Etta Della Selby, "Della," age 99, died at Mountain View Care Center in Bozeman on Monday, Sept. 15, 2008.
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Della was born on April 29, 1909, at Indian Creek outside of Cameron, Madison County, to the late Ulysses Grant and Elisabeth Deutschmann) Hill, and was the youngest girl of 11 children.
She attended grade school and helped with the family farm. During her teen years, the family made several trips to Nebraska via horseless carriage where the Hills also owned farm property. This was quite an adventure at the time and one of Della's favorite memories.
In 1928, while working as a nursing aide in Whitehall, she met Frank Taylor Selby at a dance and they were married on April 28, 1929. She lived in Whitehall and Opportunity during her married years.
After the death of her husband in 1964, she moved to Fontana, Calif. While residing in Fontana, Mrs. Selby attended an industrial sewing school and was employed as a professional seamstress. In 1974, she moved to Sacramento, Calif., to be closer to her son. After his death, in 1992 Della moved to Bozeman, where she lived independently at her home until July of this year.
Della was a Christian, always kept family close and made many friends. She was excellent at working crossword puzzles and loved watching rodeo and bull riding on television. She kept up with current news and was known for her sharp wit and wry scene of humor. Her favorite game was rummy, which she would play for hours and almost always won. She was especially fond of the veterans, to which she regularly gave. When asked her secret for longevity, she would respond with a quote from her mother, "I will eat when I am hungry and drink when I am dry. If whiskey don't kill me, I will live till I die."
Mrs. Selby is survived by her grandchildren, Robert Kesterson of Lakewood, Wash., Shaun Kesterson of Rohnert Park, Calif., Kevin Kesterson of San Bernardino, Calif., Patty Kay Lawing of Bremerton, Wash., Mona Kesterson of Kingman, Ariz., and Lisa Kesterson of Baltimore, Md.; and local nephew and niece, Buz and Judy Cowdrey of Bozeman. She is further survived by numerous nephews, nieces, other relatives and friends.
In addition to her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by her two children, Della Mae Kesterson and Frank Selby; her grandson, Michael Kesterson; and all her siblings, Marion Hill, William Hill, Gladys Hill, Bertha Hill, Curtis Hill, Grace Hill Hearn, Botts Hill, Ruby Hill Cowdrey, Bayne Hill, and Wayne Hill.
Funeral services for Mrs. Selby will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 25, at the Anaconda Chapel of KT Riddle Funeral Homes, the Rev. Myrna Havner officiating. Interment will follow in Sunset Cemetery, where she will be laid to rest next to her husband, Frank. Visitation will be Thursday from 10 a.m. until service time at the funeral home.
Services are under the care of the KT Riddle Funeral Homes, 520 Oak Street, Anaconda.
KT Riddle Funeral Homes - Anaconda Chapel
520 Oak Street
Anaconda, MT 59711
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Sept. 23, 2008