Friday, August 17, 2012

Matthew Sheldon Sell, M.D.

Matthew Sheldon Sell was born Jan. 22, 1954, and died Aug. 11, 2012.

What big shoes he left to fill. His actions and words were filled with patience and kindness. You always knew you were being heard. Those lucky enough to work at his side felt proud of their association. His sense of humor and calm during critical situations spread confidence among those around him. He provided clear instruction, sound knowledge and gentle care.

Born in Berea, Ohio, his family moved to Wisconsin, where he attended high school in New Berlin. He rose to the top in academics and competitive swimming, earning him a scholarship to Syracuse University.

He continued to enjoy Wisconsin Badger football, along with beer and brats, but also supported Orangemen basketball, graduating in 1975.

While at Syracuse he was elected Phi Beta Kappa and went on to attend medical school at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, graduating in 1980.

During first year gross anatomy class, he met his love and constant companion, Peggy Ann Rupp. They were married between national board exams and clinical rotations.

They matched as a couple for residency at the University of Iowa, spending five years in Iowa City. Their handsome son, Christopher, was born in their last year of fellowship.

Searching for a practice position and permanent home, they chose Boise, which they agreed was the best decision ever!

Matthew joined Margaret Watkins, M.D., at St. Luke's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, introducing cutting-edge ideas including ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation), use of surfactant and high-frequency ventilation.

Their beautiful daughter, Katharine, arrived in 1990.

His group moved on to St. Alphonsus to set up its first neonatal intensive care unit. Matthew continued there for more than 10 years as the medical director of the NICU and co-director of pediatrics.

His hard work brought recognition from staff and administration. Awards included Teacher of the Year, 1992; Physician of the Year, 2009; Physician Achievement Partnership Award, 2011; and he promoted the successful introduction of electronic medical records by active participation on the Genesis Advisory Committee.

In addition to his dedication to and love of infant care, he lived life fully, including family and friends in automobile racing and restoration.

His favorite car, a 1939 BMW 328 was shown at Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance and participated in three runs of the famous California Mile.

He was a great skier and ensured his family could keep up by providing race school experience with the Bogus Basin Ski Racing Alliance. His recent triathlon competition was a dream that continued his love of competition and adventure.

Matthew has accomplished much, served and taught many and, on the way had a wonderful, happy life. He touched so many and shared graciously his love, knowledge and care. No one knows this more than his family who had a full measure of that love and guidance. All he taught us, and the love he shared, will keep his memories strong and joyful.

Matthew is survived by his wife Peggy Ann Rupp, M.D.; son, Christopher, of Portland, Ore; daughter, Katharine, of San Francisco; father, Raymond Sell, and wife, Lois, Pewaukee, Wis.; mother, Delores Sell, New Berlin, Wis.; brother, Mark Sell, and wife Joanne, Muskego, Wis; sister Leigh Anne Lemke, and husband, Lee, Grafton, Wis; brother, Peter Sell, Ariz.; uncle Richard Green, and cousins, St. Petersburg, Fla.; nephew Jim Sell, and niece, Crystal Sell Felten.

His close friends are truly family and have added much love and joy to his life.

The family would like to thank Dr. Vetter for his efforts and Drs. Dzitezkowski and Bobrowski for their incredible support, along with the other race volunteers who acted quickly on his behalf.

Memorial Scholarship Fund: University of Wisconsin Medical School—Infant Care.

Please email:  HYPERLINK "" for more information on donating.

A memorial service to which all his friends, family, coworkers, colleagues and patients were invited was held at 4 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 16, at the First United Methodist Church (Cathedral of the Rockies), 717 N. 11th St., Boise, Idaho 83702 in the sanctuary.

Arrangements are by Summers Funeral Home, Boise, Idaho (208) 343-6493.

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