Obituary of Liliane Rufenacht Selby
Liliane Rufenacht Selby, 90, born in Paris, France on December 18, 1932 to Alice and Rodolphe Rufenacht, died peacefully at home in Tucson, Arizona on January 26, 2023. She will be remembered for her independent spirit, love of family, artistic talent, strong faith, and fortitude. Liliane came to the U.S. in 1939 from France and grew up in Riverdale, New York, graduating high school in 1950 from Chatham Hall in Virginia. After briefly attending Wellesley College, Liliane returned to Europe where she lived for the next several years. She subsequently moved to Tucson and married Howard W. Selby (Selby Motors Lincoln Mercury) in 1958, with whom she shared nearly 50 years of an active and happy life. They possessed a love of adventure, taking trips to all corners of the U.S. and the world. Their favorite travels were spent exploring the California coastline and Baja Peninsula as well as the Hawaiian and Tahitian islands on their sailboat, La Serena. Back on land, they ventured in their camper to remote locations in the West and Mexico. Liliane also became a licensed airplane pilot to fly their small Piper Tri-Pacer. On weekends they enjoyed horseback riding and life on their ranch (Umpire Ranch) in Canelo, Arizona. In later years, they were active hiking, skiing and playing tennis while spending time at their vacation home in Pinetop, Arizona.
Liliane was a true renaissance woman with keen intellectual curiosity and exceptional artistic talent. She trained as a professional violinist and joined the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, and later played in two string quartets for many years. Liliane also excelled in pottery, weaving, and painting. Her business, Selby Studios, was a testament to her creative talent and entrepreneurial spirit. She successfully sold her individually designed handwoven and knit creations to luxury stores throughout the country, and her work was once featured in the home section of the New York Times Magazine. Her dinner parties for family and friends were most memorable for their imaginative, gourmet delicacies served on artfully arranged platters and plates. Liliane remained an active octogenarian, and even rode her two wheeled bicycle in her Tucson neighborhood until August 2022.
Liliane was a member of several clubs and organizations, including the Tucson Country Club, Mountain Oyster Club, Silver and Turquoise Board of Hostesses, and Assistance League. Her volunteer services over the years included the Arizona Heart Association, United Way Campaign, Odyssey Hospice, and the Stephen Ministry. She is survived by her two daughters, Lydia S. Eitel (Jerry) and Isabelle M. Selby; stepsons, Howard W. Selby III (Linda), William T. Selby (Suzy), Jeffrey B. Selby (Sandi) and Robert E. Selby (Kris); sister, Suzanne Dworsky of Cambridge Massachusetts, nephew, Kenneth Hughes, nieces, Sandra Hughes and Alisa Dworsky; and numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren. A memorial service will be held at St. Philip’s in the Hills Episcopal Church on March 18 at 11:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to a charity of choice.