Joan Selleck, compassionate to others

June 27, 2014

Joan Selleck, 92, of Brandywine Assisted Living in Rehoboth Beach, formerly of Kennett Square, Pa., passed away Thursday, June 26, 2014, at the Delaware Hospice Center in Milford. She was born Nov. 7, 1921, in Blackpool, England, daughter of the late Clarence and Lilly (Parkinson) Dickinson.

Mrs. Selleck spent her childhood in Blackpool. When she became of age, she served with the British Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) in London, England during World War II where she (a modern-day cougar) met a younger U.S. Army paratrooper who had been injured in battle and sent to London for recovery. She often said, “he couldn’t get away fast enough,” and so became his war bride in 1946, leaving her family and friends behind for a new life in the United States. They settled in Chester County, Pa. Proudest moments in Mrs. Selleck's life were becoming a United States citizen in the late 1950s and learning how to drive at the age of 59. Until age 88, she was chauffeuring “older” friends around town.

For over 30 years, Mrs. Selleck worked as a shopkeeper at Woodward Farms in Mendenhall, Pa., where she also sold her homemade baked goods, including her famous chiffon cakes and cinnamon coffee cakes. Also Mrs. Selleck, along with her teenage daughters, began a babysitting service at the going rate of 50 cents an hour. She continued to care for young families well into her 80s. She was one of the most caring individuals and her concern for others was such a great example for all who met her during her life in Kennett and at Brandywine.

Mrs. Selleck was a dedicated member of Bethany Presbyterian Church in Mendenhall, as well as the Kennett Square Senior Center and Kennett Grange. After moving to Brandywine, she was active in card games, Mexican train, bingo (her favorite), the kindness committee and was the chosen PR person to potential residents, entertaining them in her apartment with all the highlights of assisted living. She attended Epworth United Methodist Church with her family. This winter, she learned how to knit neck scarves that turned out in all shapes, sizes and color combinations which were graciously received by Epworth’s Stitchers of Love Ministry.

Mrs. Selleck was a loving wife, mother, grandmother and a great friend who will be missed by all who knew her kindness, generosity and helping hand.

In addition to her parents, Mrs. Selleck was preceded in death by her husband, George L. Selleck in 1980. She is survived by her two daughters: Brenda Sadler of North Pole, Alaska and Jeanie Polly and her husband Brian of Lewes; and her three grandchildren: Drew Polly and his wife Angela of Charlotte, N.C., Lauren Polly of San Francisco, Calif. and Matthew Sadler of North Pole.

All services are private. Arrangements are being handled by Parsell Funeral Homes & Crematorium, Atkins-Lodge Chapel, Lewes.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Mrs. Selleck's memory to Delaware Hospice, 100 Patriots Way, Milford, DE 19963, or Bethany Presbyterian Church, P.O. Box 17, Mendenhall, PA 19357.