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Arthur 'Art' Sell

November 17, 1929 April 10, 2024
Arthur 'Art' Sell
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Obituary for Arthur 'Art' Sell

Arthur “Art” Sell of Big Timber, MT passed away peacefully on Wednesday, April 10, 2024, at the Pioneer Medical Center in Big Timber. He was 94. He is survived by his wife of almost 72 years, Barbara “Barb” (Officer) Sell, their five children, David, Kimberly (Danny Prieto), Michael (Denise Rabe), Heidi (Rick Green), and Jeffrey (Teri Tomlinson Sell), his four grandchildren, Cory Sell, Cameron Sell (Abbi Boggess Sell), Shaylee Sell (Alex McCormack), and Eric Sell (Mikenzie Frost), and five great-grandchildren, Riley, Zayden, Sophia, Daxton, and Destry.


After graduating from Sweet Grass County High School in 1948, Art joined the Navy to see the world. He spent the next four years shore-bound in San Diego, running the projector at the movie theatre1 and the Enlisted Men’s Club on base which earned him both extra pay and the nickname “Rackets.” He married Barbara Officer in 1952 in Big Timber.


Art was a man of many careers, working at Citizens Bank, in insurance sales, and at Petajas’ Creamery. Art, Barb & two kids (with another on the way!) moved to Port Orford, Oregon where Art ran a theater. They returned to Big Timber (with two more kids) so Art could help his father, Ed Sell, build the local bowling alley in the former Livery Stable building, which they operated together for several years. Art and his brother Delbert owned a Standard Service station for a few years when the highway still ran through Big Timber. Art then operated his own commercial painting business, painting bridges constructed for the interstate highway system. He was also a roofer and painted houses with the help of his sons and one daughter (his oldest daughter refused to become a house painter, but who can blame her?!). In 1972, Art and Barb opened the Color Shop in Big Timber, which they ran together until they retired in 2001. During that time they purchased Central Lumber & Hardware in Harlowton and later sold it to their youngest son, Jeff, and his wife Teri, who still own and operate the business.


Apart from his many careers, Art was also active in his community. He was a volunteer fireman for the Sweet Grass County Fire Department, he sold and wired the fireworks at the fairgrounds for the annual Fourth of July celebrations, he was a member of the local Jaycees, and was an active leader in American Legion Post 19. He served as the Montana state commander of the American Legion for two terms and was a lifelong supporter of the organization’s work to promote civic and public works in the community. He was a mentor through his church and did everything he could to make the most of his time on earth.


Art loved his family, loved his friends, and always made sure to have a good time. He could gab with the best of them and was always up for a game of cards over a cup coffee at the Hospitality House or down at the Legion. He enjoyed cheap scotch with expensive soda, his martinis dirty, his garden clean, and often had a few extra ears of corn or zucchini to give away. Folks who knew him will always remember his hard work, his kind heart, and can be thankful that they had the opportunity to have a person like Art in their life. He was loved by many and will be missed.


A memorial service will be held at the First Congregational Church on Saturday, July 13, 2024, at 2:00 pm, graveside military service for committal of ashes at Mountain View Cemetery at 3:30, and a reception to follow at American Legion Post 19 at 4:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the First Congregational Church of Big Timber (PO Box 238), the Big Timber Volunteer Fire Department (PO Box 264), or American Legion Post 19 (PO Box 51).


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Upcoming Events

Memorial Service

Saturday

13

Jul

2:00 PM 7/13/2024 2:00:00 PM - 3:15 PM 7/13/2024 3:15:00 PM
First Congregational Church

402 Anderson Street
Big Timber, MT 59011

First Congregational Church
402 Anderson Street Big Timber 59011 MT
United States

Graveside Services

Saturday

13

Jul

3:30 PM 7/13/2024 3:30:00 PM - 3:45 PM 7/13/2024 3:45:00 PM
Mountain View Cemetery

West of Big Timber
Big Timber, MT 59011

Mountain View Cemetery
West of Big Timber Big Timber 59011 MT
United States

Reception

Saturday

13

Jul

4:00 PM 7/13/2024 4:00:00 PM - 6:00 PM 7/13/2024 6:00:00 PM
American Legion Post #19

110 East 3rd Avenue
Big Timber, MT 59011

American Legion Post #19
110 East 3rd Avenue Big Timber 59011 MT
United States
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