Gresham resident John W. Selmar will celebrate his 80th birthday Saturday, March 29, at the Eagle Estates Club House and at Broadview Community United Church of Christ in Seattle.
John was born March 19, 1928, in Greeley, Colo., to Herman and Alida McKay Selmar. He graduated from Greeley High School in 1946 and joined the Navy, becoming a yeoman. He graduated from the University of Dubuque in Iowa in 1951, and he earned his master's degree in speech pathology and audiology from the University of Iowa in 1954.
John married Lois Schneider in 1951. He taught in Seattle Public Schools for 12 years before becoming coordinator of speech and hearing for the Lake Washington District, where he worked for 18 years. Following his retirement, he entered private practice as a speech pathologist, specializing in stuttering therapy.
John has worked with or supervised about 5,000 stutterers. He has lectured extensively in the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Europe. He is also the author of numerous articles and books on stuttering, and he has published articulation tests.
John and his wife moved to Gresham in 2000. They are members of Zion United Church of Christ. He enjoys writing letters.
He has two daughters, Christine Pantera of Fort Morgan, Colo., and Kate Selmar Stich of Troutdale; and two granddaughters, Stephanie Smith of Denver and Allison Selmar Stich of Troutdale.
When asked about the secret of his long life, he cited his genes and his relationship with the church. He said his motto was, 'If I had known I would have lived this long, I would have taken better care of myself.'