OBITUARY

Howard E Selby

May 28, 1952September 28, 2021

Howard E. Selby, age 69, of Kettering, Ohio passed away on or about August 28, 2021. He was at home after an extensive stay in a nursing facility and was right where he wanted to be. Born in Dayton, he moved to Kettering as a toddler and lived in the same home the remainder of his life. He attended Kettering Fairmont East High School and graduated in 1970. He earned an Accounting degree from Miami-Jacobs Jr. College in 1972 but found his calling at Certified Services as an electric motor winder and devoted 18 years of his life in their employ.

Howard was extremely active in his community during his young adult years and was bitten by the theater bug when the Victoria Theater (fka The Victory Theater) in downtown Dayton was slated for demolition in 1975. Howard invested a lot of time, energy and love into preserving this great historical landmark and became a first principal donor to the Victoria Theater Association. He was also a member of the Save Frigidaire Committee in hopes of retaining this important employer and large contributor to the local economy, in the Dayton community.

Howard remained living at home with his mother, after his father passed in 1969, and eventually left his job and became her primary caregiver until her death in 1994. He took care of her every need after she lost the ability to speak and walk from a stroke and never once complained – and this was before there were family bathrooms! While they often bickered with each other, they enjoyed each other’s company and spent much of their free time together.

Both Howard and his mother were avid historians and made it their life’s work to research and document the history of the Selby family. They successfully tracked Selby ancestors back to their arrival to the colonies in Maryland in the 1600’s. While they had some information from corresponding with records offices and churches in England (pre-internet), Howard’s lifelong dream was to travel to England to document the history even further and see the country and his heritage for himself. He realized that dream after his mother passed, and could proudly proclaim with certainty the number of steps he was away from being the King of England and explain that with one different decision he might have inherited the crown and had a very different life of royalty. During his trip to England, he traveled to the town of Selby in North Yorkshire, to learn about his heritage and he brought back books and other mementos for his family to help them feel connected to their ancestors. Howard was able to preserve his research and pass on this history to his nieces and nephews. Even though driving to cemeteries and record offices as young children made for a boring vacation, today they are eternally grateful.

Howard loved to dream about being rich and famous or at least being rich….he was okay with just being known by the famous. When Falcon Crest was on TV in the 80’s, Howard discovered there was an actor on the show with the last name of ‘Selby’. He dug into the family tree to figure out where they connected and reached out to David Selby to share what he knew about their common heritage. David was too busy to give much time to Howard, but David’s parents were very open to connecting with him and he was able to go and visit them and share the family history. He stayed connected with them and many others in the Selby clan over the years with impromptu visits, regular letters, and occasional phone calls. For those who knew him, Howard was a carefree, zany man with a powerful laugh who took life as it came. He proudly assumed the name “Uncle Power” – as he was aptly called by his young nieces and nephews trying to pronounce his name. He danced to the beat of his own drum (he drove a Toyota when they were just cheap foreign cars) and accepted others who did the same. He loved to travel and would do so whenever he had the money and the time. He always had a joke or a quip and never seemed to take life too seriously, even when suffering from some debilitating physical ailments. He was well known in his community, and after losing his ability to drive, he could be seen riding his bike around town, often towing a cart behind. When he was able, Howard was extremely generous to those around him – from lavish gifts for his nieces and nephews, to opening up his home or helping a friend or family member with an unexpected expense or in a time of need.

In his final years, he was cared for and looked after by his closest neighbors. They watched for his lights to know he was alright and helped him deal with a multitude of issues that he could no longer manage on his own. They were his advocates and while he never asked for help, they were there when it was needed.

Howard was preceded in death by his parents, Ralph and Edith (Esterline) Selby, and a sister, Miriam Jones. He is survived by a brother, Marvin Selby, nephew Christopher (Whittney) Selby, 2 nieces, Melissa (Christopher) Young and Heather (Joshua) Shouse, and 14 great nieces and nephews as well as a neighborhood who loved and cared for him.

Visitation will be 10:00 – 11:00 am on Thursday, October 21, 2021 at Tobias Funeral Home, 648 Watervliet Ave, Dayton, OH 45420 with a celebration of life, Howard style, immediately after and burial at Miami Valley Memory Gardens….at the left foot of his mother, where she can keep him in line for eternity. His grave will be marked with the pre-engraved headstone that has been in the basement, to the right of the electric meter, since 1994 when his mother passed. He got a 2 for 1 deal! While Howard would have loved elegant flowers during his life, he won’t be able to appreciate them much today. Instead, he asked that memorial donations be made to the American Heart Association or the American Diabetes Association, or heck, just go have a beer and reminisce and share stories about him.

Services

  • Memorial Visitation

    Thursday, October 21, 2021

  • Memorial Service

    Thursday, October 21, 2021

Memories

Howard E Selby

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Wm. Lynn Dixon

October 23, 2021

Howard was a unique, and zany friend in high school, often under appreciated by those who should know better. He was the glue that held together a circle of alumni friends however loosely. He knew us better than we knew ourselves and life was better because of him. Rest well, old friend, safe in the knowledge that those who knew you here are missing you.

Jim Codispoti

October 17, 2021

Howard IS a man that danced to his own drum. Forever the loving gentle soul that knew no enemies. He greeted all with a smile and one will never forget that laugh. While Howard was never in the public eye, perhaps his persona and love of people could have made this world better.
So, Howard, my friend, rest in peace embraced in the arms of the Lord. You are missed by many and loved by all.

Leigh Anne Bell

October 10, 2021

Howard always wanted to bring smiles to the people around him. In this photo, Howard is holding the “door prize” that he donated at one of our class reunions. He was always trying to make people laugh, and succeeded most of the time I will miss this gentle soul.

Theresa Trapp Esterline

October 9, 2021

Losing a loved one is one of the hardest things many of us will ever face. Dealing with death is difficult, and grief can sometimes be overwhelming. Our thoughts and prayers.
Theresa and Michael Esterline

Lydia Baxter

October 9, 2021

What a beautiful tribute to a loving and selfless man. Sincere condolences to all that had the honor to know him. Fly high my fellow Falcon. You made us all so proud!
Lydia Baxter

Mike Philpott

October 1, 2021

I lived next door to Howard in 1987 and 1988. Howard was a friendly person, always smiling. He will be missed.