William Roberts Selden, 91, passed away peacefully at Athens Morning Pointe Assisted Living, Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2012.
Born in Belzoni, Miss. in 1921, he lived in Athens, Tenn., his entire life and in the same home built by his family in 1911.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Winston Adams and Willie Helen Roberts Selden.
He was an active member of Keith Memorial United Methodist Church, since 1937, where he was a long-time member of the church choir as well as Chairman of the Administrative Board.
He will be remembered as a true Bon Vivant in the community. He loved life and people and gave his all to both with an indelible spirit. He enjoyed history, travel, and time with friends.
His favorite hobby was genealogy which brought him much joy as well as bringing family members together. He helped to form both the McMinn County Historical Society and Archives, in 1959, and later, the McMinn Living Heritage Museum, having served as an officer and board member of both organizations. He was a member of and served on the Board of the East Tennessee Historical Society in Knoxville. He was past Treasurer of the Society of the Lees of Virginia, and a member of the First Families of Virginia. Other memberships include: the Huguenot Society, Descendants of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence, the Order of the Crown of Charlemagne, and Descendants of the Sons of the American Revolution.
Having been active in many facets of the community, he served as president or chairman for several organizations including the Athens Kiwanis Club, Jaycees, and Athens Chamber of Commerce. He was a graduate of Tennessee Wesleyan College, co-founded by his great-grandfather, and the University of Tennessee, where he was a member of Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity.
He was employed by Mayfield’s Dairy for 43 years where he served as Corporate Treasurer. His combat service in WWII led him to the Battle of Bulge, where he was awarded the Bronze Star.
He is survived by his sister Elizabeth S. Taylor and her husband James Archibald of Spartanburg, S.C.; his niece Susan Taylor Murray and husband Thomas, of North, Va.; his nephew Dr. William Stokes Taylor and his wife Mary Jo of Wellington, New Zealand; two great-nephews Dr. William Selden Taylor and Joseph Rosser Taylor, and one great-niece Carmen Oller Taylor all of New Zealand.
The family thanks the numerous friends and health care workers that cared for him over the past year as his health declined.
Services will be conducted at Keith Memorial United Methodist Church, 600 West Madison Ave., Athens, Tennessee 37371, on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013, at 2 p.m. with Rev. Dennie Humphreys officiating, with a reception immediately following. The remains will be interred in the Selden-Roberts Plot in Cedar Grove Cemetery in Athens, Tenn.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials to E. G. Fisher Library, 1289 Ingleside Avenue, Athens, TN 37303; McMinn County Living Heritage Museum,552 Madison Avenue, Athens, TN 37303; or Tennessee Wesleyan College, 204 College Street, Athens, TN 37303.
Smith Funeral & Cremation Services of Athens is serving the family of William Roberts Selden.