Jan. 23 services for Joan Sellman, former Almanac staffer


Services will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 23, at Woodside Village Church for Joan Sellman, a resident of Woodside for 50 years.

Ms. Sellman died Dec. 10 at Brighton Gardens in Santa Rosa, following an extended illness. She was 81.

Ms. Sellman was the wife of the late George W. Sellman, who served as superintendent of Woodside Elementary School for 23 years and for whom the school auditorium is named. The Sellmans were married Jan. 21, 1951, in Colusa. Mr. Sellman died in 2005.

In the 1990s, Ms. Sellman retired after working in the business office of The Almanac for many years, dating back to the days when it was located in Woodside. She is remembered by her colleagues for her pleasant, easy-going manner and her baking skills. Every holiday season, Almanac staffers looked forward to a tray of her home-baked treats, often beautifully decorated. Lemon bars were a big favorite.

Joan Sellman was born in Tracy and spent her early childhood in Hat Creek, Burney and Colusa. She graduated from Colusa High School, where she was one of two graduation speakers/valedictorians. She attended Yuba College and graduated from UC Berkeley in 1950. In her early years, she worked as a teacher and substitute teacher.

The couple moved to Woodside in 1959 after Mr. Sellman was hired as a teacher at Woodside Elementary School. While her husband was busy directing students in the school's eighth-grade operettas, and, later, became director of Woodside Community Theatre productions, she was content to assume a smaller role. She sang in the chorus and designed and sewed costumes for the community productions.

Along with using with her culinary talents, Ms. Sellman enjoyed playing tennis and reading, especially mystery novels, say family members.

She is survived by her children, Cindy Jensen, George Sellman III, and Jennifer Anderson; and four grandchildren.

Memorials in Ms. Sellman's name may be made to the Woodside Community Foundation or the American Cancer Society.

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