Class of 1993
APRIL 1, 1975 – MARCH 28, 2023
Shawn Sell passed away on the morning of March 28, 2023 of complications related to being a dialysis patient for a long term. He had been dialyzing for about 7 years and, due to a variety of unfortunate factors never became eligible for the transplant list.
He is survived by his parents/step-parents Leo Sell (Beth McWhorter) and Margaret “Maggie” Carey (Roger Carey), his daughter Keegan and her mother Colleen “Kelly” McGeachey, and his brother David. Additionally, he is survived by his step-sister Shawn (“Girl Shawn” and “Boy Shawn” were the references used when they were a young, blended family), and step-brothers Roger Jr and Don. And, of course numerous cousins and friends.
Shawn has been a unique soul from the very start of life. We are so blessed to have had him as a son, brother, father, husband, friend. He had a joy in life that few can match and did so despite the multiple physical challenges that mounted over the last number of years.
He was born in Hillsdale Hospital (Michigan) at a time then natural childbirth methods were just beginning to make inroads in the U.S. - small town hospitals being the slowest to accommodate the idea. Shawn was the first Gamper Method of Childbirth (similar to Lamaze) child delivered at that hospital. The local Gamper coaches were hoping to videotape. But, Shawn being Shawn came a little bit earlier and a little bit quicker than planned and, to mom’s relief there was no opportunity to set up for taping. Couple #2 got that “privilege”.
Not long after his birth, the Sell family moved to the Lansing Michigan area for job purposes. The birth of brother David, almost exactly two years to the day after Shawn’s birth, completed the family. (Fun fact: Mother Maggie had the boys on the days before and after her birthday. Celebrations were a three day affair!) The young family spent many vacations camping and enjoying outdoor recreation and Shawn continued with interests for his whole life. Thanks to his grandparents on both sides he learned how to fish Michigan lakes, and got to go fishing and crabbing in Florida. When he was a teenager he began to teach himself fly fishing. He was most pleased to teach his daughter to have the same love of camping and fishing, and more recently, diving.
As is the case with so many, Shawn’s high school years were tumultuous in many ways and he found great solace in his friends (we called it his “tribe”). He remained close friends with many members of those friends well into adulthood. Some still refer to him as “CB”, short for “cold-blooded” - a bit of a reference to a fighting tendency he eventually grew out of. He lobbied his parents to be allowed to get a tattoo starting at about the age of 16 but had to wait for his proper adulthood. Then once the tats began he became an enthusiast much of his skin becoming a canvas for talented artists of the trade.
Eventually, in his 20s, he joined the restaurant business where he met his wife to be (Keegan’s mother, Kelly). A close friend invited the couple to come and visit in North Carolina one Michigan winter and both Shawn and Kelly were quickly sold on the idea of pulling up stakes from wintry mid-Michigan and relocating to the Raleigh area.
Even though he became a very accomplished food person, Shawn’s career continued to evolve as he moved from the food business into the remodeling business. (Food became a hobby and oh, he was such a good cook!!). In the remodeling business, he quickly flowered into a top-achieving sales person for the company. (He had the knack!! No doubt could sell freezers in Siberia!). It was during this time of life that he made connections and became close friends with another top sales person - Joe Bass. It didn’t take them long to realize they could partner and be successful in that same business, but as partners in their own remodeling company. That company became My Guys Remodeling and it’s been very successful and highly regarded in the area and in the industry as a whole.
In August of 2002, Shawn and Kelly became the proud parents of a baby girl, Keegan. Raising Keegan to adulthood and watching her flower and grow is what Shawn would consider his greatest accomplishment by far. And while her parents split, they continued to co-parent and provide guidance and direction that she will always appreciate.
With his deep, sonorous voice, he also loved to sing and enthusiastically gravitated toward Johnny Cash songs at karaoke.
We will miss him greatly, but we know his burdens are put aside now, perhaps “Down by the Riverside” along with his fishing gear.
A celebration of life gathering will take place at a later time.
The family encourages memorial contributions to the National Kidney Foundation.
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.BrownWynneCary.com for the Sell family.