May 19, 1947 - February 23, 2021
Fort Atkinson, WI - LaVerne (Verne) Edgar Sell, of Fort Atkinson, died peacefully at home on February 23,2021, two months after receiving an incurable lung cancer diagnosis.
Verne was born on May 19, 1947 to Edgar and Sadie (Teght) Sell. He attended school in Whitewater until the age of 16, when he made the decision to leave school and join the workforce. He joined the United States Army at age 19, where he served honorably for three years. After his return, he went on to work as an upholsterer at Schweiger's, where he was a union member and became a lifelong supporter of workers' rights. Once he left Schweiger's, he worked at several other jobs over the course of his working life.
Verne met his wife Mary in 1970, and from Mary's perspective it was not love at first sight. Luckily for Verne, his tenacity, charm, sense of humor and '69 Roadrunner eventually won Mary over and they married in September 1972. Verne and Mary went on to have three sons: Joseph, Benjamin, and Matthew, born in 1974, 1976, and 1978 respectively. The family laid down roots just outside of Lake Mills in the town of Milford, WI, where they quickly forged lifelong friendships with their neighbors.
Life was not without its challenges for Verne. In 1979, his son Matthew fell suddenly ill and was left permanently disabled until his death in 2020. Then in 1999 his beloved wife Mary received a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer and passed away in 2000. Despite these challenges, Verne was able to maintain a love for life; although often working several jobs at a time, he still managed to usually keep a smile on his face that only grew larger when he finally retired at the age of 60.
Breaking the stereotype of the old codger, Verne loved to go out dancing and could often be found cutting a rug on the weekends. He met his long-term partner, Polly, while out dancing, and the two of them went on to share a life together right up until Verne's death. He had the good fortune to be able to travel the world with Polly, getting to see places he'd only dreamed of visiting one day. Verne read the newspaper daily and passed this habit on to his sons. As he aged, he became more open-minded and was constantly striving to increase his knowledge of current events and social issues. His meat and potatoes palate also broadened. Spicy evolved from ketchup and mayo to hot sauce and aioli.
Verne is survived by his sons, Joseph (Sara) Sell, Benjamin Sell; his partner, Polly Schull, and his brother Ron (Josephine) Sell as well as many nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by his parents, Edgar and Sadie Sell, his son Matthew Sell, and his wife, Mary Sell. A private graveside service took place at Kroghville Cemetery.
Dunlap Memorial Home in Fort Atkinson is assisting the family.