Connor Sell, 20, of Martin, SD passed away Monday, June 28, 2010, due to a haying accident.
He was born March 22, 1990 at Gordon Memorial Hospital, Gordon, NE. He lived his short, but full life with his parents Mary Kay (Hicks) and Dave Sell and one sister, Sue, on their ranch northwest of Martin.
Connor attended Martin Grade School and Bennett County High School where he graduated with honors in May of 2009. He finished his first year of college at Colorado State University, Ft. Collins, CO in May of 2010 and was studying towards a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree.
Throughout his school career he participated in many extracurricular activities including football, wrestling, Cub Scouts and rodeo. He also participated in FFA, one-act plays, Key Club, Sons of the American Legion, National Intercollegiate Rodeo and South Dakota Rodeo Associations.
He qualified for state in wrestling his senior year. He qualified at least in one event for State High School Rodeo all four years. In his junior year he also qualified for National High School Rodeo finals in bull riding.
Connor volunteered much more than on a regular basis, be it donating blood, picking up road ditches, or helping with all the rodeos. Among the many volunteer activities Connor was involved in, included announcing for the Jr. High football games. Many times we were told by fans how much they enjoyed his wit and narrative abilities.
Connor was a very special individual, one who had wisdom beyond his years, coupled with humility, content with the simple things in life. He was an entrepreneur all his life. In school he would sell his mom’s fresh baked cookies among other things to be traded. After graduating from high school in May 2009 he launched a custom haying business, purchasing the equipment and finding the hay by himself.
Connor was never one to shirk a task. It didn’t matter if he had the easy job or the hardest job; he went at it with the same intensity and enthusiasm.
Connor was a cowboy, for sure, whether he was riding bulls and broncs, calf roping and team roping at a rodeo or roping some cantankerous bull on the open range, or the parking lots.
He had a love for the land and took great interest in its stewardship. Through his many beef projects in 4-H and various wildlife management programs he put that knowledge to use.
Connor had started to build a beef cow herd and was interested in applying modern science but also preserved what was good about the old ways. He won practically every award in the Market class from Showmanship to Grand Champion with animals he or his parents had raised.
Connor had a mischievous side and truly enjoyed horseplay. Nobody was off limits with pranks and practical jokes he pulled. If you heard “I’m going to butter your bread,” be ready because it was going to happen.
Connor was a avid hunter, enjoying the hunt itself as much as he did the kill. He was proud of his antelope, deer and especially his elk trophies. Connor was a true friend, irreplaceable son and brother and will be greatly missed by his surviving parents Dave and Mary Kay, sister Sue, maternal grandparents, Ross and Marva Hicks all of Martin, paternal grandparents Gary and Barbara Sell, of Springview, NE, along with numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.
A vigil was held Thursday July 1, 2010, at 7 p.m. at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Martin, and funeral service was held Friday July 2, at 10 a.m. at the Old Legion Auditorium. Interment will be at the Martin Community Cemetery with lunch to follow at the New American Legion in Martin, SD.
A memorial has been established and donations may be sent to First National Bank, PO Box 290 Gordon, NE, 69343.
Bennett County Funeral Service is in charge of arrangements.
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