COOPERSTOWN – Thomas J. Selover, 76, of Cooperstown, a devoted family man, egalitarian and friend to all, passed away on Aug. 8, 2018.
Born on April 24, 1942, in Merrill, Wisc., Tom’s parents, Anne and John, relocated his family to Murfreesboro, Tenn., when Tom was 14. In Murfreesboro, Tom would go on to earn both a Bachelor’s in Biology and a Master’s in Chemistry from Middle Tennessee State University.
Tom began his career as a science teacher in Hernando County, Fla., then earned his Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy from the University of Florida in Gainesville, becoming headmaster at Oak Hall Academy there.
It was in Florida where Tom met the love of his life and his bride for almost 47 years, Lynda, marrying in December 1971. Tom and Lynda crafted a journey-filled family life through cross-country travels and life-enriching experiences.
In 1980, Tom and Lynda relocated to Cooperstown, where he would become a serial entrepreneur and businessman. Locally, Tom was the mastermind of several real estate projects, including his favorite, Hyde Bay Colony, while his love for thoroughbred horses developed from a childhood passion to a professional enterprise and personal occupation. Tom became well-known on the racetracks up and down the East Coast and in the sales barns of Keeneland and the Ocala Breeder’s Sales.
In Cooperstown, Tom served on the Cooperstown Central school board and the Village Library Board, and volunteered with the Cornell Cooperative Extension. His dedication to his family was always on display, especially with each of his three children, encouraging, mentoring and transporting them throughout their youth activities and helping them grow into their lives.
Perhaps nothing defined Tom more than his willingness to engage everyone in conversation, with radiating kindness and a gentle spirit. Tom’s greatest pleasure came in reflecting on what he learned from others; whether it was a random encounter with a stranger on a park bench or in providing his own commentary with family and neighbors on the developments of the day. An avid reader, vociferous lawn mower and curious interviewer, Tom was always at the ready to help diagnose, problem solve and calculate the next right outcome.
Tom’s zest for life was never more apparent than in sharing “Porch Time” with a glass of wine at Hyde Bay Colony. His devoted love of box wine set the tone in creating a warm, relaxed and loving environment for his family and neighbors to come together to share a story, have a laugh and discuss life’s challenges and opportunities from each day. He was tremendously proud and honored by his family and friendships that flowed freely in conversations.
Tom was preceded in death by his father, John, and his mother, Anne, along with his brother, Daniel.
He is survived by his wife, Lynda, and their three children: John and his wife, Amy, of Tallahassee, Fla., and their four children, Molly, Ian, Ella and Lilly; David and his fiancée Natasha of Cooperstown and Natasha’s son Max; and Whitney and her fiancé Brad of Fayetteville, along with so many friends who were like family in Cooperstown and Hyde Bay Colony.
A celebration of Tom’s life will be 3-5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 25, at Hyde Bay Colony (1445 County Highway 31). All are welcome to attend and share a memory of Tom.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to a scholarship fund that will be established in Tom’s name at Cooperstown Central School. Donations may be made payable to “Cooperstown Central School,” along with a note stating that the gift is to be directed to the Thomas J. Selover Memorial Scholarship. Donations may be mailed to Cooperstown Central School, Attention Business Manager, 39 Linden Ave., Cooperstown, NY 13326.
The Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home in Cooperstown, NY is serving the family.