The New Era - All about Sweet Home since 1929

Cordell Sele


March 17, 2021

July 30, 1931 - March 8, 2021

Cordell Kaye Sele, 89, of Sweet Home died March 8, 2021.

He was born July 30, 1931 in Portland to Erling “Earl” Joseph and Ella Ovidia (Kjos) Sele.

He grew up in Gary, Minn.

Mr. Sele served in the United States Army during the Korean War as a heavy equipment mechanic from 1952 to 1954. He participated in a Veterans Special Honor trip to Washington, D.C. in May 2015.

After being discharged from the Army, he lived in Sweet Home until he moved to Wenatchee, Wash. in 1966. He moved back to Sweet Home in the early 1970s.

Mr. Sele worked as a farmer and in a plywood mill.

He also worked in the Sweet Home and Wenatchee post offices. Later he worked for Linn County as a heavy equipment operator.

Mr. Sele was a member of Fir Lawn Lutheran Church in Sweet Home and Grace Lutheran in Wenatchee, Wash.

He sang bass in school and church choirs. He played high school basketball. He loved horses. Mr. Sele was a Teamster in the 4-H Wagon Train for 10 years. He gave horse-drawn hay rides, Pumpkin Patch rides, and Albany Historic Tours. He was a gifted horseman.

He also enjoyed “Mr. Fixit” projects, and square dancing with his partner, Lorraine Wright.

Mr. Sele is survived by his partner, Lorraine Wright of Sweet Home; children Michael Sele of Sweet Home, Karen Petersen of Portland, and Darby Sele Larson of Beaverton; siblings Ivadell Hummel of Lebanon, and Nyla Kauffman of Albany; 10 grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by two brothers, James Sele and Bob (Alden) Sele; and sister Ruth Tollefson.

Funeral services will be held Wednesday, March 17.

Due to COVID restrictions and the lack of space to host all of Mr. Sele’s friends, the family requests that friends send memories, cards or letters to the family in care of Sweet Home Funeral Chapel 1443 Long St., Sweet Home, OR 97386.

Memorial contributions can be made in Mr. Sele’s name to the Sweet Home VFW.


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