Selma passed away peacefully just 8 days short of her 90th birthday. She was born on June 27, 1923, in Santa Rosa, California. Her parents, Hugh and Kate Dow, moved the family to Lodi in 1930. After graduating from Lodi High School, Selma went on to attend the College of the Pacific in Stockton and the University of Kentucky in Louisville. In 1942, she married Robert Wicks Leighton who was an officer in the United States Army. During World War II she lived with his family in Fort Dodge, Iowa, while he served in Europe.
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Selma was a talented musician and music instructor, teaching piano to many of Lodi's residents during the 1950s and forward. In the 1960s, she returned to college and studied Computer Science. She became a mainframe computer programmer fluent in Fortran and Cobol. She programmed computers at Diamond Walnut in Stockton, the University of California at Los Angeles, and Marin County. Bechtel Corporation in San Francisco beckoned and she took her programming skills there until her retirement in 1988. Selma returned to Lodi, built a new home, and enjoyed her remaining years farming Zinfandel grapes and Fuyu persimmon trees. Selma was a member of the PEO sisterhood (chapter IM). She was an avid bridge player and also resumed her passion for music by again teaching piano in her home.
She is survived by their three children. Robert Donald Leighton (Charlotte) of St. Helena, CA, Kathryn Ann Leighton of Sausalito, CA, and Miriam Leighton Mettler (Dan) of Lodi. She leaves six grandchildren (Jodi Leighton, Robert Leighton (Jane), Kimberly Leighton Carter (Damon), Marisa Mettler Godi (James), Brandon Mettler, and Colleen Mettler Merritt (Mike) and three great-grandchildren (Dominic Godi, Mia Godi, and Kailyn Leighton). She is also survived by her sister, Evelyn Comartin (Bill), of Lodi, and her sister-in-law, Isabel Leighton, of Okoboji, Iowa, along with numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents Hugh and Kathryn (Kate) Dow, and her brother Carroll E Dow, DVM.
Selma's family would like to thank the staff at Chancellor Place, Vienna Convalescent Hospital, and, of course, Dr. Mark Hoff for their kind care.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her memory to the ASPCA www.aspca.org or to the donor's favorite charity.
There will be no viewing. Interment will be private. Donohue Funeral Home is assisting the family.
Published in Lodi News-Sentinel from June 20 to June 27, 2013