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Published: Wednesday, 5/10/2006

Nurse ran insurance, music firms

Joyce I. Sells, 80, a registered nurse and a licensed insurance agent who, together with her husband, owned and operated a former West Toledo insurance agency and an adjacent music store, died of pneumonia Monday in Lake Park Comfort Care.

Mrs. Sells helped Arnold Sells, her husband of 55 years, operate the former Sells Insurance Agency on West Central Avenue near Douglas Road from its inception in 1952 until 2000, when the agency was sold.

She also helped him run the former Special Records and Stuff, which sold new and used vinyl records from its inception in 1984 until 2000, when the store was closed.

"They worked side by side virtually all their married career," her son, Elliott Sells, said. "She enjoyed the day-to-day interaction with customers. She enjoyed the people and helping them solve their day-to-day problems."

Before that, Mrs. Sells worked at Toledo Hospital.

She was a student nurse there in the late 1940s when she met her future husband while caring for his sick mother, Rebecca Sells.

She was the assistant head nurse of the hospital's eighth floor in the early 1950s.

A native of Curtice, Mrs. Sells, whose maiden name was Haack, grew up on a family farm there.

She graduated from Genoa High School in 1943 and received a bachelor of arts degree from Capital University in Columbus and a registered nurse certification from the Toledo Hospital School of Nursing.

In her free time, Mrs. Sells enjoyed family gatherings, camping, fishing Lake Erie and Lake Michigan, and traveling in the United States and overseas.

Mrs. Sells was a member of Congregation B'nai Israel and its sisterhood, Toledo Chapter of Hadassah. Other memberships included the Alumni Association of the Toledo Hospital School of Nursing, of which she was a past president.

Surviving are her husband, Arnold; sons, Elliott, Brent, and Barry; sister, Myra Zaenger, and five grandchildren.

There will be no visitation. Services will be at 11 a.m. Friday in the Robert H. Wick Wisniewski Funeral Home. The family suggests tributes to the Congregation B'nai Israel building fund or a charity of the donor's choice.

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