Selma Duvick Obituary

Selma Sunny Duvick
Selma "Sunny" Duvick
Selma Sunny Duvick

February 16, 1927 - January 28, 2020
Born in Pennsylvania
Resided in West Des Moines, Iowa
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Obituary

Selma Elizabeth Nelson Duvick (“Sunny”) of West Des Moines, Iowa passed away on January 28, 2020 following a brief illness. She was born on February 16, 1927 in Palmerton, Pennsylvania, where she grew up and attended high school, graduating in 1944. She attended Wilson College in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1948. Sunny then moved to St. Louis, Missouri to continue her studies at Washington University, where she earned a master’s degree in Zoology and met her future husband Donald Duvick. The couple were married on September 10, 1950 in Pennsylvania. They returned to St. Louis for a brief time and then moved to Des Moines, Iowa in 1951 where Don took a plant breeding position with Pioneer Hi-Bred (now Corteva Agriscience). Sunny raised her family in Johnston, Iowa on an acreage that featured Don’s beloved garden and prairie plots. Together with Don, she was an enthusiastic traveler both in the U.S. and around the world. Three years after Don passed away in 2006, Sunny moved to the Edgewater senior living community in West Des Moines. There she met some of the best friends of her adult life and participated in the community through book and discussion groups and many other activities with her friends.

Sunny was a loving and caring mother, spouse, and grandmother and a gracious and loyal friend who never failed to bring out the best in the people she knew and met. She loved travel, bicycling, reading, and learning, and she was an able participant in a wide range of discussion topics. Her bookcases bulged with books and maps collected on her travels as well as mystery novels and history books. Poetry volumes were always close at hand as well, and she could recite classics from memory. Never one to sit still long, Sunny did much for her community over the years: she was instrumental in bringing library services to Johnston in the early years of the town’s growth, and as a founding member of the Johnston Historical Society she helped move the Simpson Barn and House to their current location and served as editor of the Historical Society Newsletter. Sunny volunteered for many years sorting books for the Planned Parenthood Book Sale (Classics were her specialty). While living in Johnston she was an active member of Urbandale United Church of Christ where she played many roles through the years and made many fast friends. Sunny was steadfast in her support of a range of charitable organizations promoting land conservation, justice and equality, and the arts. She took great pride in the activities of her grandchildren Alex and Makenzie and she loved reminiscing about raising her three children and her friendships with them as adults. As long as she was able, Sunny loved bicycling on local bike trails, and her secret passion was getting behind the wheel of her beloved BMW.

Sunny is survived by sons Daniel (Susan) and Jonathan (Carol Hendrick), daughter Randa (David Grosnick), grandson Alex and granddaughter Makenzie, as well as nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents Opal and Harley Nelson, her husband Donald, sister Pamela, and brother Paul. She touched many lives and she will be greatly missed by friends and family both near and far. Contributions in her memory can be made to the Edgewater Good Samaritan Fund, The Nature Conservancy, or Urbandale United Church of Christ.

A celebration of Sunny’s life will be held on Saturday, February 15 at 1 PM, preceded by visitation from 11 AM-1 PM, in the Edgewater PAC, 9225 Cascade Ave., West Des Moines, IA.

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Visitation
Edgewater Retirement Community
9225 Cascade Ave.
West Des Moines, IA USA 50266
Saturday, February 15, 2020
11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
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Service
Edgewater Retirement Community
9225 Cascade Ave.
West Des Moines, IA USA 50266
Saturday, February 15, 2020
1:00 PM
- Show more -