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John Selby


Selby, John William, Colonel U.S. A.F. Ret. of Clearwater, FL passed away September 2, 2017 after a long battle with Chronic Lymphoma (Leukemia). He died at home surrounded by his loving family and best buddy, a Dalmatian named Pierce. He is survived by his wife, Patricia, of 58 years, four children, John Jr., Deborah, Mark, Bobby and grandson Bobby, Jr. He is predeceased by his father, C.A. Selby, mother, Gayle Selby of Largo.

Colonel Selby was born in Kansas City, MO on Sept. 24, 1930 before moving to Cresco, Iowa. When he was three years old, the family moved to St. Petersburg, FL, where he graduated from St. Pete High School, Class of 1948. He furthered his education at Florida State University (FSU) before enlisting in the Air Force during the Korean War. He spent ten years in active duty serving in the Strategic Air Command (SAC), Military Airlift Command (MAC), and Tactical Air Command (TAC). He then served 20 plus years in the Air National Guard units in New York and California.

Jack was a pilot’s pilot with approximately 40,000 flying hours in his flight log. From the age of five he knew he would fly and spent his teenage years learning to fly at Albert-Whitted Airport. He also loved riding and racing motorcycles, including at Daytona Beach.

He had a stellar 34 year career as a Captain for Trans World Airlines (TWA) based out of JFK Airport. He was Type Rated in multiple jet aircraft, including the Boeing B-707, B-720, B-747, the Lockheed L-1011, and the Convair CV-240, CV-340, CV-440. Corporate Type Ratings include LR-JET and the CE-500. During his military service, he was also Type Rated in the Boeing B-377 (C-97) Stratocruiser, the Lockheed L-382 (C-130) Hercules, and the North American B-25 Mitchell Medium Range Bomber.

He and Patricia raised their family in the beautiful New England town of Ridgefield, CT. Following his retirement from TWA in 1990 he returned to St. Petersburg and became at much sought after corporate pilot based out of the St. Petersburg International Airport at Signature Flight Support and the Landings Hanger Community. For 20 years he flew volunteer missions for the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. He was also an active member of the St. Pete Yacht Club Flying Association, AOPA, ALPA (Ret.), the Order of the Daedalians and the Trans World Airline Pilots Association.

A memorial service with military honors will take place at Bay Pines National Cemetery on Thursday, September 28 at 2:15 p.m.

Friends, family, and those who served with John are invited to share a memory and sign his guestbook below.

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