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Obituary for SPENCER ELLSWORTH SEWELL
He was a father, grandfather, great-grandfather, uncle – a family man; He was a long time faithful member of Plum Point United Methodist Church – a man of God; He was engaged in numerous community service organizations where his leadership qualities surfaced – a man of concern; He was a genuine friend within the community and willingly provided assistance where seen – a caring and compassionate man; When he saw you, you might have gotten a hug, a smile, a hearty laugh, an encouraging word – a well respected man, a well loved man, unique in so many ways.
This man, Spencer Ellsworth Sewell, the second son of Pinkney and Helen Sewell, was born on March 9, 1927 in Calvert County, Maryland. He acquired his basic education at old Central Elementary School, located on Armory Road (Now Safe Harbor). He continued his education at Brooks High School. There he began to blossom exhibiting many leadership traits which later served him well. His high school yearbook described him as a leader, talented, sharing, caring, and bright; most likely to succeed, most dependable, and the biggest eater. All of these traits we saw in him over the years. His senior year quote was, “He only is a well made man who has a good determination.” This described him with certainty. Although Spencer started out with 110 students in his freshman class, he was one of 23 who graduated from Brooks High School in 1947.
After graduation he became a school bus driver for the Board of Education. In 1951, he negotiated the purchase of a bus and thus became a school bus contractor. When the local school bus contractor association formed, he became the first treasurer, a position he kept for over 30 years. Project graduation was one of the on-going school projects he supported, using his bus free of charge to transport high school students to their alcohol free activities.
Spencer began to work in his family mortuary business while in high school and after graduation he continued to assist part time. This business was started by his grandfather in the late 1880’s and passed down to his father. He became a licensed mortician in 1953, and took over the business in 1976 after the death of his father. The business continues to grow in both size and volume.
The hearse was used not only to transport the dead but also the living. Sick people who had to be taken to out-of-county hospitals were not privy to ambulance service but were accommodated by Sewell Funeral Home. Spencer’s father started this practice and Spencer followed suit. Men of compassion, they received little or no pay but did not complain.
In 1950, Spencer married Gladys G. Reid (Dolly). From this union came four children, Gerald, Marcellas, Spencer Wade, and Gladys Arnel. He took great pride in the fact that his daughter, Gladys and his granddaughter, Roshonne, decided to continue the family business, resulting in the fifth generation of the Sewell Funeral Home.
Spencer was very active in his overwhelming support of Plum Point United Methodist Church. He was church treasurer for over 40 years, member of Finance Committee, Administrative Council, Charge Parsonage Committee, and the Senior Choir. If at any time there was a need and he found out about it, he was there to lend a helping hand. It could be pushing snow, cutting grass, cooking in the hall or other financial support. He however, was supportive of other churches and community groups.
Spencer’s community service included: • Member and past member of Alfred E. Young Masonic Lodge #99, this lodge later merged with Dunkirk Lodge #77, Free and Accepted Masons, Prince Hall affiliated • Member of Calvert County Kiwanis Club where he served as vice-president • Member of Calvert Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees (where he cast a vote to build the current structure as opposed to renovating the old building. A bronze plaque bearing his name is displayed at the entrance to the hospital). • Life member of the NAACP • Member of Calvert County Election Board – Chief Judge • Member of Calvert County Ethics Committee • Member of Assessment and Taxation Panel • Member of Sons of the American Legion Spencer’s community honors included: • Appreciation Day – given by Friends of the Community at Calvert County Fairground • Calvert County Citizen of the Year – from the Tau Lambda Lambda Chapter of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated
On Saturday, April 26, 2014, at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, D.C., God, in his infinite wisdom saw it fitting to call Spencer into the beautiful sunset of immortality. So, we come today to mourn his death but we also come to celebrate his life. He touched thousands of lives in an impressive manner and his benevolent acts will be sorely missed. He was a man of principle, a man of honor, a man of integrity and wisdom.
Left behind with loving memories and to rejoice at his triumphant entry into eternal life are sons, Gerald (Daisy) and Spencer Wade (Hazel); daughter, Gladys Arnel (Wondel); granddaughters, Terri Lynn and Roshonne (Reuben); grandson, Gerald Jr.; great grandson, Sewell, great granddaughter Allahna; sisters-in-law Alice I. Sewell, Beatrice J. Fletcher, Mildred L. Bailey, Phyllis H. Reid, and Ruth N. Reid; brothers-in-law Jesse J. Reid, Sr. and Maurice Bailey, Sr.; family friends, Phyllis Sewell, Keith Broome and Carl Chew; Bus Drivers, Guen, Flo, Becky, Renard, Jimmy, and Sterling, Plum Point UMC Family, nieces, nephews, and other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; wife Gladys; brother, Francis, and son, Marcellas.
Due to limited parking at Plum Point United Methodist Church, beginning at 12:30 PM, shuttle service will be provided from Plum Point Middle School located at 1475 Plum Point Road, Huntingtown, Maryland to the church. Shuttle service will be provided constantly to and from both locations until 6:00 PM.