Carl Selavka, age 95, of Sun City Center, FL, was called by the Lord on Oct. 11, 2023. After a brief hospital stay, Carl said farewell peacefully in the loving hands and hearts of his sons, Michael Phillip, Edgar Lester and Carl Matthew.
Carl lived a vibrant life, enjoying multiple careers involving military service as both an enlisted Marine and Army Officer (LTC; Ret), sports leader, tradesman as an HVAC Tech, farmhand and arborist; as well as a Shriner and American Legionnaire.
Born on Jan. 17, 1928, he was the second youngest of eight children born to Russian immigrants Michael Selavka and Tekla Borodin in Windham, Connecticut. Carl fought with the Marines in WWII, then attended the University of Connecticut where he quarterbacked the football team to the Yankee Conference Championship (in 1952). He returned to the military as a U.S. Army officer pilot – with unique selection onto test pilot teams for the Sikorsky CH-54 Skycrane and a Grumman fixed-wing spy plane – and served during the Korean War and Vietnam Conflict (two tours). During his service, Carl was awarded the Army Commendation Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Legion of Merit, two Bronze Stars, and multiple Air Medals, including one with the Valor device.
Carl retired from the Army after 22 years then obtained a master’s degree in education from Central Connecticut State College before continuing as an educator and innovator in the field of athletics at the high school level in Portland, East Hampton, and North Stonington (Connecticut) and Hadley (Massachusetts). He coached basketball at the college level (Westfield State College) as well baseball for American Legion teams throughout New England.
Carl had married Janet Smith of Windsor, Connecticut, in 1953 and – after his military retirement – settled in Middle Haddam, Connecticut in 1970 where they continued to raise their three sons and resumed careers in education. When Janet was offered the principal position at Hopkins Academy, they eagerly relocated to Hadley, MA. Carl continued in athletics as the Hopkins Academy girls’ basketball coach for many years. During off-seasons Carl spent countless happy years working on the Goulet family farm in Hadley. Always seeking to develop new skills, Carl obtained a license as an HVAC technician and took courses to become an arborist.
Carl and Janet moved to Sun City Center, FL, in 2009 to continue their 25 years of New York Yankees preseason training camp passion. They quickly immersed themselves in the community as volunteers in the SCC Security Patrol and singing in choirs at the Saint Andrews Presbyterian Church and Ruskin United Methodist Church. Carl enjoyed woodworking with the Sawdust Engineers and sang with the Sun City Center Men’s Chorus for over a decade.
Carl will be fondly remembered by his three sons, six grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren – as well as the extended Selavka and Smith families throughout the United States – as a leader, teacher, and supportive mentor whose wry sense of humor made everyone smile as he entered any room.
If you wish to be notified of a Memorial Celebration to be held in the future – or to coordinate charitable contributions in Carl’s honor – please contact the family using email@example.com/.
July 13, 1946 – Sept. 30, 2023
It’s with heavy hearts that we announce the passing in Wimauma of Susan Beller, beloved wife of Jeffrey; mother of Steven (Kelly), Michael, Marc (Amy) and Lynn (Danny); grandmother of Samantha, Graham, Matthew, Gray, Kevin and Evan.
Sue was born in Brooklyn, NY, graduated from Tilden High School and went on to earn an Associate’s Degree at Brooklyn College. She lived in Brooklyn with her parents until she and Jeff met, fell in love, and married. They lived in Brooklyn for a time, then moved to Wantagh, Long Island, where they spent the next 43 years before retiring to Valencia Lakes in Wimauma. This past May was their 60th anniversary.
Throughout her life, Sue was passionate about dancing…any kind, any time, any place. Ballroom dancing with Jeff was a favorite of hers and the two of them would go square dancing together as well. Jeff has said that he was thankful when she left him home while she joined her wonderful dance friends to line dance and salsa without him.
Sue was very knowledgeable about issues of natural health, and when asked, counseled others about what she’d learned. She practiced what she preached in her day-to-day living and oversaw what she and Jeff should eat, what medications they should take and what medications they shouldn’t take. In spite of all this, out of the blue, she was diagnosed last December with glioblastoma. As she firmly believed in holistic medicine, she chose not to undergo chemotherapy and radiation but rather researched and took non-traditional formulas to kill the cancer cells. In the end, though, she succumbed to this aggressive and deadly cancer. She will be missed by all.
A memorial is scheduled for Nov. 14 from 12 to 2 p.m. at National Cremation Society, 308 E. College Ave., Ruskin, FL 33570.
In lieu of flowers, you might consider donating to The Brain Research Foundation: https://www.thebrf.org/.
Our mother, Lois McBride, died on Oct. 8, 2023, at the age of 83. She lived a long and full life. She was a lifetime member with the Ruskin VFW post 6287. She was very loved and will be missed terribly.
She was predeceased by her mother, Blanche Goswick; husband, Quincy McBride; son, James Shahan; and granddaughter, Michelle Dye. She is survived by her children, Dianna Gorby of FL, Kenneth Harshman (Marilyn) of FL, Kathy Harshman of Texas and Sandra Wacholder of FL.; her grandchildren, James Feiler (Emily), Lois Villarreal (Fabian), James Harshman, Catherine Nimphius (Nick), Christina Basdeo (Kevin), Sara Valdez (Julian), Quincy Ross, Joey Marcus (Michelle), Tristan Gibson, Monique Gibson, and Jessica Hanna; and numerous great-grandchildren. She will also be missed by her furbaby, Otis, the ornery Beagle.
Family will hold a celebration of life Oct. 21 at noon at E. G. Simmons Park Pavillion 12, arrangements by Zipperer’s Funeral Home.