School 13

Selma Katharine Richardson

October 23, 1931 ~ July 10, 2019 (age 87)


Selma Katharine Richardson passed away at 1:30 p.m. on July 10, 2019 at Meadowbrook Health Center, Urbana, Illinois.

She was born October 23, 1931 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She was preceded in death by her parents John and Laura (Kuijala) Richardson and her sister, Laura I. Messing.

Selma was Professor Emerita at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign School of Information Science, where she specialized in services and materials for youth. Before coming to the University of Illinois in 1974, she worked in a number of school libraries including Oak Park and River Forest High School, Illinois.

Selma Richardson was an authority on school library media services. For over a decade she was responsible for multiple editions of the American Library Association publication MAGAZINES FOR CHILDREN: A GUIDE FOR PARENTS, TEACHERS, AND LIBRARIANS.

She was also a historical children’s book scholar and did research on public library services to children in Illinois. Selma was a proud alumna of St Olaf College, Minnesota, and held advanced degrees, including the PhD, from the University of Michigan.

She was an avid and far reaching traveler, setting foot on all seven continents, and visiting many places before they became tourist destinations.

She played the flute and sang, enjoyed working in her garden, and attending concerts. She was a supporter of music, education, and the arts in Champaign and Urbana and elsewhere; a member of the University of Illinois Foundation President’s Council and the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts Marquee Circle.

Selma was a gracious host and a good neighbor. She relished good food, well presented. Selma belonged to numerous local organizations including The Illinois Club, the Krannert Art Museum Council, and the Twin City Garden Club. She was a member of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Champaign.

Selma’s family and friends greatly appreciate the compassionate and skilled care she received from the staff at Meadowbrook, and through Harbor Light Hospice and Synergy Home Care.

A graveside service will be held at 1:00 p.m. on August 7, 2019 at Woodside Cemetery in Middletown, OH. Pastor Michelle Terry of Bethlehem Lutheran Church will officiate.


To send flowers to Selma's family, please visit our floral section.


Graveside Service
August 7, 2019

1:00 PM
Woodside Cemetery (Middletown)

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