Margaret Mary Selinger died Thursday, June 18, 2015. Born June 28, 1926 in Mineola, N.Y., she was the daughter of the late Gerald and Loretta O’Connell, the only girl in a family of four children. In addition to her parents, she was predeceased in death by her husband, Joseph Jerome “Jerry” Selinger (in 2008); and her brothers, Gerald and Robert.
She is survived by her four children and affectionately known as “Mimi” to her 13 grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren, Joseph Jerome Jr. his wife, Noreen, of Stonington, Conn., and their daughters, Meghan and husband, Rob Winslow, (and their daughter Addison), Annie and husband, Rob Simmons, Nora and Marjorie; Stephen Richard Selinger, his wife, Inna, of Southlake, Texas and their children, Katherine, Elizabeth and Joseph; Thomas Gerald Selinger, his wife, Annette, of Keswick, Virginia and their daughter, Emily; daughter, Mary Beth Wagner, her husband, Eric, of Troy, Virginia and their children, Molly Montabert, husband, Cyril (and their daughter Lauren), Kathryn and fiancé, Kevin Ehlmann, Eric and his wife, Katelyn (and their son Eric III), Elisabeth and Amanda.
Her brother, Richard O’Connell of Amelia Island, Fla.; and sister-in-law, Ann Henegan of Marco Island, Fla., survive her, along with many nieces and nephews.
Margaret Mary O’Connell Selinger grew up in Rockville Center, on Long Island, N.Y., where she attended South Side High School. Her high school yearbook described her as cute with a personality and loquaciousness that made her very popular with both boys and girls.
From high school, “MM” went to Mount St. Vincent College in Riverdale, N.Y., where she graduated in 1948 with a degree in economics. Her most noted employment was as an administrative assistant to the Secretary General of the United Nations, Trygve Lei.
Margaret Mary married her one and only love, Joseph Jerome Selinger, “Jerry,” on May 12, 1951 at St. Agnes Cathedral, Rockville Center, N.Y. After a brief stay in New York City, she and Jerry moved with their two sons to Connecticut where another son and daughter soon joined the family.
While living in Wilton, Conn., Margaret Mary was very active in the YGOP and was a delegate to the Republican convention in support of Barry Goldwater. She was also active in her church, Our Lady of Fatima, and served as president of the Rosary Society. She taught school for 10 years at St. Thomas in Norwalk, Conn.
After 43 years in Connecticut, her husband retired from Merrill Lynch. With their four children well established, the Selingers moved to Charlottesville, Va., in 1988 where their daughter, Mary Beth Wagner and son, Tom Selinger resided, along with six of their 13 grandchildren. “MM” quickly became active in local organizations including Newcomers, Women’s Club of Charlottesville, Shelter for Help in Emergency, volunteer activities at Saint Thomas Aquinas Church and the Charlottesville Republican Women’s League.
“MM” was blessed with a good intellect and heart. She appreciated the gifts God bestowed upon her and used them for God’s glory and that of His loved ones. She lived by, and taught her children, the adage, “I felt sorry for myself when I had no shoes, until I saw someone who had no feet.” She had a well-deserved nickname of “Happy Etta.” She had great devotion to her Creator, the Blessed Mother, family, friends, and her country. She will be sorely missed; yet comforting to know she has been reunited with Dad.
The family wishes to express their deep gratitude to all the wonderful and caring nurses and staff at the Martha Jefferson House.
A mass of Christian burial will be conducted 11 a.m. Friday, June 19, 2015 at St. Thomas Aquinas Church. A reception will immediately follow at the church.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Martha Jefferson Hospital or St. Thomas Aquinas Church, 401 Alderman Road, Charlottesville, VA 22903.
Condolences may be offered to the family at teaguefuneralhome.com.