Lt Col (Ret) Rudy Sells

Monday, August 21, 2023

Lt Col (Ret) Rudy Sells, 74, of Blytheville, entered God’s kingdom on Aug. 14, 2023. He was born on Dec. 1, 1948, to Frankie and Sylvia Sells in Livingston, Tenn.

Rudy, the most loving and devoted father and grandfather, is survived by his wife, Jeanette; daughters, Suzanne and Dani; sons-in-law, Sean and Stephen; grandchildren, Mae Claire, Emma, Elle Jae, Keely, and Luke; and his loyal dog, Rocky, who followed him everywhere.

Rudy served as an enlisted sailor on the Navy riverboats patrolling Vietnam, and he is both a Vietnam War and Gulf War veteran. He left for Vietnam a newlywed and returned home to a young family, raising two daughters at Jeanette’s side. Since then, he has filled the world with unparalleled love, grace, and patience. After returning from his Vietnam War tour, Rudy continued to serve in the Navy reserves, and he used the GI Bill to earn a degree in nursing at Middle Tennessee State University. He then was commissioned as an Air Force Officer, and later selected by the Air Force to attend anesthesia school at Lackland AFB, San Antonio, Texas.

A man of boundless experiences, he easily entertained others with wisdom that comes from truly living a hard scrabble life to the fullest. A man of genuine integrity, Rudy loved all, trusted many, and offered a listening ear to family and friends. A man of simple taste who mowed the lawn in scrubs, celebrated birthdays with Skillcraft pens, restored classic cars as a hobby, and enjoyed cross country road trips with his grandchildren. Rudy worked hard to provide his family with the best life possible, planting the seeds that would lead to opportunities for his children and grandchildren unlike any he had known.

Rudy was truly the best of us. He was selfless to a fault, sharp as a whip, and hard-working to the end. The lessons he taught us will never be forgotten. We will live every day as Rudy would have - with a radio playing in the garage, a project backed by elbow grease, and one foot on the gas.