Joseph Allen (Self) Selph Sr. was born to Joe Henry and Cathleen Self on September 1, 1927, in Hemingway, South Carolina. He was the second eldest of sixteen children. He attended school in Williamsburg County until he left to assist his father in running their farming business. He did this well into his early forties, then migrated to Newark, New Jersey in 1965. There, he pursued a job as a truck driver for Dillan & Beck, then later for the Cerebral Palsy Foundation.
In Joseph’s early years in Newark, he loved to have a good time and to be the “life of the party”. It was during this period he took on the nickname, “The Kingfish!” He took pride in his automobiles. His pink and white Crown Victoria (which was affectionately called Pinky), a 1966 gold Crown Victoria, a canary yellow Continental Mark Four, and a blue Continental Mark Five.
He was well known for a number of catchphrases. When he was making a point, he would say; “What’s so damp and cool about it”. He would warn his granddaughters to; “Stay away from them scarecrows.” If you ever asked him what was going on, he’d reply, “Same old sixes and sevens”, but his favorite saying whenever asked how he was doing? He’d respond, “EVERYTHING IS LOVELY!”
In 1967, he met the love of his life, Ms. Johnnie Mae Mitchell. Joe and Johnnie Mae enjoyed traveling together, to his beloved Hemingway to visit with his siblings, family, and friends. They enjoyed family gatherings with their children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and recently great-great grandchildren. In 1993, he and his family migrated to Orlando, Florida where he took great pride in caring for his lawn and pruning his trees. He did this so well, that people in the neighborhood began to inquire and asked him to care for their lawns as well. This began his landscaping business which he enjoyed very much.
Joe and Johnnie Mae enjoyed going on cruises, celebrating birthdays, New Year’s, other holidays and occasions with the family. The couple enjoyed walking together at the local mall and spending time with their running club. In their latter days, they cared for each other when ill, passed their time watching westerns, and chatting over meals and cups of coffee.
Joe quietly departed this life on Tuesday; January 28, 2020 at Advent Hospital South in Orlando, Florida. He was preceded in death by his children: daughter, Sheila Selph, son, Michael J. Selph and daughter, Yvonne Gamble. His siblings: sister, Carrie Mae Selph, sister, Lila Ruth Selph, sister Mable Selph, brother, Nemiah Selph, brother, James Selph, and brother, Eli Selph.
His wonderful life will be forever cherished by his loving wife, Johnnie Mae Mitchell-Selph. His children: Georgia James, Ester Speight, Verlia Moses, Joseph Allen Selph Jr. (Sandra); all of New Jersey. Jo Ann Self, of Virginia, and Daniel Mitchell (Wendy) of Lakeland, Florida. His siblings: Ethel L. Washington of New Jersey; Barbara S. Boatwright of Columbia, South Carolina; Charles Alexander (Elaine) Selph of Lynchburg, Virginia; Lillie Mae Selph-Whitfield of Hemingway, South Carolina; Wilhelmenia S. Gray (Thomas) of Hemingway, South Carolina; Margaret S. (Dennis) Daniels of Hemingway, South Carolina; Samuel J. Selph of Columbia, South Carolina; Joshua (Lynn) Selph of Hemingway, South Carolina; and Diann Selph of Columbia, South Carolina. One uncle: Elisha Davis (Ida) of Connecticut, and a sister-in-law: Shirley Nix of New Jersey.
Joe was deeply loved, cherished, and respected by his 15 siblings and adored by all of his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great grandchildren, and a host of nieces, nephews and friends.
We wish to express our sincerest thanks and appreciation for the love and support that has been shown during our time of bereavement. As we grieve for our dear Joe, we thank you so much for your help, sympathy, and kindness. Today as we lay him to rest, we want him to know that, “Everything is lovely”.
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