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Elizabeth Selman


1959 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Elizabeth Selman Obituary
Elizabeth Bitzer "Polly" Selman passed away peacefully at her home Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018, in Fort Collins, Colo., after a two-year battle with cancer. She was 58. Polly Selman was born Nov. 14, 1959, in Los Angeles, Calif., to John Frederick Bitzer Jr. and the late Mary Adams "Mimi" Bitzer. Polly grew up in Pittsburgh, attending Kerr Elementary School and Dorseyville Middle School. For high school, she graduated from The MacDuffie School in Springfield, Mass. Polly then enrolled at the University of Wyoming for two years before taking up residence in Jackson, Wyo., at a ranch that was the last remaining parcel of private land within Teton National Park. The ranch was owned by the family of her friend, though at the time it had been long-abandoned. Undeterred, the two women fixed up one of the abandoned cabins and lived there, without electricity or running water, for over a year while enjoying western mountain life, particularly hiking and backpacking. This was typical of the ever-adventurous Polly. After her stay in Wyoming, Polly Selman attended the Katharine Gibbs School in Boston, Mass. Upon graduation, she returned to Pittsburgh to work at Western Psychiatric Hospital as an administrative assistant, where she met Daniel R. Dusch Jr., and the two were soon married. Mr. Dusch had enlisted in the Marine Corps and was subsequently stationed at the Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay on the island of Oahu, Hawai'i. Still doggedly determined to earn her college degree, Polly enrolled at the University of Hawai'i and began taking classes toward a BS in geography. She achieved her goal, while welcoming her first son, Daniel R. Dusch III, into the world one month before graduation. This was typical of the ever-determined Polly. Now a full-time mom, Polly Selman's Hawai'i experience was followed by a couple of years back in Pittsburgh, where her second son, Benjamin, was given life by Polly. A job opportunity for Mr. Dusch next took them to Sparta, N.J., where her third son, Trevor, rounded out the growing family. Polly and her husband divorced in 1995. Polly Selman was now a single mother with three young boys and a full-time job. Along the way, she taught herself about computer hardware and software. She used that knowledge to land a job as a software troubleshooter for a company that specialized in software systems for hospital emergency rooms. Polly used that experience to strike out on her own and establish her own software consulting firm. This was typical of the fiercely independent Polly. Polly married Byron Selman on Nov. 14, 2004, which happened to be both their birthdays, in a lovely ceremony on Harbor Island, Bahamas. Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, Polly Selman could now manage her consulting business from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. In 2005, Polly and Byron relocated to and then built a home in the Turks and Caicos Islands, British West Indies, a place they had frequented over the years with family, and where they enjoyed boating, fishing, biking, snorkeling, diving and sailing. They spent summers in the Fort Collins, Colo., area in their Airstream, with occasional visits to her longtime family home on Martha's Vineyard, where she loved to vacation growing up. Polly Selman's first and only grandchild, Alek, was born to her oldest son, Daniel, and his wife, Natalie, in 2013. Polly took great joy and delight in her grandson. Following Polly's most recent cancer diagnosis, she and Byron moved to Fort Collins to live out her remaining days. Polly Selman is survived by her husband (Byron); her sons, (Dan, Ben and Trevor); her daughter-in-law (Natalie); her grandson (Alek); her father (John); her brothers, (John and Charlie); her stepmother, (Mary Ella); her stepbrothers, (Jason and Josh); and her stepson (Jacob). She was preceded in death by her mother (Mimi). Polly Selman was a free-spirited, fiercely independent, high-energy, fun-loving, authentic, strong-willed, lively, determined and loyal woman who loved the outdoors and loved life. Polly also had a great capacity for loving others, and she will be dearly missed by many. Memorial contributions may be made to The Pine Cay Project c/o Maggie Baczkowski, Treasurer, 55 East Erie No. 5600, Chicago, IL 60611.
Published in The Valley News Dispatch on Nov. 8, 2018
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