Remembering John Adolphus Selby

June 22, 2022

John Adolphus Selby was the devoted husband of our member and friend Ramona Selby. Ramona became an Ebell member in 2001 and fulfilled, with great diligence and care, the position of Corresponding Secretary on the Ebell Board of Directors, from 2006 to 2009.

Born on the island of St. Vincent in the British West Indies, John Selby traveled to Curacao in the Dutch West Indies to work for Shell Oil as a bookkeeper, and there, he learned to speak Dutch.

“Being of high ambition and speaking three languages and two dialects”, Ramona writes, “John came to America and to Los Angeles, where he saw a job-listing for a position as a teller at the Bank of America.” John applied for the position and obtained an interview, and while chatting, Ramona explained, the interviewer discovered that John spoke Dutch, which the interviewer, as it turned out, also spoke. The two men spoke Dutch together and John, having conclusively made an excellent impression, was hired on the spot. Always for self-betterment, he took multiple banking and finance classes and was soon appointed to be a bank manager, the beginning of a long career as a Branch Manager for Bank of America branch banks from East Hollywood to Westwood.

John met Ramona and after a romantic courtship they married. Three years later they had a son, Jonray DeRiggs Selby, with whom John shared many wonderful experiences.

John and Ramona also loved to travel and cruise. When Ramona was invited to become a member of The Ebell, both John and Ramona were thrilled. John attended The Ebell often, enjoyed both day and evening programs, and made many good friends here. The formal evenings were especially enjoyed, because at The Ebell, John could dance with Ramona to his heart’s content.

“If love alone,” Ramona said –“ of family, of his Bank of America employees, his friends and Ebell friends – could keep a person alive – John Selby would still be with us today.”

Denee Frey, Ebell member shared this memory of John Selby:

“John Selby was such a sweet man whom we always enjoyed seeing at The Ebell and at neighbors’ holiday parties. He and dear Ramona were always an elegant couple at The Ebell’s black-tie events”