The Obit For Charles Selph

Charles Lee Selph

Published in the Daytona Beach News-Journal on 7/10/2009

Charles Lee Selph, 77, Orcas Island, WA, died of a massive stroke in Bellingham, WA on June 12, 2009.

He was a Winter resident of Edgewater, FL. Charles was born March 6, 1932 in Lakeland, FL to John and Jessie Selph. He graduated from Lakeland High School in 1950 and from Florida Southern College in Lakeland in 1955 with double majors in Physical Education and Music.

It was at Florida Southern where he met and serenaded Betty Joanne Hollady. They married on February 14, 1957 in Lakeland, FL. Charles later received his Master's Degree from the University of Mississippi in Administration and Education in 1966 and an Education Specialist Degree from Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida in 1976.

In the late 1950's, Charles played professional baseball with the Philadelphia Phillies organization, later becoming an elementary school physical education coach, then a schooled principal for five elementary schools and one junior high school.

Charles earned a reputation among school administrators as an effective troubleshooter during his 30-year employment with the Polk County Public School System while serving as an impeccable role model for both his peers and the children of Polk County, FL.

Following his retirement, Charles and his wife, Joanne, moved to Orcas Island in the Puget Sound off the coast of Washington State. Charles' commitment and service to the Polk County Schools was exceeded only by his commitment and service to God and the Church.

He used his God-given musical talents as a soloist, song leader, and choir director for the church choirs at St. John's United Methodist Church in Winter Haven, Orcas Island Community Church in Eastsound, WA, and Edgewater United Methodist Church in Edgewater, FL. He also led congregational singing at evangelistic retreats for The Florida Conference United Methodist Men and revivals throughout the State of Florida. Charles and his wife, Joanne, served as volunteer missionaries to Haiti with the United Methodist Church from 1976 - 1978.

It was during this time Charles began a long-running battle with various cancers, which was still an issue at the time of his death. It was perhaps Charles' indomitable and joyous spirit in the face of these challenges that have left such an impression upon the lives of all who knew and loved him.

With God's assurance behind him, the most amazing strength became his, and he learned to sing, glorifying God in the ordinary days and challenging ones as well.

Charles is survived by Joanne, his wife of 52 years; daughter, Laura L. Berg, Edgewater, Florida; son, Charles Tyler Selph, Williamston, MI; sisters, Mary Vesta Postle, Houston, TX and Doris Ann Tyler, Gallatin, TN; eight grandchildren; and one great-grandson.

A memorial service to celebrate the life of Charles will be held at St. John's United Methodist Church in Winter Haven, Florida on July 25, 2009 at 3:00 p.m.

Memorial gifts may be made to Edgewater United Methodist Church in Edgewater, FL, The Florida Conference United Methodist Men, or The United Methodist Volunteers in Missions-Florida.