William E. “Bill” Selby, 74, died Thursday, Oct. 29, 2009, in Gresham. Bill was born Aug. 4, 1935 in Baltimore, Md. to William B. Selby and Edna R. (Earle) Selby. He grew up in West Friendship, Md. and attended Utah State University in Logan, Utah where he met and married Anona Bevan. He graduated in 1958 with a B.S. Degree in Range Management. He began his 40 year government career with a summer position in the USDA Agricultural Research Station in Beltsville, Md., then full time with the Forest Service at the Conconully Ranger District on the Okanogan National Forest in Washington where he was a Range Analysis Technician and a smokejumper at the North Cascades Smokejumper base. He assisted in compiling data to convert the North Cascades Primitive Area to a Wilderness Area.
In 1962, Bill transferred to John Day where he was the assistant district ranger for the Long Creek Ranger District then assistant staff range and wildlife manager for the Malheur National Forest. He served on the Grant County Planning Commission, was the county liaison officer for the Land and Water Conservation Program, a member of the Grant County Sportsman’s Assoc., the Toastmasters Club and taught hunter safety classes.
In 1970, Bill transferred to the Fremont National Forest in Lakeview. During his years on the Fremont National Forest, he was a district resource assistant, acting district ranger in Paisley and a fire management officer. While living in Lakeview, he was a member of the Warner Canyon Ski Patrol where he was an instructor in Skiing Safety for Beginners, facilitated meetings and was secretary/treasurer of the organization. He was a member of the Lakeview Kiwanis Club and involved with Camp Cottonwood, a community-sponsored, nonprofit youth camp.
He transferred to the Region 6 Regional Office in Portland in 1992, where he was an employee development specialist until his retirement in July 1998.
During his years with the Forest Service, Bill worked over 80 large fires, many of them in overhead positions from division/group supervisor to incident commander. Even after his official retirement, Bill continued contracting with the Forest Service as a member of the Pacific Northwest Interagency Incident Management Team responding to fires from Alaska to Texas to North Dakota until last year when his health began to fail.
In 1985, he traveled to China and Inner Mongolia. He enjoyed the trip and made several more trips to China. His hobbies included reading, hunting, snow-skiing and playing his guitar.
He was preceded in death by his parents William B. and Edna Selby; sisters Priscilla Clagett and Avis Pfefferkorn all of Maryland.
Survivors include his wife Anona; son William R. “Bill” Selby of Prineville; daughters Barbara Brutsch of Bend, Patricia Gray of Lebanon and Cathleen Selby of Gresham; six grandchildren.
At his request there will be no services.
Contributions in memory of William E. Selby may be directed to the Providence Cancer Center fund, c/o Providence Portland Medical Foundation, 4805 NE Glisan St., Suite 1G21, Portland 97213.