graveside service will be held at 2 p.m., October 7, 2022 at Tahoma Cemetery in Yakima, followed by a celebration of his life at Wilridge Vineyard.

 

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