Sara Alice Whitehead Sellers
Sara Alice Whitehead Sellers, 87, Johnson City, passed away Saturday, November 14, 2020.
A native of “Old Butler,” Johnson County, she was the daughter of the late Carson Hamilton and Eliza Ann Robinson Whitehead. She was preceded in death by her husband, Clyde Marion “Mike” Sellers, and by five sisters and eight brothers.
Mrs. Sellers was a 1951 graduate of Happy Valley High School and a member of Sinking Creek Baptist Church, where she attended the Ambassadors for Christ Sunday School Class. She had a 30-year military career in the United States Air Force, serving in Germany, Korea, Okinawa, the Aleutian Islands, Spain, England, and several stateside postings, and retiring as Chief Master Sergeant. Her outstanding military career gave true meaning to “Duty-Honor-Country.”
Some of her notable accomplishments included serving as a Commissioner on The American Battle Monuments Commission, appointed by President George W. Bush; Secretarial appointee to the Veterans Advisory Committee on Women Veterans; Chairman Emeritus of the Tennessee Commission on National and Community Service; being appointed by President George H.W. Bush to the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Service; and Secretarial appointee and advisor to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Washington D.C. Mrs. Sellers also spearheaded the effort to establish a local veteran’s memorial located in downtown Elizabethton.
Mrs. Sellers was an active member in numerous organizations and held various leadership positions in the Veterans of Foreign Wars; American Legion; Disabled American Veterans; Korean Veterans and Vietnam Veterans of America; National Federation of Republican Women Board of Directors; Tennessee Federation of Republican Women as Regents Chairman; Republican Executive Committee of Carter and Washington counties; TFRW Vice President; and NFRW Armed Services Committee. She also served as Carter County Chairman for the Bush-Quayle Presidential Campaign; and the campaigns for Don Sundquist for Governor of Tennessee, and Fred Thompson, Bill Frist, and Lamar Alexander in their bids for United States Senate.
Mrs. Sellers’ volunteer work exemplified her deep concern for the less fortunate. To this end, she proudly served on several community organizations including the Board of Directors of the Sheppard’s Inn Battered Women’s Shelter; America’s Promise, which promotes reading to children; Board of Directors of Assistance Resource Ministries (ARM); the Lions Club International; Operation Purple, providing adult supervision and role models at summer camps throughout the United States for children whose military parents are deployed in war zones or are away from home; and she enjoyed reading books to children at Central Elementary School.
She is survived by a brother and sister-in-law, Paul and Jean Whitehead, and several nieces, nephews and cousins.
A private family graveside service for Mrs. Sellers will be conducted with Pastor Jason Hoagland officiating. Military Honors will be conducted by Shaw Air Force Base, Sumter, S.C. Honorary pallbearers will be Dennis Henegar, Alex McKinney, Alan Taylor, Wesley Taylor, Tom Whitehead and Vince Whitehead. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the graveside service will be family only. Family and friends may register their presence at Memorial Funeral Chapel on Thursday, November 19, from 1 to 5 p.m. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, everyone is required to wear a mask and practice social distancing. The family has requested in lieu of flowers, if you wish to express your sympathy, donations may be forwarded to “Oldest Church in Tennessee Restoration Project,” c/o Sinking Creek Baptist Church, 2313 Elizabethton Highway, Johnson City, TN 37601. Condolences may be sent to the family at our website, www.memorialfcelizabethton.com.
Memorial Funeral Chapel in Elizabethton is serving the Sellers family.