Selby Anderson Etheridge, Jr. 90, of Wilson, peacefully departed this life on Friday, March 27 at his home in Wilson surrounded by his loving family. Funeral services will be conducted 11:30 a.m. Wednesday at LDS Chapel, 2615 Tilghman Road, Wilson. Interment will follow in Evergreen Memorial Park at 1:00 p.m.
The family will receive friends 10:00 -11:00 a.m. Wednesday prior to the service at LDS Chapel, 2615 Tilghman Road, Wilson.
Selby was born October 26, 1924, in Stantonsburg, NC, the oldest of four children to the late Selby Anderson Etheridge, Sr. and Alma Wiggs Etheridge. He graduated from Saratoga High School in 1941, where he was president of his senior class. He worked for a brief time on the family farm before being drafted into the Army in 1944, during World War II. Selby was assigned to the 313th Infantry Regiment, 79th Division Company G and deployed to Germany via LaHarve, France. During his service in Germany, he received five Battle Stars for bravery. Always reluctant to discuss his war experiences, and humble about his awards for bravery, instead he preferred to express gratitude that his life was spared and regretted that so many perished. After his discharge, he joined the Air Force Reserves and was called to serve in the Korean Conflict in 1950. He completed service in 1951 without having to see battle, leaving with the rank of Sergeant. Shortly after discharge from the military, he began his long career with Carolina Telephone Company in Tarboro. About that time, his cousin introduced him to the beautiful Helen Glen Smith from Kinston. She became his bride in 1952 and has remained the love of his life for sixty three wonderful years. He retired from the telephone company in 1984, after thirty seven years of service and started a successful roofing business, Etheridge Roofing. He sold the business in 2004 when it became clear to family and friends, last of all to him, that at age 83, it was time to stop climbing on roofs to inspect the workmanship. Reluctantly he retired, thereafter enjoying many years of woodworking in his home workshop. A man of strong faith, Selby was a long-time member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints where he was an Elder and held the Priesthood. He was also a Mason and participated in a number of community and civic activities over the years. He was a capable, self-disciplined, kind and generous man with a steadfast determination guided by uncommonly strong ethical principles. He remained fully engaged in life throughout his ninety years, even as declining health slowed his pace. A lovingly devoted family man and a loyal and a trusted friend to many, his sharp wit, good humor and genuine concern for others drew many to his side for the pleasure of conversation and often for his wise counsel. He adored his wife and children often saying; “The greatest gift a father can give his children is to love and honor their mother.” He generously gave that gift and so many others over his lifetime.
He is survived by his wife, Helen; his daughters, Debra Glenn Larsen and husband Michael ”Mike” of St. George, Utah and Wanda Jo Etheridge of Wilson; his brothers, J. Ray Etheridge and wife, Ann of Wilson and Stanley Anderson Etheridge and wife, Marla of Ft. Walton Beach, Florida; a sister, Rose Marie Etheridge of Carrboro; four grandchildren, Dara Glenn Larsen-Kuerth and husband, Jerrod of St. George, Utah, Kathryn Amanda Larsen-Spagnolo, and husband Justin Spagnolo also of St. George, Utah, Micah Rand Larsen of Austin, Texas and Bret Anderson Larsen and wife, Bree of Gilbert, Arizona; nine great-grandchildren, a niece and four nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, a niece, Roberta Gay Burchette, and a brother-in-law, John Robert Poe, Jr.
Flowers are welcome or a memorial contribution in Selby’s memory may be made to a charity of one’s choice.
Condolences may be directed to joyners.net