Albert Karl Sewell Jr. was born on February 25, 1944, in Independence, KS. He was the second son of Albert Karl Sewell Sr. and Roberta Maxine Sewell (Cole). David was Albert’s older brother. Albert Sr. and Roberta lived in Coffeyville, KS at the time of his birth.
When Albert was 1½ years old, Albert Sr. joined the Navy. Roberta moved David and Albert to Independence into a small apartment. The apartment was located in the old A.P. McBride Mansion on Penn Ave. Later in life, Albert loved telling the following story:
“I lived in the mansion with my mom and brother in a very small apartment during the war when it was converted to apartments. She moved us there from Coffeyville when my dad was drafted. They were definitely desperate for men drafting older married men with kids. I was only 1 or 1 ½ and learned to walk the day we moved in. My mom loved that. I followed the mailman thinking he was Dad.”
Albert Sr. started working for his father, Ernest Sewell at The Citizens National Bank. Albert Sr. and Roberta settled into their home on south fourth street. Albert and his band of friends formed the Blackhawk bicycle gang riding throughout the streets of Independence. The Blackhawk name was from a comic book of that era.
Albert started kindergarten at Washington Elementary School. He continued on eventually graduating from Independence High School. He went on to attend the University of Kansas where he joined the Sigma Chi Fraternity. He transferred to University of Arizona in Tucson after his sophomore year and graduated with a degree in Business Administration.
While traveling back and forth from Tucson, Albert began carpooling with another Independence transplant, Kathleen (Kathy) Grace O’Brien, who was working as an elementary teacher in Albuquerque, NM. What started as a relationship of convenience soon bloomed into a romance. It was later discovered that Doris (Kathy’s Mom) and Roberta were successful matchmakers. Doris contacted Roberta to ask if Kathy could ride back with Albert one Christmas, and they orchestrated a romance that turned into a legacy filled with family and love.
Soon after college, Albert was drafted into the Army for the Vietnam War. He started his service as a member of the First Air Cavalry; he was a radioman. During his service, he received the Bronze Star, Air Medal, and Purple Heart Medal. His most memorable R&R was spent with Kathy in Hawaii.
In Hawaii, Kathy and Albert enjoyed exploring oceans, beaches, and mountains. At the end of the trip, Albert asked Kathy to marry. Albert described this as the best time of his life. Albert and Kathy married in 1969. They spent their honeymoon traveling from the Florida panhandle to Mexico City.
Albert took his first job after the war with Commerce Bank in Kansas City. Soon after in 1970, their oldest daughter, Leslie Anne Sewell, was born. Albert and Kathy decided they wanted to be closer to family and made the decision to return to Independence. Albert followed in his father’s footsteps and took a job with Citizens National Bank as a loan officer. In 1971, Aaron Kent Sewell was born. Albert became involved in the First Presbyterian church and the Independence community. In 1974, their youngest daughter, Alison Inge Sewell was born. Albert found joy in raising his family and loved serving in the Independence community.
Albert branched off from the bank to work for SWS Financial. He retired in 2009. In his retirement, he faced a myriad of health problems. In true Albert fashion, he did not allow these health problems to interfere with his adventures or his desire to laugh and have a good time. He and Kathy travelled all over the United States and Europe. Kathy passed away in 2016. After Kathy passed away, Albert had his own cross-country adventure traveling to Louisiana, South Dakota, Montana and California in 2019. He was always kind and had a smile for anyone that he greeted.
Albert passed away on December 19, 2021, from surgical complications. He was preceded in death by his parents Albert and Roberta Sewell, his wife, Kathleen O’Brien Sewell, and his brother, David Cole Sewell. He is survived by his children: Leslie A. Baugess (sp: Sidney), Aaron K. Sewell, and Alison I. Andrews (sp: James); and grandchildren Kain Sewell, Sadie Sewell, Kathryn Bauguess, Ethan Bauguess, Jordan Ashford (partner: Alyssa), and Morgan Andrews. He is survived by his great grandchild Carmen Primrose Ashford.
A Celebration of Albert’s Life will be held at the First Presbyterian Church in Independence on Thursday, December 30th at 10:00 am. Inurnment will immediately follow at Mount Hope Cemetery. To leave the family a special message of condolence, please visit, www.webbrodrickfuneralhome.com.