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Maxine Selling

June 25, 1923 - October 6, 2019

Maxine Selling of Portland died peacefully at the West Hills skilled nursing facility on October 6, 2019.


Mrs. Selling was born on June 25, 1923 in New Rochelle, NY, to Ralph and Sarah Hanchrow.  She received a B.A. from the University of Michigan.  As a newlywed, she moved to Portland after World War II.


She first worked as a social worker for the Red Cross in NY, and later as a policy advocate for Metropolitan Family Services in Portland.  She served on the board of the American Theater Company, and helped with the Desegregation Monitoring and Activity Committee (DMAC) of Portland Public Schools.


A frequent and passionate volunteer for other cultural and charitable groups and political campaigns in Portland, she was also an advocate for programs helping women returning to college later in their adult lives.  She completed graduate coursework in social work at Portland State University in the 1970’s.


Maxine Selling regularly welcomed a large circle of friends and family to her home.  She was a consummate cook and hostess, helping to bring Julia Child’s 1960’s cookbook co-author, Simone Beck, to Portland on her first American tour.


The two years she spent in the 1950’s living in Jakarta and Bali, Indonesia, with her young family were a fond influence in her life, returning with musical instruments, cloth batiks, recipes, and art which graced her Portland home.


Mrs. Selling had three children: Eleanor, Geoffrey, and Kenneth.  She was married to Philip Selling, MD, for 33 years, who predeceased her in 1978.  Toward her later life, she devoted herself to her garden, reading, travel, and chamber music.  She is survived by her three children, two grandchildren, Sarah Kate Selling and Rebecca Emily (Becky) Burk, MD, and one great grandchild, Baxter Burk.


She asked adamantly that no services occur surrounding her decease.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in her name to Friends of Chamber Music, (211 SE Caruthers St. #202, Portland, OR 97214).

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