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BIOGRAPHY

Sell was born as Johanna Emma Stadtlander near Eldora, Iowa on 28 November 1901. She was one of six children born to Carl and Gertie (née Schultz) Stadtlander, having four brothers and a sister. The family moved to Mountain Lake, Minnesota in 1907, and farmed in the townships of Midway and Selma. Sell attended District 27 County School.

On 9 June 1937, Sell married her husband, William “Bill” Sell, in Mountain Lake. The couple had four children: DuWaine, Arlo, Twila, and Marlene, all of whom outlived their mother. In 1952, three of her children survived polio. Sell and her husband also worked in farming, in Amo Township, until his death on 6 May 1958.

Along with her daughter Marlene, Sell relocated to Windom, Minnesota in 1961. She worked several odd jobs, including cleaning and babysitting, as well as caring for seniors, in some cases younger than herself. At the age of 98, she moved into an assisted living facility. In 2005, aged 104, she moved into another care facility where she would remain for the rest of her life.

Sell was a long-term member of the Lutheran Church of Our Savior in Windom. She had a wide array of hobbies, including sewing, crocheting, gardening, baking, cooking, tending her lawn, and in her youth, farming. Her favourite thing to do was spend time with her family.

As a supercentenarian, Sell could no longer hear, and did not talk a lot. She had broken a bone for the first time aged 85, a wrist fracture that was the result of a wringer washing machine accident. During her centenarian years, she suffered two minor strokes.

Sell died on 1 May 2012 at the age of 110 years, 155 days. She was survived by her four children, as well as 15 grandchildren, 36 great-grandchildren, and 13 great-great-grandchildren.

RECOGNITION

Sell’s age was verified by Stefan Maglov and Jimmy Lindberg, and was validated by LongeviQuest on 3 April 2024.

ATTRIBUTION

GALLERY

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