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Obituary: Selkregg, James Boynton

Age 94

Lietenant Colonel
(Ret. U.S.A.F.)
(Age 94)

“The Colonel” made his final flight on April 10, 2012 as he peacefully journeyed to heaven after a brief stay in Holy Family Hospital, Spokane, WA. Colonel Selkregg was born March 27, 1918 in Washington, DC to the late Edwin R. and Marian Boynton Selkregg. His childhood was spent in North East, PA where his father and mother owned and operated Selkregg’s Florist and Greenhouse. At 22 (February 20, 1941), Jimmie enlisted in the Army Air Corps. After a 29-year career, he retired from the USAF on February 28, 1970. His family is extremely proud of “The Colonel”-he actively served his country in three wars - WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. Jimmie spent much of his career flying fighter aircraft reconnaissance missions. His initial training was in the Stearman biplane, P-39s, P-40s and P-47s. He also flew P-51 Mustangs (his favorite plane and 1 of 2 planes he took his wife, Bette, for a ride in!), F-86s (he bailed out of in Korean War, 1952), C-46s, C-47s, B-17s, T-33s, O-2 Bird Dogs, F-101s, and F-104s. On March 16, 1943 in New Orleans, Jimmie married Elizabeth A. Nielsen, a cute little gal he met at Erie PA’s Boston Store where they both worked. Jimmie was quite a romantic and enjoyed writing poems to Bette. He thrilled her one day with a flight which included a loop in a Bird Dog (lost the flight log!). After his retirement from the Air Force, he and Bette lived in Newport, Oregon for 20 years where he sold real estate. The couple lived their last 20 winters in Portland, Oregon. They were fortunate to spend most of their summers on the shore of Lake Erie enjoying family, friends, stunning sunsets, and of course-Lake Erie corn on the cob! The family will cherish the memories of the traditional Christmas gatherings at Grandma and Grandpa Selkregg’s. Jimmie is survived by son J.B. Jr. and wife Treca, daughter Dianne and husband Rob Walker, daughter Nancy, son Bob and wife Jackie, and son Joe; grandchildren - Andrea, Andrew, Shawna, Shane, Rebecca, and Jacob; and great-grandchildren - Olivia, Evan, Nathan, Nolan, Chase, and Leo. Jimmie was preceded in death by his wife Bette (November 13, 2005), his parents and all four of his younger siblings-Susan Piltingsrud, Roxanna Pace, Katherine Griggs, and William Selkregg. Jimmie’s family would like to thank the caring staff of Northpointe Senior Living Community, Spokane, WA for the tender care given to him for the last 1 1/2 years of his life. Final arrangements were entrusted to Heritage Funeral Home, Spokane, WA. Colonel Selkregg was transported to Willamette National Cemetery, Portland, OR where he was buried on April 16. Memorials can be made for Jimmie to the Wounded Warriors at


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