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James Selby

Dec. 15, 1941-Oct. 20, 2012

October 23, 2012
Minot Daily News

James Lloyd Selby, 70, of Bismarck, passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family on Oct. 20, 2012, at Sanford Health in Bismarck, due to complications of cancer.

Services will be held at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 24, at Charity Lutheran Church in Bismarck, with Pastors Randy Upgren and Dale Nabben officiating. Military honors and burial will be at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery, south of Mandan, Wednesday at 1 p.m. An informal family and friends service will be held at Parkway Funeral Service, 2330 Tyler Parkway, Bismarck, tonight, Oct. 23, at 7 p.m. There will be no visitation; cremation has taken place.

Jim, the second of five children, was born Dec. 15, 1941, to Homer and Alice (Butka) Selby, at Sidney, Mont. He was raised on an irrigation farm near Buford, N.D., and graduated from Trenton High School in 1960. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in secondary education from Minot State University in 1964, and accepted his first teaching position at McGregor, N.D.

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Jim entered the North Dakota Army National Guard in 1966, receiving his basic training at Fort Belvoir, Va. He was attached to Company B, 164th Engineering Battalion, in Williston, N.D., for nine years, being honorably discharged in June 1975.

He continued his teaching career at Stanton, N.D., receiving a Master of Science degree in School Administration from North Dakota State University in 1974 and serving as Stanton High School Principal and later School Superintendent.

While living and teaching in Stanton he met a Beulah high school teacher, JeAnne Mittelstedt. They married on June 26, 1971, and had two children, Jennifer and Jason.

In 1979, Jim left Stanton to become a Community Development Representative with Basin Electric Power Cooperative, working on impact alleviation during construction and start-up of Antelope Valley Station. He and his family lived in Beulah until 1989, when he transferred to BEPC Headquarters in Bismarck.

He held a number of positions in several departments over his 26 years of employment with Basin Electric. He also earned a second Master's degree through Oklahoma State University, Norman, Okla., as well as a National Industrial & Economic Development certification in 1992. He was elected to the National Rural Economic Developers Association Board in 1994.

Jim enjoyed giving back to the communities in which he lived through the years. He was active in the Stanton Jaycees and later the Beulah and Bismarck North Star Lions Clubs, serving as club president of both. He was active in the Beulah Chamber of Commerce and served as a Cub Scout leader there as well. He served on the Stewardship Committees and church councils of Zion Lutheran Church in Beulah as well as Charity Lutheran Church in Bismarck. He and JeAnne have belonged to the Roughrider Chapter of Family Campers and RVers since the late 1970s and have served as State Directors since 1997.

Following Jim's retirement in January 2004, he and JeAnne annually enjoyed winters in Texas, Florida, Louisiana, or Arizona in their fifth-wheel RVs or more recently in their motor home. Retirement also provided more free time for Jim to fish, camp, read, play pinochle, travel around the U.S. and Europe, "farm" their two-acre plot, and build furniture, crafts and wood toys for his two grandsons.

Despite his spring 2002 cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatment protocols in Bismarck and at NIH/NCI in Bethesda, Md., Jim made the most of each day.

Jim is survived by: his wife of 41 years, JeAnne; his daughter, Jennifer (David) Engbrecht, Denver, Colo.; his son, Jason (Katie) Selby, St. Louis Park, Minn.; his three-year-old grandson, Miles Selby and two-year-old grandson, Colton Engbrecht; his sisters, Alice (Bill) Schott, Bismarck, and Diane (Hal) Lang, Billings, Mont.; his brothers, Jerry (Linda) Selby and Tom (Nancy) Selby, all of Williston; his sisters-in-law, Paulette Mittelstedt (Michael Copp), Arlington, Va., and Peggy Mittelstedt, Aurora, Colo.; his brother-in-law, Fred Mittelstedt, San Antonio, Texas; as well as many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers-in-law, James Coats and Milton Mittelstedt; and one nephew, Shawn Mittelstedt.

Memorials: The family requests memorials be directed to Charity Lutheran Church or the Bismarck Cancer Center.

Go to ( to share memories of Jim and to sign the online guestbook.



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