MORRIS ~ Born in Pendleton, South Carolina to Daniel Regular and Annie Regular, Margaret Elizabeth was the oldest of seven children. In 1945, the family moved to Detroit, Michigan where Margaret graduated from Northeastern High School. She earned her BS Degree from Wayne State University in Humanistic Studies and her MS in Public Administration from Western Michigan University.
Margaret was married to Thomas James Sellers, Jr. (deceased) with whom she had two daughters. She later married James G. Walker and Alford Morris both of whom predeceased her.
Throughout Margaret’s career, she met challenges with courage and competence. She began her career at the Detroit Public Library, where she advanced to the position of Personnel Director. She also served as Personnel Director for the newly formed Wayne County Community College.
Because of her proven skills, she advanced to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources where she became the first female and the first African American to head a division of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. As the head of personnel, she served employees working a wide range of complex jobs throughout the state of Michigan at a time when the Department was preparing for considerable downsizing. It was a tough job and Mrs. Sellers faced a number of critics who thought conservation was work for a man. She went on to modernize and update the Department while directing personnel activities, overseeing training, affirmative action and labor relations. Her definitive actions resulted in workers, throughout the state of Michigan, recognizing her as a strong ally.
Subsequently, Margaret became Chief Examiner and Director of Human Resources for the city of Grand Rapids. She was later promoted to Assistant City Manager for Administrative and Cultural Services where she helped plan and evaluate all City services. During this time, Margaret found a second career at Grand Valley State University as a tenured Associate Professor for the School of Public Administration and as the Associate Director for the Johnson Center of Philanthropy.
Margaret was a leader in professional associations, a frequent lecturer and a tireless community volunteer. She served on many boards including: The Dwelling Place, Blodgett Hospital, Delta Strategies, Hope Network, Inc. Clark Retirement Community, Friends of Grand Rapids Community College, Grand Rapids Community Foundation and Fifth Third Bank of Michigan. Margaret also served as Chapter, Regional and National President of the International Personnel Management Association-HR where she was awarded the Warner W. Stockberger Achievement Award.
Margaret lived in Detroit, MI (1945-1980), Lansing, MI (1980-1986), Grand Rapids, MI (1986-2007), Durham, NC (2007-2016) and Jacksonville, FL (2016-2020). She practiced her faith as a contributing member of Hartford Memorial Baptist Church, in Detroit, White Rock Baptist Church and Mt. Olive AME Zion Church in Durham.
She was also a devoted member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Margaret loved to read, travel and most of all, her annual sister trips. In Durham, NC she committed her time to reactivating the Friends of James E. Shepard Memorial Library at North Carolina Central University and served as a Board Member of the Durham Boys & Girls Club. In St. Augustine, Florida, she volunteered at the Lincolnville Museum & Cultural Center.
Margaret’s professional and civic achievements resulted in enormous improvements in services to the community. Because of her commitment to the world, she was awarded many honors, which include her being named one of the 50 Most Influential Women in West Michigan and her election to the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame.
To cherish her memory, she leaves a special friend, Willie West; daughters, Loren Sellers Darden (Alton) and Sharon Sellers-Clark (Derek); grandchildren, Leah Jackson, Justin Jackson, Derek Clark, Dylan Clark; five great-grandchildren; sisters, Blondean McDonald, Mary Howard, Vivian Jackson (Jeff), and Patricia Smith; a host of nephews, nieces, great nephews, great nieces, cousins and friends.
Because of the love of her family, arrangements entrusted to J. E. Fralin & Sons Funeral & Cremation Services, 5065 Soutel Dr, 904.924.9400.
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