Cover photo for William Arthur Selman's Obituary
William Arthur Selman Profile Photo
1949 William 2020

William Arthur Selman

September 10, 1949 — September 20, 2020

William Arthur Selman,

September 10, 1949 - September 20, 2020.


The spirit of Bill Selman began a new journey on Sunday, September 20th. It was a beautiful day for departure. Crystal clear, radiant sun and cool breezes. Much like the spirit of Bill himself.

The second eldest of four brothers, Bill was born in Birmingham, Alabama and graduated from Shades Valley High School. Following graduation from Auburn University he began a successful career spanning four decades as a graphic designer and creative director for several Atlanta-based ad agencies beginning in 1971 with McDonald and Little.

Bill and his partner/soulmate, Jan Marie Selman have lived in Decatur, Georgia for over forty years. Together they fostered and nourished a vital community that grew around and beyond them. Their home evolved into a thriving oasis of creative inspiration and support for family, friends, poets, artists, musicians, fishermen, skittlers, Mona Lisas, mad hatters, doctors, lawyers, clergy, dogs, cats, politicians, activists and cribbage players. It has been said that Bill never missed a point in a cribbage match.

For forty-two consecutive years, Bill and Jan hosted a Christmas day open house. “Folly Under the Holly” was an eagerly anticipated neighborhood event largely due to the centerpiece bottomless bowl of Bill’s stealthily potent, made-from-scratch, secret recipe eggnog. At any given time, people from all walks of life, all religions and from all over the world could be found hanging out at the Selman’s home basking in the fellowship of abundant goodwill. No one was excluded.

With a big heart, Bill graciously donated his time and talent as an illustrator to countless community organizations and events. He enthusiastically enjoyed promoting the music and art of others. He loved animals and was always rescuing stray dogs and finding them loving forever homes.

Bill credited his early years as a camper and then counselor at Camp Sea Gull for instilling his value for community service and his love for solitude upon the open waters. He had a knack for spinning great yarns of his unembellished adventures at sea. Whether gliding asail or poling the flats, Bill was at peace.

Bill's kindness, his easy manner, his huge smile and the beautiful twinkle in his eyes will be remembered by all who had the pleasure of knowing him.

Bill was preceded in death by his father, James Alexander Selman and his great friend and mentor, Tazewell Sidney Morton. Survivors include his wife Jan Marie Selman, step-daughter Kim Joselove, grandsons Clae (Morgan) and Reece (Shae) Joselove, great grandchildren Addie and Harper Joselove, his mother Sue Fowke Selman Carter White, his three brothers Jim (Ginger), Bobby (Malin) and Richard (Florence) Selman, brothers-in-law Paul and Thomas Mulryan, many loving nieces and nephews and his furry four-legged friend Nicki.

Bill’s family expresses deep appreciation to the care from his neighbors and especially to the care from their cousin, Dana Marston Haas whose love and compassion provided great comfort to both Bill and Jan at this critical time.

A Celebration of Life Party for Bill will be held at a later date, TBA. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to LifeLine Animal Project or to the Georgia Alzheimer’s Association.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of William Arthur Selman, please visit our flower store.

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