Senior in Action – Selma Minerd

Marilee Marrero Stefenhagen
Former County of LA Public Library Administrator is having the time of her life as a retiree; meeting fascinating people who are active seniors, and volunteering for Soroptimist International of Norwalk and other women’s groups.

Senior in Action – Selma Minerd

Selma, age 95, barely found time to schedule an interview.  She said, “I’m a very active senior who looks forward to my weekly activities. On Mondays I do errands, such as banking, and laundry, and play bridge with my Assistance League Bridge Club.  The Friends of Whittier Library meet once a month, and I manage the Friends Book Store.  My husband Francis used to manage the Friends Book Store. When he died in 2015, I took over.  Every Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, I staff the Friends Book Store which opens at 9:00 a.m. and closes at 5:30 p.m.  Just last weekend, we held a 3-day book sale, and I was there the entire time.  On Tuesdays I cook.  On Wednesdays I play bridge, and meet once a month with the Friendly Hills Women’s Club.  I’ve been a Women’s Club member forever it seems, and held many officer positions.  I also play bridge on Friday.  Every Sunday, I attend services at the Center for Spiritual Living Fullerton formerly Church of Religious Science.”

“I grew up in Pomona, California but now live in Whittier.  I have outlived two of my five children; two sons and 3 stepsons.  My son Terry lives in Colorado, son Tim makes his home in South Carolina, and Steve is in Mesa, Arizona.  I have eleven grandchildren, and sixteen great-grandchildren, with more on the way.  My youngest great-grandchild is just over 1 year old, and the oldest is 22.  My 7-year-old great-granddaughter placed 5th in a California state gymnastics championship recently, which made me proud.”

“My first husband was a judge.  I sold real estate and tried my hand at a number of other ventures.   We divorced after 43 years.  After retirement, I married Francis Minerd and we had a fantastic marriage.  It’s lucky when you find the right husband. We traveled frequently when Francis was alive. My latest travel adventure was a trip to Colorado where my son was married for the second time on New Year’s Eve 2018.  I have a wonderful family and they are very good to me.”

“I also have a tremendous number of friends.  The Mayor of Whittier, Joe Vinatieri, is my surrogate son.  His mother was my best friend.  Joe’s first wife died the same year as my husband Francis.  When Joe remarried in March 2019, his wedding coordinator told me, “You’re going to be in the wedding procession as the Mother of the Groom,” so I had the privilege of walking down the aisle first.  I’m a lucky woman.”

“It’s difficult to get old.  You wonder, ‘What does God have planned for me?’  I’m really independent and still cook for myself.  In fact, I’m going to host Thanksgiving dinner.  My oldest grandson said, “You can just make veggies.”  But his daughters shouted in the background, ‘We want meat, we want meat!’  His 7-year-old said ‘Tell Grandma to just make the usual turkey dinner.’  My 95th birthday was held at my home, attended by fifty people.  It was a wonderful party with a catered taco bar, and my great-grandchildren helped serve our guests.”

“Due to failing eyesight from macular degeneration, I have not driven since 2017.  Fortunately, my friends provide rides to the hair salon and the market, and chauffeur me to many activities such as bridge games, volunteering at the Friends Book Store, and more.  I used to write newsletters for Republican Women, and Friends of the Whittier Library, but can’t see well enough to do it now. I am a professional volunteer.  You could call me a politician, because I was elected to the Republican Central Committee over 50 years ago.  I quit when I was 90 years old, but my friend put me back on.  Being involved in my community keeps me connected and thriving.”

 For more information about the Whittier Friends Bookstore, visit

No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.