US Army

David Allan Sell

November 18, 2019 ~ March 9, 1945 (age 74)


 David Allan Sell, age 74, was born in Davenport, Iowa to William Delmar Sell and Alice Marie (Nash) Sell.  They moved to Southern California when David was an infant.  His father was a music teacher and musician, and David learned to play the violin when he was a child.  When he was 5 years old, he won a state violin competition, competing against all ages.  After switching to the upright bass, he played so well at the age of 17, that he could have joined any major symphony orchestra or taught.  At the age of 18, he joined the Army and was trained in Army Intelligence.  He served 4 years during the Vietnam War.  When he returned to the States, he went to college at the University of California at Redlands, for 1 year, and finished his education at San Diego State University, majoring in art and anthropology.  David became an accomplished artist, creating many works of beautiful art and jewelry.  In October of 1976, David enrolled in the U.S. Border Patrol Academy, 112th class, and entered into duty on the southern border in Chula Vista, California.  In 1978, David met the love of his life, Suzanne (Ballard) Harner, and they married on St. Patrick’s Day in 1979.  David finished his federal service in 1996, as a Special Agent in Anti-Smuggling at Blaine, Washington.  Not ready for retirement, he started another career as a WTA Para Transit driver. He met many fascinating people and shared a mutual admiration with them for 10 years, until he fully retired.  He and Suzanne remained in Bellingham after his retirement, because of their love of Bellingham and the Pacific Northwest.  In retirement, David and Suzanne enjoyed traveling to see their children and grandchildren in Montana and California, as well as trips to Maui and Scotland.  Over the years they have enjoyed their close relationships with David’s college friends, and Sigma Nu Fraternity brothers and their wives, getting together often to party and tell stories.  He also had a special brotherhood with his Border Patrol family.  David was a wonderful man, who lived his life with truth and honor and was an excellent role model for his family. He had a kind spirit and loved his family, friends and country.  David’s loving family, who will miss him dearly, are his wife, Suzanne, their children, Erik (Traci) Harner and children, Ben and Brock; and Joan Covarrubias and children, Jesse and Grace, and his cousins who he loved.  In the spring, when all family and friends can come, there will be a Celebration of Life for David.  We will let everyone know the date and time.

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