Rowena (Robe) Selby, 86, passed away Tuesday, March 19, 2013, at Via Christi Georgetown Village in Wichita, Kan.
A visitation is planned 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday with family present 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday at Smith Mortuary, 1415 N. Rock Road, Derby. Funeral services are planned for 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, 1602 E. Chet Smith Ave., Derby. Interment is set for 3 p.m. at Highland Cemetery, Ottawa.
Rowena married Joe Wesley Selby in June 1949 and assisted him in his veterinary practice until his death in 1971.
In 1973, she bought a ladies ready-to-wear store in Ottawa, “The Village Shoppe,” and was the owner for five years until moving to Derby in 1978. Her career in ladies retail clothing continued as she worked for such Wichita stores as Stranahan’s, Seifert’s and Lewin’s. She worked for Henry’s for nine years until it closed, and she continued to work for Henry’s fur department on a seasonal basis for many years.
Some of Rowena’s proudest accomplishments came from her love of volunteering. She was on the vestry of Grace Church, Ottawa in the 1970s and also, while in Ottawa, served as the president of the Ransom Memorial Hospital Auxiliary in 1970.
After moving to Derby, she served as senior warden of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in 1986 and 1987 and again in 1998. She produced the church newsletter for many years and worked in the church office. She volunteered at Episcopal Social Services-Venture House from the time she moved to Derby until last spring when she was no longer able to drive.
Rowena gave many weekend hours to the YWCA Women’s Crisis Center where she helped women and children. She loved giving to children and was active for many years in the Derby Senior Center’s “Reader’s Theater,” a program for reading to primary schoolchildren. She was instrumental in providing “birthday bags” for Derby public school children who might not have otherwise been remembered on their birthdays.
Rowena’s legacy is that of strong love of family and selfless giving to her church and community.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Dr. Joe W. Selby; and her parents, Gilbert and Olive Robe, Ottawa.
Survivors include her five daughters, Cheri Gage and husband, Robert, Derby, Chris Gallagher, Salinas, Calif., Susan Ladenburger and husband, Robert, Denver, Colo., Julie Helm and husband, Landon, Minneapolis, Minn., and Robbie Freund and husband, Terry, Derby; eight grandchildren, Matthew Gage, Andrew Gage, Jenni Olson, Sarah Dominick, Anne Ladenburger, Alison Ladenburger, Hailey Helm and Taylor Freund; three great-grandchildren, Jackson Gage, Peter Dominick and Bruce Baxter.
Memorial donations may be made to St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church.
Arrangements are by Smith Mortuary, www.smithfamilymortuaries.com