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Leon Sell

April 7, 1937-April 10, 2008

Leon H. Sell, 71, of Moorhead, died Thursday, April 10, 2008, in the Veteran's Affairs Medical Center, Fargo.

Leon Harlan Sell was born to Harley and Hilda (Johnson) Sell on April 7, 1937 in Amenia, N.D. He grew up on the farm and attended school in Amenia. After graduating in 1955, he joined the U.S. Navy and served until 1957. Leon worked for Schultz & Lindsey Construction until 1958, and then began working for International Harvester. On June 20, 1958, he married Judy Thorson in Moorhead.

In 1960, Leon began working for North Star Dairy and MidAmerica Dairy as a route salesman for 10 years. While working as a milkman, he began working part time as a real estate salesman for Wagner Realty in Moorhead, which became his full time career in 1968. He became part owner of the company in 1977. By 1982 he became the sole owner of Wagner Realty.

Leon's 35 years in the real estate business produced many awards and achievements. In 1997 he sold his office at the Moorhead Center Mall. He worked at ReMax Realty for a short time, and then went to work for Kvamme Real Estate, where he was licensed until a tragic misfortune resulted in him becoming paralyzed, confined to a wheelchair and a resident of Eventide Nursing Home.

Because of that, Leon retired in April 2003. He moved back home in March 2007, with the compassionate and excellent care provided by nurses coming in a few hours each day. Judy was also able to care for him with the help of their children and grandsons when needed.

Leon thoroughly enjoyed being home and loved the independence of having a handicap-accessible van that he could drive with hand controls. The summer of 2007 was a time for weekends at the lake with family and a nurse to help with his needs. Life was as good as it was going to get, considering his paraplegic condition.

A second tragic incident happened on Aug. 30, 2007. Leon was rear-ended when he was stopped at a stoplight in Detroit Lakes and was critically injured. He had been hospitalized since that time.

Leon and Judy also own and manage Ju-Lee Apts & Investments. They enjoyed traveling, on trips that included visits to Italy, for the birth of their first grandson. Travels also included trips to Hawaii, Jamaica, Mexico and Caribbean cruises, along with their annual trips to Las Vegas. Wonderful memories were made on each of these trips.

Leon and Judy loved entertaining at their Moorhead and lake homes with friends, relatives and for Wagner Realty Office parties. Some of Leon's happiest times were spent at the family's lake home on Middle Cormorant Lake that they had enjoyed since 1973. He loved country music, dancing, traveling, playing cards and watching football. In his earlier years he enjoyed hunting and fishing.

Leon was a member of the American Legion, Eagles Club and the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd. He was also a former member of Fargo-Moorhead Board of Realtors, FM Homebuilders Association and the Moorhead Chamber of Commerce.

Survivors include Leon's wife of nearly 50 years, Judy Sell; daughter, Kimberlee Toll of Moorhead; sons, Marty Sell of Minneapolis and Mickey (Andrea) Sell of Moorhead; three grandsons; his mother, Hilda Sell of Amenia; sister, Donna Schultz of Fargo and her two daughters; as well as many uncles, aunts and cousins.

Leon's father, Harley Sell, preceded him in death in 1994.

The family would like to give a special thanks to all of the doctors and nurses for the wonderful care over the past five years.

Funeral services were held Monday, April 14, 2008, at the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Moorhead, with interment following at Sunset Memorial Gardens, Fargo.

Wright Funeral Home of Moorhead was entrusted with arrangements. A guest book and video tribute are available online at