Selden Gourley Kent Jr.

September 18, 1930November 1, 2012

Selden Gourley Kent, Jr., 82, died on Thursday November 1, 2012. He was born on September 18, 1930, in Miami, Florida. His father was born in Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada, and in 1912 moved with his family to Coconut Grove, Florida. His mother, Frances Mary York, was born in Atlanta, Georgia, and in 1924 moved to Miami. They were married in 1925. Selden graduated from Miami (Fla) Senior High School in 1948. His left arm was broken in a high school football game and was amputated following complication. He graduated from the University of Florida in 1952 with a degree in political science. He was a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity, and was senior class president, and attended graduate school in political science. In 1953 Selden was selected for a one-year administrative internship with the City of Phoenix. After and in 1954 he was employed as a research assistant with the International City Manager Association in Chicago. In 1955 he was married to Frances Lovinggood and they had a daughter, Caroline Lee, in 1957, and a son, David Leith, in 1958. In 1956 he was named as Administrative Analyst in the Division of Research and Budget in the City of Phoenix. In 1959 he was appointed as Assistant City Manager in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and as Acting City Manager for several months. In 1960 he returned to Phoenix when he was named Research and Budget Office Manager in the City’s Finance Department and he worked in this capacity for ten years. In 1965 Selden was divorced. In 1970 he was named as Administrative Service Manager with responsibility over the Department of Finance, Budget and Management, City Clerk and Management Information Systems until he retired in 1984. In 1973 he married Josephine (Jo) Snow Sullins and they lived at 339 East Orange Drive in Windsor Square. Jo died in 2009. Jo had a banking career with 1st National and 1st Interstate Banks. Selden and Jo traveled extensively in the southern and eastern states and in Canada. Survivors include daughter Caroline Sitler, Phoenix, son David Kent, Phoenix, daughter Sharon Johnson, Scottsdale, grandsons Taylor Alan Gray Johnson, Scottsdale, Dawson and Harrison Johnson, Scottsdale, and granddaughter, Madesan Johnson, Scottsdale. In lieu of flowers, donations are suggested to Hospice of the Valley, 1510 E. Flower St., Phoenix, AZ, 85014 or to your favorite charity. The funeral service will be held at 12:00 pm., with visitation 1 hr prior, at A.L. Moore Grimshaw, 710 W. Bethany Home Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85013, 602-249-2111. Selden will be placed at final rest at Greenwood Memory Lawn Cemetery following the funeral.


  • Visitation Friday, November 9, 2012
  • Funeral Service Friday, November 9, 2012

Selden Gourley Kent Jr.

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November 13, 2012

To the Kent family,

I worked for the late Kevin Keogh, who reported to Selden, in running the city of Phoenix bond program back in the 1970's. I was intimidated at first, as an entry level accountant, but Kevin had the utmost respect for Selden, and I followed his lead. Kevin always said that Selden was the only person he had known that had a photographic memory. I can picture Kevin and Selden now partying like they used to at GFOA conferences. I retired last year from the city of Phoenix, having served the city for 32 years, the last 15 years as city treasurer, and will never forget the admiration and respect that Kevin had for Selden.
My condolences to his family. Rest assured that he was one of the great inspirations to those of us at the city of Phoenix who looked up to him.
Barbara (Alvarez) Lang

Beverly Cone

November 9, 2012

I, among many, benifitted significantly from Selden's teaching and mentoring, many of whom became able administrators across the nation. . And he was my friend for several decades.Oh his laughter would carry thru the halls. AND what an Historian!!! And what a library he has. I will miss him so very much. I visited with him ten days before he died at the Terraces. I will cherish that visit Beverly Cone

Teresa Stickler

November 9, 2012

Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal. Seldon, we will miss you. You always brought sunshine when you came in. Your family from Melrose Pharmacy.

Jim Attebery

November 7, 2012

My condolences to the extended family. I haven't seen Selden for some time now but my memories are still strong. Selden was one of the most outstanding people in city government that I have ever known. It was a privilege to be around him.

Charlie Graham

November 7, 2012

Selden was a key person for me at the beginning of my career in City government with the City of Phoenix in 1970. Each year the City received many applications for the administrative intern program. I probably would not have been selected for that program without Selden's support. I had a lot of respect for him as did everyone else on the City staff. He was a great person to be associated with, and I have a lot of good memories of him. May he rest in peace.

Karen Johnson

November 7, 2012

My deepest sympathy to my dear friends David and Sally on your loss. May your father rest in peace. God bless you both.

Annette Boschetti

November 7, 2012

I had the opportunity to work with Selden as his secretary in 1959 while he served as Assistant and Acting City Manager in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. I was so impressed with this young man's intellectual capabilities, his integrity in a political/governmental environment and his endearing sense of humor. Loosing a dear friend is difficult but knowing Selden is at peace is comforting.

Steve Carter

November 6, 2012

I was an intern in 1968-69 when Selden was Research and Budget Director. He set a terrific example for young people in the profession. He was so smart, hard working, yet could have fun. His Gator yell was something else. I will always be thankful for having worked for him and for all he did to make me a better person and a better local government professional.

Kim Bladine Alexander

November 6, 2012

Thinking about all of you and keeping you in my prayers. My favorite memories of Selden were when we all had the cabin in Pinewood. I got up on the roof and was too afraid to get down. Selden carried me down the ladder with his one arm. Another time when I was in kindergarten, he burst into laughter when I asked, "Selden just what is self-control." I have so many wonderful memories of both Selden and Jo. I am so grateful to have had both of them in my life. May they rest in peace together.

November 6, 2012

Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Selden will be greatly missed by us. He treated us so good. We are very sad to lose him. We dearly loved him.
All our love,
Tom and Frieda Winkeler
Donna and Ron Zimmerman