Wilmer Leo Emil `Joe' Sellenrick

Wilmer Leo Emil “Joe” Sellenrick, 94, of Grand Junction, Colo., died Sunday, Sept. 3, 2006, at Mesa Manor Care Center in Grand Junction after a long illness.

A memorial service was 10 a.m. Sept. 6 at Lutheran Church and School of Messiah in Grand Junction with the Rev. Gary Buss officiating. Burial was in Grand Junction Memorial Gardens.

Mr. Sellenrick was born Feb. 15, 1912, on a farm near Jansen, Neb., to George and Sophie (Hoppe) Sellenrick. He attended Cub Creek Country School and graduated from Fairbury High School in 1929. He farmed with his brother, Clarence, in the Fairbury, Neb., area for several years before moving west to work on the Union Pacific Railroad in the 1930s. He traveled with section gangs for several years before settling in Rawlins. He then worked as a brakeman and conductor on freight trains, traveling between Rawlins and Green River.

After Dec. 7, 1941, he enlisted in the Navy for the duration of World War II.

He served as a gunner's mate on the USS Arctic, a supply ship in the Pacific fleet.

He married Norma Slaven on Jan. 9, 1946, in Omaha, Neb. They moved to Rawlins where Mr. Sellenrick resumed work with the railroad. He served on the city council and water board at various times.

The Sellenricks moved to Berthoud, Colo., in 1976 after he retired. They enjoyed gardening and church work. The couple moved to Grand Junction in 1986 to be closer to their daughter.

Mr. Sellenrick was preceded in death by four brothers, Art, Herbert, Raymond and Clarence; and two sisters, Alma and Evelyn. Survivors include his wife, of Grand Junction; another son, Howard of Cheyenne; a daughter, Kathy of Grand Junction; seven grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

Memorials may be made to Lutheran Church and School of Messiah, 840 N. 11th St., Grand Junction, CO 81501, or Hospice and Palliative Care of the Grand Valley, 2754 Compass Dr., No. 377, Grand Junction, CO 81506.

Source: Sheridan Press

Back to Hoppe page