Kenneth Ronald Sellai
Kenneth Ronald Sellai
Early on the beautiful sunny morning of April 27, 2012, in the comfort of his home in Sonoma, surrounded by his adoring wife and children, Kenneth Ronald Sellai found peace after a brave struggle against cancer. He was 62.
Ken was born in Madera, on Jan 11, 1950, to Fred and Irene (Del Zotto) Sellai. He attended St. Joachim’s Elementary School, and graduated from Madera High School in 1968. Ken then moved to San Francisco, where he worked in his older brother John’s flower shop while getting his BS in political science at San Francisco State University.
Ken was a man of unusual grace. His kindness and generosity and good humor were legendary, and he leaves behind many friends, all of whom have favorite “Ken stories” which are proving to be endlessly soothing and entertaining to his grieving family. Ken worked at Friedman’s for more than 25 years, and his hard work and loyalty to his co-workers will always be remembered.
Ken’s special loves were his precious daughter, Amanda, hiking in the Sierra, especially with his dear friend Donn Furman, cheering for the San Francisco Giants, even when they weren’t having the best of seasons, working in his garden, and walking with his jolly companion Jack, (“a big brown dog with an expensive haircut”), while talking to his brother Ed on his cell phone.
Ken is survived by his wife, Jean Ann; his daughters, Amanda Sellai, of Glen Ellen, Terri Sellai, of Anacortes, Wash., Lauren Rodgers Bullock (Blair), of Pleasanton; and son, Joel Rodgers (Naomi), Kofu, Japan. Ken is also survived by Makiko Ichikawa, of Kofu. His beloved grandchildren are Grayce Totten and Bethany Jean Bullock, Blye Lynus Bartleson and Paul Kenzo Rodgers. They will all miss having Nono adventures.
Ken was part of a large Italian family, and leaves behind five brothers and sisters, John Sellai (Margaret), of San Francisco, Don Sellai (Diana), of Madera, Cathy Black (Bruce), of Weaverville, DeeDee Soltes (Mark), of San Leandro, and Ed Sellai (Suzy), of Petaluma. Ken’s mother, Irene, died in 2007, and his father, Fred Sellai, still lives on the family ranch, which was founded by Ken’s grandfather, John Sellai, when he emigrated from Lucca, Italy, in 1912. Ken is also survived by 43 nieces and nephews.
A chapel service honoring Ken will be held at 1 p.m. on Sunday, May 6, 2012, at Jay’s Chapel, 1121 Roberts Ave., Madera. Inquiries and/or directions for this service can be made to Jay’s Chapel at 559-674-8814.
Ken’s life will be celebrated by friends and family on Friday, May 18, 2012, starting at 4 p.m., including a potluck dinner to be held at the Kenwood Depot, 314 Warm Springs Road, Kenwood. Stories will be told, wine and margaritas will be imbibed and cigars will be smoked. Your best Hawaiian shirts or hiking clothes would be excellent attire, and Tilley hats or Giants caps would be appropriate. Further inquiries can be made to Duggan’s Mission Chapel at 996-3655 or www.duggansmissionchapel.com.
In lieu of flowers, donations would be greatly appreciated to the Sonoma Community Center, 276 E. Napa St., Sonoma, CA 95476; or to the Sonoma Land Trust, 966 Sonoma Ave., Santa Rosa, CA 95404.
Cremation and related services entrusted to Duggan’s Mission Chapel, Mission Cremation Service, 525 W. Napa St., Sonoma, CA 95476.
Duggan’s Mission Chapel.
Mission Cremation Service
525 West Napa Street
Sonoma, CA 95476