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Sarah SELL

SELL, Sarah Hamilton M.D. 'Sally'Born March 20, 1913, died October 6, 2012. Dr. Sell was preceded in death by husband, Dr. Charles Gordon Rennick Sell; parents George William and India Cowden Hamilton; and brother George William Hamilton. She is survived by sons, Charles Gordon Sell (Beth) of Nashville, TN, and Dr. Clive Hamilton Sell (Miriam) of Phoenix, AZ; grandchildren, Charles and William Sell of Nashville, TN, and Benjamin, David and Madeline Sell of Phoenix, AZ. Born and raised in Birmingham, AL, Dr. Sell received a BA from Berea College in 1934, an MS degree in microbiology from Vanderbilt, and an M.D. from Vanderbilt in 1948. She continued medical training in Pediatrics at Vanderbilt and Cincinnati Children's Hospital, followed by a fellowship in Infectious Diseases at LSU and Charity Hospital in New Orleans, and then was appointed to the faculty of Tulane School of Medicine. While at Tulane, she met and married the charming Englishman, Dr. Gordon Sell, later moving with their two infant sons to Nashville, where she joined the faculty of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. In addition to her clinical and teaching responsibilities, she chaired advisory committees on cancer, kidney diseases, and epilepsy. Her crowning achievement was her research and influence contributing to the development of the Haemophilus influenzae, type b (HiB) vaccine against meningitis in children. The HiB vaccine is now routinely given in the U.S. and is saving tens of thousands of children each year from the death and disability previously caused by bacterial meningitis. Dr. Sell retired from Vanderbilt as Professor of Pediatrics, Emerita, in 1978. She then worked for the Tennessee Department of Health and Environment where she helped set up a cancer reporting system for Tennessee hospitals, and made plans for the cleanup of nuclear facilities at Oak Ridge. Over a lifetime of medical, public and community service, Dr. Sell received numerous honors and awards: establishment of the Sarah H. Sell Chair in Pediatrics at Vanderbilt University, YWCA Athena Award, Tennessee Medical Association Outstanding Physician Award, Vanderbilt Department of Pediatrics Lifetime Achievement Award, Tennessee Pediatric Society Pediatrician of the Year, Helen Farris Award, Vanderbilt Medical Alumni Achievement Award, Nashville Business and Professional Women's Club Woman of the Year, Berea College Distinguished Alumna Award, Nashville and Davidson County Woman of the Year and others. Dr. Sell was a pioneer who led the way for succeeding generations of women. She was the first woman president of both the Nashville Academy of Medicine and the in Middle Tennessee, and the first woman to serve on the admissions committee for Vanderbilt Medical School. Throughout her career she worked to advance the role of women in science. Dr. Sell was devoted to her family, her community, her church, her friends and her profession. She gave herself joyfully and tirelessly to each in full. Mother, wife, scientist, physician, traveler, author, weaver, gardener, friend, Dr. Sell was an intelligent, personable, indomitable soul who loved and was loved by all who knew her. A memorial service will be held at Christ Church Episcopal Cathedral, Nashville, TN, on Saturday, October 20, 2012, at 2 p.m., with visitation and remarks to follow. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Vanderbilt Children's Hospital, the , or Berea College, Berea, KY. CRAWFORD MORTUARY & CREMATORY, (615) 254-8200. Guestbook www.crawfordservices.com

Funeral Home

Crawford Mortuary & Crematory
2714 Grandview Avenue Nashville, TN 37211
(615) 254-8200

Published in The Tennessean on Oct. 14, 2012
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