Just five days shy of his 73rd birthday, Carson City restaurateur Harold Sellers died in his home from renal cell cancer.
Well-known for his skill with a spatula and purveyor of an inexpensive breakfast menu, Sellers operated Garden 'N' Grill with his wife, Judith, from 1990 to 1997.
Two caricatures of the couple hang in the hallway of the Sellers' north Carson City home.
One shows a smiling Harold in an apron holding a spatula. The cartoon of Judith shows her ready to take an order for an "all -you-can-eat $2.95 breakfast."
To commemorate her husband's birthday, which falls on Flag Day, Judith hung an American flag from her back porch, which overlooks the valley. The glinting silver capitol dome is in the distance.
She said Tuesday that they moved to Carson City to buy a restaurant and retire in an economically sound area.
They bought the Happy Steak and remodeled it into the Garden 'N' Grill. At its height, it had about 30 employees and a popular $5.45 Hungry Man's Breakfast, a biscuit and gravy combo that Harold made from scratch.
Periodically wiping her eyes with a tissue, Judith said proudly that three months after buying the restaurant they managed to take it from operating in the red to a profitable business.
"We turned it around and had it in the black and it stayed that way," she said. "We were always there at the restaurant. That's what made it a successful business."
Sitting at the kitchen table with her were the couple's children: Lisa Qualey, 44; Michelle Young, 46; and Ed Sellers, 47. They've come from Minnesota and Kansas for the funeral, which is Thursday at the First United Methodist Church.
"We retired after the state bought the whole shopping center, but we also lost interest," she said. "It was time to retire."
The building is still there, but construction of the new freeway bypass is going on around it. Judith got antsy in retirement. She went back to work at SlotWorld, where she is the dining room supervisor.
"He stayed retired," said Young, the middle daughter. "He enjoyed fishing and gardening. He has a beautiful rose garden."
More than 30 rosebushes surround the house. Harold meticulously cared for all of them. The smaller peach-colored rose bush in the corner was his favorite.
The back porch receives frequent visits from pigeons and blue jays because of three bird feeders that Young helped her father install in March.
His cancer returned in November, after almost seven years in remission.
"It came back and it metastasized," Judith said. "So he chose not to do anything."
They'll decorate the church for his funeral with peach roses.
"He wasn't expected to live past March 12. He held on for 90 days more. And he had a good life in those 90 days. We were still getting out for church and going to lunch afterward."
n Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at email@example.com or 881-1212.
If you go
What: Harold Sellers' funeral
Where: First United Methodist Church at Division and Musser streets
When: 2 p.m. Thursday