Jack Michael Selich died December 28, 2018. He will be profoundly missed by all who knew him. He was a father, husband, friend, comedian, bargain hunter, history expert, antique aficionado, and a licorice loving, pie eating, jelly doughnut craving, cat and bird loving, reflective, sensitive, quiet, contemplative, genuine human being: an introvert who found the most solace in peaceful things.
Everyone will miss his quiet presence. With our father we experienced many comfortable silences. He had a knack for saying things with few words. Never one for idle chit chat, he spoke only when he had something important to say or to tell a joke, which was either hilarious or tear-producing (depending on which side of the joke you were on). His whit could be rivaled by only a rare few.
Throughout his life Jack had a few careers and many hobbies and passions. At the end of his life he reflected most fondly on his time in the Army – especially his time in Korea – and also on being a policeman. He worked for many years at Angel Job Corps, caring deeply for the students that he counseled over those years. One of his biggest accomplishments, that we were all proud of, was his 37 years of sobriety.
Jack was born January 16, 1938 and was first generation American. His parents, Franceska Nada and Jack Steven Selich, had emigrated from Vis, Yugoslavia to San Francisco and then to Santa Clara, where Jack was born. He loved growing up surrounded by the beautiful orchards of Santa Clara and always reminisced fondly of how beautiful the valley was at that time.
As the Orchards were disappearing and Santa Clara was changing, Jack decided in 1968 to move his family to the Oregon Coast. He was then married to Nancie Carlson and had three young daughters: Suzanne, Leslie, and Noelle.
It was there, on the Coast, where Jack’s hobbies flourished. He loved to beach comb and hunt agates – passions he shared with his wife Judy, his children, and grandchildren. In the 1970's during coastal storms, he would spend hours on end searching for Japanese glass floats. Even more than that, though, he loved to hit the antique malls, thrift stores, and garage sales. He was brilliant at refinishing furniture (a skill he learned from an elderly neighbor in the mid-1960's), did lapidary work for many years, and made beautiful jewelry with stones he fashioned. He was a very creative and talented man, excelling at his hobbies. He could patch holes, paint wood grains and could pretty much restore anything antique to its original beauty. He refurnished numerous pieces for himself, his family and friends – even some commissioned – and he continued to do so until he physically could not anymore. He loved antiques. I mean, he really LOVED them. ...Have I mentioned how much he loved antiques? He would learn the history of each piece, and it was the one topic that made our otherwise-quiet and reflective father become loquacious …well, that and history. Dad, until very late in life, was reading up to three books a week – many not average books, and some as dense as a dictionary. He had read and studied WWII history for most of his life; he could have taught any world history class extemporaneously, all from memory. He was extremely intelligent, and those close to him often learned something new while talking to him.
He also liked to “putz,” (as he would call it) around Newport and Waldport. He made friends everywhere he went. He will be greatly missed at Oceana, Freddy’s, and Grocery Outlet, where he frequented, and even by the staff at Avamere Care Facility.
But most of all, we will miss you Dad, Gramps, Pops, or Jack, for your complete authenticity. We will miss your quiet intelligence and thoughtful intense pursuit of those beautiful things left to be discovered from a moment in time long ago. Thank you for blessing us with the art of comfortable silences, for teaching us how to bargain hunt, and thank you Dad, for passing on the sarcasm gene (which apparently keeps getting passed down over the generations)!
Your Slavic (stubborn) constitution blessed us all with more time. Thank you. You endured more bloodwork, x-rays, antibiotics, doctor visits and various therapies than one could imagine was humanly possible. Many times you were like Johnny Cash “walking the line,” but you always tricked us and persevered even when we didn’t know if that was what you wanted. But you knew we wanted it, and with us in mind, you held on for us as long as you could. It was your final gift. Thank you.
Jack will be lovingly remembered by his wife of 30 years, Judy, and his children Suzy (Nick) Field, Leslie Selich, and Noelle Selich. Jack will be fondly remembered by his grandchildren Alia, Casey (Jake), Riley (Curtis), Claire, and Asher. He also leaves behind two great-grandchildren, Lyla and Fisher.
Jack will be memorialized at Willamette National Cemetery, 1180 Southeast Mount Scott Boulevard, Portland Oregon, on February 28, 2019 at 2:00 PM. All who wish to join in honoring his memory are welcome to attend.
In honor of Jack, please purchase a berry, apple, lemon cream, or rhubarb pie from the Chalet or some Jelly Belly licorice bridge mix. Eat it outside while talking to the birds, and please go and save a stray cat. Dad, we hope that in Heaven there are many beautiful antiques for you to feast your eyes upon, that The Big Bang Theory airs around the clock, and Pink Martini plays softly in the background. I hope there is a never-ending library full of history books, and that licorice and jelly donuts are bountiful, and that all your kitties lost over the years are with you always.
Per your request Dad, we will donate all your designer clothes and shoes that your stealthy eyes found mostly at thrift stores.