Selma Marie (Kouri) Buckingham(1916-2014)

Selma Marie Buckingham, 97, of Farmington, peacefully passed away at her family home on Thursday morning, Feb. 13 surrounded by her children Mary Ann Keesee of Cortez, Stuart Buckingham of Farmington and her wonderful caretaker Edda Yazzie.
Selma was born in Clayton in 1916 to Albert Abraham Kouri and Fanny Azar Kouri. Her parents were Lebanese and her father came from Lebanon to the US from an area near the Bekaa Valley. She was very proud of her Lebanese heritage and was a master cook of the cuisine of the Middle East. She was one of eight children and her parents operated a general merchandise store in Clayton through the Great Depression. She learned to walk at seven months and her father nicknamed her "Cyclone". She graduated from Clayton High School and attended Eastern New Mexico University where she was voted "Most Beautiful" in 1937. She married Jerome Buckingham in 1939 and lived in many locations across Texas and Louisiana while Jerome was employed as a surveyor for Royal Dutch Shell.
Selma moved to Farmington in 1953 with her husband "Buck" and daughters Lynn and Mary Ann and son Stuart. They purchased their home on Laguna when it was still a dirt street and Ricketts Park was an apple orchard. They joined First United Methodist Church and Selma served her church faithfully in many capacities for nearly 60 years. It is believed that she was the oldest living member of the church when she passed away.
Selma was active in PEO, Eastern Star, United Methodist Women and worked many years at San Juan Regional Hospital as a volunteer with the hospital auxiliary. She actively supported her children in their academic and athletic activities and spent countless hours working as a volunteer at Ricketts Park and for the Republican Party of San Juan County.
Selma`s life was dedicated to her family, church and community. She adored her children and was the consummate homemaker and mother. She imparted the values of faith, family and patriotism to her children, 11 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren who all loved and admired her very much. Her grandson Joel described her as "the greatest woman I will ever know." Selma read two newspapers every day and worked the crossword puzzles in both. She was extremely well read and traveled the world with Buck and her children and visited Egypt, the Holy Land, her ancestral hometown in Lebanon, many destinations in Europe and sailed through the Panama Canal. She loved life, her children and family, her home and the Dallas Cowboys.
She was preceded in death by her husband in 1998 and daughter Lynn Villella Holaday in 2010. She is survived by daughter Mary Ann Keesee (Joe), son Stuart Buckingham (Carolyn) and sister Rose Ann Geha of Toledo, Ohio.
Services for Selma will be at First United Methodist Church in Farmington, 808 N. Monterey Ave. at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 22 with Reverend Dave Blackwell officiating. She will be buried next to Jerome at Greenlawn Cemetery. Pall bearers will include all eleven of her grandchildren, two honorary grandchildren, Angela Keesee Loewen and Doak Belt and her lifelong neighbor and dear friend Jimmy Durrett. In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to Northwest New Mexico Hospice.
Selma's care is entrusted to Brewer, Lee and Larkin Funeral Home, 103 E. Ute St. in Farmington, 505-325-8688. Those who wish to express their condolences may do so at www.serenityandcompany.com.

Funeral Home

Brewer, Lee & Larkin Funeral Home
103 East Ute Street Farmington, NM 87401
(505) 325-8688

Published in Farmington Daily Times from Feb. 18 to Feb. 22, 2014