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Obituary: Jane Selbe, Northwestern Graduate, Glenview Dentist

Jane Selbe was the lone woman who graduated from Northwestern University Dental School, and practiced dentistry in Glenview for nearly four decades.

Credit: Berardinelli Family Funeral Services.
Credit: Berardinelli Family Funeral Services.
The below obituary is provided by Berardinelli Family Funeral Services:

Dr Jane W Selbe, 87, died March 7, 2014 at her home in Santa Fe, NM after a long illness.

She was born March 16, 1926 in Rocky Ford to Dr. (Doc) Arthur R. and Mabel Williams. She went to the University of Colorado at Boulder for her undergraduate education, then dental school at the University of Nebraska and Northwestern University, where she graduated in 1951, the only woman in her class. 

The Chicago Tribune has a a full tribute to Selbe's life and work

Her accomplishments were great.  She practiced as a pedodontist near Chicago (in Glenview) from 1951 to 1997.  She was a pioneer in women’s dentistry, encouraging and mentoring many women. She was active in the Chicago and Illinois State Dental Society, American Association of Women Dentists, and the American Dental Association, and was elected fellowship in the American College of Dentists in 1969.

She served as President of the American Association of Women Dentists in 1976 and was the first recipient of their highest award, The Lucy Hobbs Taylor Award.  She also served as president of the North Suburban Branch of the Chicago Dental Society 1994-95. She was the ‘driving force’ in her Northwestern University Dental School Alumni Association, and served as president from 1972-73.  She was also the first woman member of the Union League Club, “a pretty big deal at the time” according to a friend. 

After retiring in 1997, she moved to Santa Fe, NM where she has lived ever since. She loved music, played piano and organ, sang in choirs most of her life, and passionately loved to travel. 

She is survived by her husband, Herb Hammer, children Susan Selbe, Scott Selbe and Cindy Selbe, grandchildren Jason Katz, Stephanie Katz, and Bob Selbe, and great grandchildren Hailey, Owen and Evelyn Jane Katz, and brother Dr. Donald Williams.

At her request, a graveside service will be held In Rocky Ford, CO. 

In lieu of flowers, please make memorial donations to Heifer International, or Habitat for Humanity.  


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