James Edward “Jim” Selves was born August 22, 1927, to William Burton and Emily Wheeler-Becker Selves on the Becker family farm southwest of Cottonwood Falls. He attended Rock Creek Grade School and Chase County High School.
In the summers of 1943 and 1944, age 15 and 16, Jim and his twin brother Jack worked at Boeing in Wichita. The first summer, they stayed near Augusta in a former tourist cabin. They shared a cabin next to Easter and Elaine (Selves) Heathman. All 4 worked at Boeing. Jim and Jack were painter’s helpers.
August 15, 1945, age 16 (to be 17 on the 22nd) with their dad’s help, Jim and Jack enlisted into the Navy. On their train ride back from their physicals in KC, VJ day was announced! After boot camp in San Diego, they spent the next 7 months off the coast of China.
After the service, the twins held several jobs in the area driving trucks before going to Arkansas City where they both met their future wives. Jim married Bonnie McCutcheon in May of 1949. Jim and Bonnie moved to Cottonwood Falls where Jim bought the little gas station southwest of the Cottonwood river bridge. To this marriage, a daughter, Sue Ann was born. Jim and Bonnie later divorced.
Jim’s next move was to the oil fields in Stafford County. Jack and his family soon followed. Jim and Jack worked on the oil derricks for serval years before hauling crude out of the fields. It was in a grocery store in St. John that Jim met the love of his life, Joy Smith Manderschied. They were married in 1952 and shared 46 wonderful years together. Jim was a member of the Golden Belt Shrine Club in Great Bend and the Topless Travelers in Salina. He loved riding his little Scat Kitty scooter and 1972 Pontiac convertible in parades. Jim and Joy’s greatest love was their summer home on the coast of Maine. Joy passed away in 1998 at their home in Great Bend. Jim later moved back to Chase county where he renewed old acquaintances at the Senior Center and both the Presbyterian and Methodist Churches.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents; wife; 7 brothers and sisters, Bill, Elaine Heathman-Judd, Virginia Bush, Anna Lucy Hailey, Kate Burton, Jack, and Dean Selves.
He is survived by: daughter, Sue Ann (John) Brown of Bazaar area; grandchildren, Missy (Benji) Newton, Jimmy (April) Swift; 3 great-grandchildren, Elayna Newton, Jared and Adam Swift, all of Coffeyville; step-son, Val Manderschied of Vancouver B/C.
Cremation has taken place. A private family graveside service will be held at a later date at the Bazaar Cemetery. Friends may sign his register book 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. Thursday, February 4 and Friday, February, 5, 2021, at the funeral home.
Memorial donations may be given to the Cottonwood Falls United Methodist Church or Hand in Hand Hospice, in care of Brown-Bennett-Alexander Funeral Home, PO Box 220 Cottonwood Falls, KS 66845.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of James E. Selves, please visit our floral store.