Colonel Joseph William Sellman, USAF Retired, 75, a resident of Apple Valley, California; formerly of Warrensburg, died on March 16, after a valiant battle with cancer.
Funeral Services will be 10:00 a.m. Friday, at Williams Funeral Chapel in Warrensburg. Interment will follow at Sunset Hill Cemetery in Warrensburg, with Full Military Honors provided by Whiteman AFB Honor Guard.
The family will receive friends from 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home.
Joe, to friends and family, was born September 5, 1943 in Warrensburg, son of Warren Sellman and Hilda Ida (Mueller) Sellman. He attended Warrensburg public schools and Central Missouri State College (now UCM). He was on the Mules football team, was a member of TKE fraternity and was 1965 graduate with a B. S. in Business Administration. Joe was recognized as a Distinguished Alumnus in 1993.
He enlisted into the United States Air Force in December of 1965, in Kansas City. He was Organization Commander for one year at Templehof air force base in Berlin, during the reunification of East and West Germany; Planning and Programming Officer for six years and Air Operations Staff Director and Fighter Pilot for 16 years. Joe was a F-4 Phantom pilot during the Vietnam War, followed by service in Europe.
While in Europe, he met Susan Hamilton who was teaching children of American families based at Ramstein Air Base. She and Joe married April 19, 1973 and were blessed with a son, Theodore Hamilton “Ted” Sellman, born in Belgium.
His Military awards were many, including National Defense Service Medal, Small Arms Expert Marksman Ribbon, Air Force Longevity Service Award, Outstanding Unit Award With Valor, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Flying Cross, Overseas Service Long Tour Ribbon, Vietnam Service Medal, Air Force Presidential United Citation to just name a few. Joe retired in January of 1993 with the rank of Colonel. His retirement years were filled with managing properties that he owned, playing golf with his son and his many friends, passionately following college football and visiting his new grandson in Atlanta.
Colonel Sellman is survived by Susan Hamilton Sellman of Decatur, Georgia; son, Theodore Hamilton Sellman, Sr., daughter-in-law, Shannon Hennessy Sellman, and grandson, Theodore Hamilton Sellman, Jr. “Tad” of Atlanta, Georgia. Other survivors include cousins, nieces, a nephew and other extended family. He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, John W. Sellman.
Colonel Joseph Sellman was a warrior and a proud American who dedicated his life to serving our country, and he was an ardent defender of its freedoms and ideals. His friendship, smile and laughter will be missed by all who knew him.