Who was Nancy?
A Milwaukee native, Nancy Ann Sellars (nee Virgili) was a familiar face in the Midwest’s endurance community. She competed in numerous triathlons (including four Ironman races), ultraruns (five 50K races and three 50-milers), XC ski events (five Birkebeiners) and century bike rides. She was also an avid volunteer, serving as merchandise captain for Milwaukee’s Lakefront Marathon for the past several years.
Just two weeks after finishing Race Across America with Team Badger Bikers, Nancy was killed by a drunk driver while out on an evening bike ride. She was 48.
For many years, Nancy had hoped to be a part of Race Across America (RAAM). It seemed fitting that the 3,000-mile ride would be her last major athletic event. Beginning in Oceanside, California, crossing 15 states and ending in Annapolis, Md., RAAM was literally a dream come true for Nancy. And it was a dream topped off by raising over $60,000 for the Make a Wish Foundation of Wisconsin.
The daughter of Robert and Geraldine Virgili, Nancy grew up on Milwaukee’s south side. She attended Tippecanoe grade school, Fritshe Junior High and Bay View High School. She began her professional career at First Wisconsin Bank and remained there 23 years, seeing the Customer Service Department through its transition to its new identity with U.S. Bank. From 2001 until her death in 2008 she was credit manager at Kalmbach Publishing.
In 1984, Nancy married James “Jimi” Sellars. A musician, Jimi says that Nancy was not only his best friend but also his muse.
Besides Jimi and her parents, Nancy is survived by her siblings Barbara (John) Sloan, Jimmy Virgili, Jo Ann (Mark) Flaig, and Jan (Paul) Grant. Nancy is the beloved Aunt of Jack (Sarah), Tom, Mike, Steven, Angela, Tony, Nicole, Richie and Ashley and sister-in-law to Debra (Andy) Karpek, Joseph, John (Dawn), Jeff, Jerry (Sara) and Denise Sellars.
Of course, Nancy is also loved and remembered by her many friends and co-workers. To keep her memory alive, friends and family are working together to develop the Nancy Sellars Memorial Foundation U.A., the mission of which will be to raise and distribute funds that will work toward the elimination of drunk driving and the promotion of general bicycle safety. Progress on the fund’s development will be posted on this website. Please check back regularly.