Evelyn F. SellJune 6, 1923 ~ July 1, 2017 (age 94)
John E. Day Funeral Home
85 Riverside Avenue
Red Bank, NJ 07701
Evelyn F. Sell, 94, of Tinton Falls, passed away on July 1, 2017 at her home at Seabrook Village. She was born in Washington Boro, PA to the late Chester and Grace (Frey) Sherick. She grew up in Washington Boro, and lived in Staten Island, NY before settling in Atlantic Highlands in 1963. She was also a graduate of the Jefferson Medical College of Philadelphia, PA, where she received her nursing degree in 1944.
Evelyn worked at Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia after receiving her diploma. In charge of a men’s ward, she found out the military paid better than the hospital and was ready for adventure and change. Initially she applied to be in the Navy Nurse Corps, but their quota was filled. Never one to give up easily she switched gears and applied to the Army Nurse Corps where she was sworn in as a 2nd Lieutenant, towards the end of WWII. She was promoted to 1st Lieutenant for the U.S Army Nurse Corps after World War II. While serving she traveled to Japan, the Philippines, Germany and was on board ships to and from Europe where she was responsible for taking care of the war brides coming to the states with their babies. Earlier in her career she took care of General John “Black Jack” Pershing at Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington, DC, which she said was “boring duty because he was such an old man.” One time she was coming down the ladder on a ship and she lost her footing. Falling into the arms of General Omar Bradley, he was quite happy to have a pretty nurse in his arms. On one occasion Evelyn, with a group of other nurses, was inspected by General Douglas MacArthur. When she served in the Philippines she was in charge of 3 Quonset huts of medical patients. To protect herself during night duty, going from hut to hut, she carried a large syringe and needle “because men were far more afraid of THAT than a knife or a gun.”
It was on board a ship that she met her husband, Bernal C. Sell – but they called each other “Bill” and “Sherry,” for those were the nicknames by which they were introduced. Married for 46 years, they brought humor, discipline, love and integrity with them wherever they went. Her husband’s job as a marine engineer, away from home for months at a time, meant Evelyn was independent and on sometimes a moment’s notice took her children to see Bill/ Daddy whenever he was in port in the US, even if it meant missing some school.
Evelyn’s nursing days never really ended. If the neighborhood kid got hurt, there she was. A neighbor needed some meals because they were down with pneumonia? Chicken soup with saffron was on its way, as well as someone to evaluate their temperature and cough. After 40 odd years of raising kids, she returned to the official workforce and did homecare as well as Home Health Aide supervision in her 60’s. When she finished THAT gig she was always available by phone for the family or friend questioning a disease, medication or some other nurse type question.
Always looking for a new activity or hobby, Evelyn attended Clown School in her 60’s and she would occasionally make balloons for those in the hospital as well as other events. She was a member of the Red Hatters, Christian’s Women Club and enjoyed sewing and cooking, especially making her homemade bread. For a time she engaged in the 70’s craze of “sand painting” and sold some of her artistic creations at fairs. She was a fierce Scrabble player and if she lost she was known to say, “Well, I just play for fun.” She didn’t fool anyone and played as though world peace was hanging in the balance. Evelyn also loved playing the clarinet, collecting various hats and arranging flowers. Mom had a passion for hats. She had over a hundred decorated for ANY holiday you can imagine, and a few plainer ones. She used to say, “If I want to be incognito, I DON’T wear a hat! Most of all, Evelyn cherished the time she spent with her children and grandchildren, and extended family. Evelyn was a contestant on “The Price is Right” in the late fifties, where the color of her hat got her noticed in the audience.
Evelyn had the gift of hospitality. Whoever you were, whenever you arrived, you could count on a delicious meal, a nice bed and great conversation. She was known to have soup ready at 3am (yes, in the morning) and stay up chatting with her company to all hours. When you visited her she made you feel loved and that you were indeed special. The meals were more often than not indicative of her Lancaster County, PA origins and were made with care and very few measuring devices, much to the chagrin of those who asked her for a “recipe.”
Evelyn was a prayer warrior and a lady of great faith. Becoming a Christian as a grade schooler, and baptized, she grew up in the Washington Boro Church of God in Washington Boro, PA where her parents were active. She read her Bible regularly and sought wisdom and strength from God’s Word. Her favorite Bible verse was Nehemiah 8:10 – “……..the joy of the Lord is your strength,” and so it was. She often taught Vacation Bible School and was active in many churches over the years. She played her clarinet during worship services and also for her own enjoyment. She had many favorite hymns and always said, “It’s a good thing I can play clarinet because my singing voice is terrible.” Her girls can attest to that because if they weren’t out of bed to help with chores early enough on a Saturday morning, Evelyn would run the vacuum down the hall to the bedrooms singing in a grating voice, “Rise and Shine and Give God the Glory, Glory.”
Evelyn’s sense of humor was legendary. She was more often than not, smiling, and even during the most trying of times she found something to laugh about. Her favorite comic strip was “Family Circus,” and would often clip them from the newspaper. She was rarely at a loss for words, and if you called her, you knew you better settle in for a long conversation that ranged from politics to religion, world and domestic events, and everything in between. She was fond of reminiscing and had a sharp and discerning mind.
Evelyn is predeceased by her wonderful parents, Chester D. and Grace F. Sherick, her beloved husband, Bernal C. Sell and her dear brother, Frederick Sherick. Surviving are her three loving daughters, Suzanne S. Sell and her husband Clark Moses, Jeanne DeBenedetto and her husband Daniel, and Joyce Meyers and her husband Christopher, her 10 grandchildren, 4 great grandchildren. She is also survived by Verna Sherick (her late brother Fred’s wife) and her two wonderful brothers, John Sherick (and his wife Etna) and Donald Sherick (and his wife Marilyn.) Also surviving are many loving nieces, nephews and cousins.
A Funeral Home service will be held at the John E. Day Funeral Home, 85 Riverside Avenue, Red Bank, NJ 07701 on Saturday July 8, 2017 at 11a.m Interment will follow at Fair View Cemetery in Middletown. In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be sent in Evelyn’s memory to the American Legion Post 338, 860 NJ-36, Leonardo, NJ 07737.