Date of Birth
Date of Death
RALPH WILLIAM SELLS, age 85, of Batavia, passed away surrounded by his family, with love and prayers on July 2, 2013 at Edward Hospital in Naperville after a long battle with heart disease. He was born on December 11, 1927, in Elmwood Park, the youngest child of Henry T. Sells, Sr., and Anna Pawlouski At a Texaco station where he was working, Ralph crossed paths with Ursula in May of 1951. A favorite date was watching the stock car races at Soldier Field in Chicago. They were soul mates at first sight, engaged by July and married on February 2, 1952 at St. Priscilla Church in Chicago. They first lived with Ursula’s parents, and then moved to their own apartment where their first child, Ralph Walter, was born. When the service station moved, Ralph followed. He bought a wrecked "51 Plymouth, repaired and traded it to a farmer for a half acre in Lombard, on which they had a shell home built in March 1954. Ralph finished the interior, installing beautiful hardwood floors and built knotty pine kitchen cabinets. In June of 1956, their second child, Yvonne, was born. Ralph and a friend bought the Texaco station in 1958, where they did major auto repairs. In 1959, he sold out to his partner when he and Ursula decided to move to California, where a third child, Valerie, was born. Ralph purchased a Union 76 service station in Colton and they moved into their new home in Grand Terrace. A year later they decided to end the adventure and returned to buy a home in Glendale Heights, IL. Ralph took a position with King Sales Gauge Corporation, a service and sales franchise for industrial liquid level gauges, greatly expanding the business through his efforts for the next 28 years. In January of 1962, during a mammoth snowstorm, he hurriedly dug the car out of the snow to drive Ursula to the hospital, but their impatient fourth child, Jane, was born in the car. To accommodate the larger family, he built an addition of two bedrooms and family room to the house. During the children’s teenage years, weekends were spent camping in the family’s RV’s. In 1976, Ursula went for a ride and spotted a raised ranch for sale on a country ¾ acre. The next morning the whole family went to view and buy the new house in Batavia, IL. It was this house that Ralph showed off his green thumb by canning the bountiful harvests from his garden. In the spring of 1978, a summer home was purchased on the Fox River and the next fifteen years were filled with weekends and vacations filled with picnics, boating, remodeling and building a two story addition. In 1990, Ralph left King Gauge and opened his own business, Complete Gauge Company, with his wife. They closed their doors in 1994, due to an acute case of retirement, sold their river house and replaced it with a winter home in Sun City West, AZ. Ralph never needed instructions; he just knew how to do perfectly anything and everything that came his way. Ursula would not let him near her sewing machine when he wanted to sew coal bags for his model railroad coal car, because she needed to be better than he was at just one craft. Some of his hobbies were cooking, even baking delicious bread, growing and canning food and oil-painting pictures for family and friends. When Ursula requested an oak grandfather clock, he made one for her with only a catalog picture to guide him. When she requested an oak cradle for the grand-babies, he again obliged her. His favorite game was Rumikub. His favorite shows were "The Rifleman" and other westerns. He taught his children how to follow in his footsteps and do many of the things that came naturally to him. His patience, support and kindness with everyone was unlimited. All his spare time was devoted to his family and their needs. To his family, he was above and beyond any man they would ever know. To Peekaboo, a Toy Poodle, that was his constant companion stuck with Velcro to his heel. He was the sun, moon and stars. He is survived by Ursula, who has loved him for 61 years;Four children:Ralph (Nancy) Sells, Valerie Fritz, Jane Sells, all of Batavia, and Yvonne Applegate of Rochelle;Eight grandchildren:Nicole (Wayne) Darrah, Ashley, Shannon, Karissa, Michael, Nicholas and Joe;Three great-grandchildren:Morgan, Garrett and Landon;One sister-in-law, Irene;A step-mother, Margaret;Three sisters:Danette, Rexann and Janice;Many nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by is parents, Henry and Anna Sells;Three siblings:Edward, Virginia and Henry;A sister-in-law, Ethel and a brother-in-law, George. A memorial service to celebrate his life will begin at 11:30 a.m., July 20, 2013, at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn, with a time of visitation from 9:30 a.m. until the time of service. Rev. Ernst Rex, pastor of Grace Lutheran Church, Lily Lake, will officiate. Private family interment will follow at a later date. The family respectfully requests no flowers be sent and any memorials be sent to the charity of your choice.