Miriam McCauley “Mac” Sellers, age 97, passed away Tuesday, May 25, 2021, at Northeast Georgia Medical Center following a brief illness.
Born in Greensboro, NC on August 31, 1923, Ms Sellers was the daughter of the late Samuel Bruce McCauley and Hazel Sparks McCauley. She was preceded in death by her loving husband, William A. “Bill” Sellers, Jr. in 2011, after a marriage of 65 years. Also preceding her in death were her two sisters, Eleanor McCauley Worley and Jacqueline McCauley Bowles. Ms Sellers is survived by her two devoted sons, William A. Sellers III, and Bruce McCauley Sellers, both of Gainesville, GA.
Miriam McCauley grew up in Greensboro, NC and Norlina, NC. The McCauley family was one of the oldest established families of Chapel Hill, NC, stretching back to the mid-18th century, and she was brought up in proud family history and lore. This instilled in her a life-long love of history. After graduating high school in Greensboro in 1941, she followed the single greatest passion in her life and the one thing she had wanted to be all her life: a nurse. She often spoke of when she was a little girl so often standing outside the hospital in Greensboro to watch the nurses through open windows, and seeing them all in white as “angels”. That is all she ever wanted to be. She enrolled in Parkview Hospital School of Nursing in Rocky Mount, NC in 1941, and graduated with a degree in nursing as a registered nurse (RN) in 1944. She instantly began work at the hospital attached to the nursing school, working as a supervisor there for 3 years. This was where she earned the nickname, “Mac”.
As fate would have it, during her time at nursing school she met the love of her life, William A. “Bill” Sellers, whose family lived across the street from the nursing school. A lot of the nursing students would hang out there as the Sellers family entertained a lot of servicemen in their home who were on leave from fighting in World War II. “Mac” and “Bill” maintained a lengthy correspondence during the remaining years of the war, and once the war was over made plans to marry, which they did in 1946. Husband Bill also had a consuming passion (besides her, of course!): trains. Many of their dates consisted of sitting at railroad crossings waiting for a train to come by. While Mac worked at the hospital, Bill worked part-time for the railroad, and being blessed with a mellifluous speaking voice also began stints as a radio announcer. Then began a rather nomadic period that took Mac & Bill to North Carolina, Virginia, and Tennessee. While working in Parkview in Rocky Mount, Mac & Bill welcomed their son William A. Sellers III in 1948. Mac quit for a while to raise a new baby, and when they wound up in Gallatin, TN in 1950, she got a job as nursing “supervisor” for the Gallatin Community Hospital, though she was about the only nurse! Then in 1953, a second son was born, Bruce McCauley Sellers.
After a couple more moves, the family ended up in Gainesville in 1956, where Bill began work as an announcer for radio station WGGA. Word got out that Mac was an RN and Hall County Hospital promptly called and asked if she’d like to come in for an interview. Thus began a 30-year career with what would become the Northeast Georgia Medical Center. Upon starting, she immediately opted for night duty (11pm-7am), and eventually became the Night Duty Supervisor in 1967. After a full 20 years of night duty she was finally named as the Director of Nursing for the hospital in 1977.
Under her leadership, as the hospital grew into it current entity, the nursing staff had to grow as well. All through her tenure, changes had to be implemented to keep up with advances in medicine and in care. It was hard work, and took her away from her first love, which had been hands-on care for patients. However, her intelligence and hard work, combined with innate people skills, earned her deep admiration and respect from all the doctors here who knew her. They all knew who “Mac Sellers” was and knew she represented quality care. “Damn good nurse” was said typically. All those old doctors, her colleagues, who were among the founders of Hall County Hospital have all since passed away, so she really is about the last link to those early days of medicine in this part of the state.
She retired in 1986, after 9 years as Director of Nursing, and husband Bill retired then as well from 20 years working for, as expected, the railroad (Norfolk Southern). In their retirement years, Mac & Bill began to travel around the country to visit historical sites and natural wonders. At home, Mac was a voracious reader, especially favoring books on early American history and Presidents. She also did many works of cross-stitching and crocheting. Bill dove into the hobby of model railroading and spent most of his time with an extensive lay-out in their basement. And thus their lives played out. Bill passed away in 2011, and Mac kept to her reading and keeping up with her two beloved boys, Bill and Bruce. With her passing we can now say that she truly has become one of those “angels in white” that she dreamed about as a little girl.
A graveside funeral service will be held for family and friends on Wednesday, June 2, 2021, at 11am at Memorial Park Cemetery. The Rev. Elizabeth Jennings Powell of Grace Episcopal Church will officiate. (Rev. Powell is the daughter of one of Ms Sellers’ favorite doctor colleagues…very apt.) For people with concerns about Covid measures, the family kindly requests that unvaccinated people, or people concerned about transmission, to please wear masks and exercise social distancing if necessary.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in the name of Miriam Sellers to charities associated with Northeast Georgia Medical Center: The Medical Center Auxiliary (Love Light), or to Hospice of Northeast Georgia Medical Center, available through The Medical Center Foundation, Inc. There is no deep enough depth of gratitude that the family feels for all the doctors and medical staff that have serves us through the years. Donations may also be made to the charity of your choice in Miriam Sellers’ name.
Little & Davenport Funeral Home, 355 Dawsonville Highway S.W., Gainesville. GA 30501 is in charge of arrangements. Those wishing to send online condolences may do so at www.littleanddavenport.com or via the online guestbook at gainesvilletimes.com.
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