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Harriett H. (Kirkham) Selby

Published: Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013 11:48 a.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013 12:21 p.m. CDT

Harriett Selby, 89, of Newton died Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013, at the Eastern Star Masonic Home in Boone from complications due to end stage dementia. 

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 27 at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, 223 E. Fourth St. N. in Newton. A private burial of both Harriett and her husband, Herb Selby, who died Sept. 22, 2010, will be held at Glendale Cemetery in Des Moines. The family will greet friends immediately following the memorial service at the church. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Newton Public Library

Harriett H. Selby was born on March 23, 1924, to William Harry Kirkham, who died Jan. 1, 1924, and Matilda “Tille” Kirkham in Richmond, Mo. She grew up in Richmond and came to Iowa to attend Drake University where she graduated with a liberal arts degree in 1946. While at Drake she met Herb Selby in 1945. They were married on Feb. 14, 1947, in Des Moines but made their first home in Iowa City while Herb attended law school. They moved to Newton in 1949 where Herb joined a law firm.  They were married for 63 years, separated only by Herb’s death in 2010.  

Through her many years in Newton, Harriett was very active in volunteer activities in the community. She served on the Skiff Hospital Auxiliary for many years. Her membership in the local P.E.O. chapter was very important to her. But perhaps the contribution she was most proud of was the 17 years she spent on the library board.  While on the board she played a large part in the planning and building of a new library for the city of Newton.  

Harriett is survived by her three children, Spencer Selby of Ames, Kirk Selby of Newton and Martha Selby (Mitchell Squire) of Ames. She is also survived by her two loving grandchildren, Alexa Squire of Sacramento, Calif. and Malcolm Squire of Ames. 

Harriett is preceded in death by her three sisters, Maxine Hicks, Maurine Nichols and Clara Betty Cochran.  

Harriett will be greatly missed by her children, grandchildren and her many nieces and nephews. She was an energetic person who loved to read and garden. She will always be remembered by her infectious laugh.

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