She was born Nov. 22, 1920, in Dunbar, W.Va., the daughter of Arie Clinton and Virginia Victoria (Trent) Westfall. After graduating from Dunbar High School, she received her R.N. from Charleston General School of Nursing, Charleston, W.Va., where she was employed as a Registered Nurse and volunteered for the American Red Cross. She also attended Morris Harvey College in Charleston.
During World War II, she enlisted in the U.S. Army in January 1942, where she served as a nurse in charge of wards and clinics at Army Air Force installations in the U.S. In March 1944, she graduated from the A.A.F. School of Air Evacuation at Bowman Field, Kentucky and became a flight nurse. She accumulated approximately 1350 flying hours bringing wounded soldiers home to the US from the European Theater. She was awarded the Air Medal "for meritorious achievement while on medical air evacuation flights outside the continental United States."
In 1946, while stationed at Keesler Field, Mississippi, she met a pilot who was returning from the Pacific, George W. "Red" Sellmer. He called her "Rose" and from then on she was known as Red's Rose. Flight nurses were not allowed to marry, but she and Red were secretly married while she was still in the Army. In February 1947, she received her honorable discharge after serving more than five years in the Army Air Corps. They lived in Florida where Rose worked as an R.N. at Florida State University while her husband returned to school. The couple and their young daughter moved to Indianapolis so "Red" could attend IU School of Medicine. Rose was an instructor at St. Vincent's Hospital School of Nursing and in 1954 assisted in setting up her husband's general practice office in Nora.
After her second son was born in 1956, she devoted herself to raising her family and volunteering in the community. An active member of Union Chapel United Methodist Church, she served on the Administrative Council, Missions Coordinator, President and member of U.M. Women, U.M. Board of Mission Auxiliary of Indianapolis, where she was responsible for Christmas Shopping at Fletcher Place and served from 1964-1980 as Secretary, Vice President and President of Fletcher Place Community Center, Metro Ministries Board of the U.M. Church and volunteered extensively for Brightwood Community Center. She volunteered with the Indianapolis Alzheimer's Association, from 1985-1987 she was the first State President of the Indiana Federation of Alzheimer's Support Groups and received an Award of Recognition in 1996. In 1987, she was appointed by Governor Robert Orr to serve on the newly enacted Alzheimer's Disease and Related Senile Dementia Task Force, was past treasurer of the Marion County Council on Aging and a member of the Central Indiana Council on Aging. In 1995, she was proclaimed by Mayor Goldsmith as a winner of the Mayor's Volunteer Partnership Award.
She was a charter member of Woodland Country Club in Carmel and enjoyed playing golf, bridge and attending IU Basketball games with family and friends. After moving to Brazil in 2002, she was a member of the Brazil Women's Reading Club.
She was preceded in death by her husband in 1999, her father and stepmother, Fern "Toots" Westfall, her mother and stepfather, Bill Wolfe, and one brother Wilford Westfall.
She is survived by one daughter, Vanita Sellmer Moore (Rob) of Brazil, two sons, Gary W. Sellmer (partner Betsy Nolan), Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., Geoffrey W. Sellmer (Sally), Indianapolis, six grandchildren, Micah Guy, Denver, Thiel Munro, Terre Haute, Megan Sellmer, Ft. Lauderdale, Joseph Sellmer, stationed in Iraq, Jereme Sellmer, Indianapolis, and Jessica Sellmer, Noblesville, five great-grandchildren, one step-son, Guy W. Sellmer (Judy), Danville, Ky., and Sue Sellmer (David Roettger), Carmel, two step-grandchildren and two step-great grandchildren. She is also survived by two brothers, William Westfall (Peggy), Melbourne, Fla., and Richard Westfall (Doris), Dunbar, W.Va., and other extended family.
Memorial services will be 11 a.m., Saturday, Jan. 26, 2008, at Union Chapel United Methodist Church, Indianapolis, with Rev. Steve Rasmussen officiating.
Following her wishes, Mrs. Sellmer's body has been donated to the Indiana University Alzheimer Disease Center and the Indiana University Medical Center. Following cremation her ashes will be buried at Union Chapel Cemetery.
Friends may call Saturday, 9-11 a.m., at Union Chapel United Methodist Church.
Should friends so desire, memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer's Association, 9135 N. Meridian St. Ste. B-4, Indianapolis, IN 46209. Visit www.moore-funeral-homes.com to send a card of condolence or for additional information.