April 29, 1932 ~ November 25, 2019
Born in: Houston, TX
Resided in: Denver, CO
Vilosa Jeannette Selman
Vilosa Jeannette Selman was the daughter and only child of Emile and Rosa Cleveland. Both parents preceded her in death. She was born in Houston, Texas April 29, 1932. Vilosa was delivered by her Grandmother, Olivia Jones. Vilosa sang, “Jesus is My Everything” at the age of four at the South Texas District Association. Her Grandfather, Rev. C. H. Jones was very proud of her. He was Secretary of the Association. Vilosa became a Christian at the age of nine. She was baptized at New Hope Baptist Church by Rev. N. S. Brown. She received her education in Stafford, La Marque and Houston, Texas; attended Bishop College, graduated from Texas Southern University with a BS Degree and the University of Northern Colorado with a Master’s Degree. Vilosa taught school in Hitchcock, Texas for 14 months and in Denver for 30 years. She is preceded in death by her husband, John L. Selman, Sr.
Vilosa was like a light introduced into the dark. Her presence simply overwhelmed her environment. She was so very elegant and exuded all the attributes of a lady of virtue. Notwithstanding, Vilosa could be strong-willed and resolute and was to the very end. If she had set to purpose an idea or a matter, there was not the minutest of chance of swaying her to move even the slightest to the left or to the right. Steady and anchored in her beliefs, she would not be deterred and could not be dissuaded. For those who were privileged to know Vilosa and to have navigated through all of her complex layers, you ultimately discovered that she was anchored rock steady by a heart overflowing with generosity. When it came to giving, she always gave well above what was required. She gave freely to her family, friends, pastor, church, neighbors and complete strangers. Giving out of a good and cheerful heart was as instinctive to her as breathing.
In the corner of her kitchen was a small round table thoughtfully placed in front of a three-sided wall of windows that brought the expanse beauty of the outside world into the warmth of the setting of her home and is where Vilosa sat and shared stories of yesterdays and yesteryears. She was a particularly private person; yet it seemed that when seated at this table, this venue became her stage where she descriptively recounted the intricacies of her life. Each word spoken painted vivid scenes of a life riddled with laughter and pain, despair and joy; all of which ultimately fused into unparalleled hope. She, believing that we are all transformed by our trials, would often state that people only looked at the glory but didn’t know her story.” 2Cor 5:12 reads: There are those who glory in appearance and not in heart (KJV); those who take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart (NIV). She was determined that the intricate facts didn’t get lost in one’s perceived glory in her life. To a great degree, she understood that those who fit this script stood in jeopardy of losing their souls, a spiritual matter which was of great concern to her. Conceivably, that is why it seemed a matter of importance for her to narrate her life stories fully and repetitively.
Vilosa was a prominent, well-respected educator. As an educator, Vilosa, as biblically stated of Martha, was concerned about much. Such as whether her students had enough to eat, the necessary supplies to succeed; a warm bed in which to sleep and much, much more. Still like Martha’s sister, Mary, she held to “the good part”, the determination that each of her students have a level playing field to succeed regardless of mental capacity, race, economic or any other status. Be it with well-defined lesson plans or unscripted series of profound deeds, failure had never met such a more formidable foe. She had students that went on to become renowned doctors, distinguished lawyers, and highly respected political advisors, who today credit her as the encouraging impetus that propelled them into successes that they may have otherwise thought unattainable. Vilosa was featured several times in newspaper articles and was prominently pictured on the front page of the Denver Post in recognition of the vital role she played in the acceptance of integration in the Denver Public School system. Though she was gifted in the art of giving accolades and extolling the efforts of others, she found it awkward to receive them and would humbly give all honor and glory to the Father for the God-given increases in each of her student’s lives.
There is no earthly love that’s stronger and purer than a mother’s love. Vilosa had one son, Billy, who was the recipient of such a love. Their love cut both ways in similarity and intimate familiarity. It was an exclusive love. He never forgot a birthday or holiday. She proudly displayed the many gifts and beautifully worded cards that he sent her. Cards that conveyed more excellently the emotions of his heart. There were a many Billy stories told at the table. Those stories could hold you hostage for hours. Her grandchildren and great grandchildren elevated her love to new heights. She taught her then one-year old grandson, Jarvay, his first prayer and radiated with pride when years later his love for God led him into the ministry. She spoke highly of the intellectual capabilities of her granddaughter, Takisha, and beamed at the mention of her two beautiful great grandchildren, Nichelle and NaShea.
Vilosa was an avid gardener. She was precise about everything she did, and gardening was no exception. While gardening, there seemed to have been an intimate praise between her and the Creator. She seemed to understand that the act itself culminated in an explicit, humbling interpretation of the Creator and His creation. She recognized that every time a flower blossomed it displayed the magnificent beauty and glory of God. Each plant in her garden was carefully placed so as not to compete with the other and would blossom as if on a thought-provoking, scheduled timeline. Dressed in all their beauty, they brought to life the words of Isaiah 60:5 Arise, shine; for thy light is come; and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. The splendor of their presence is a temporal gift. They, like us, have an appointed time to die and return to the dust from whence we came. But let us glory in the knowledge that through God’s divine grace, there is an opportunity for all to live again.
Cooking was another labor of love that Vilosa performed to perfection. She didn’t believe in a lot of seasoning, which seemed rather counter intuitive to most of us. With two or three ingredients, she could create a feast that was delectably mystifying. If you were invited to the table in the corner of the kitchen to feast or just to listen to one of Vilosa’s life stories, be assured it was an esteemed honor; the memory of which was sure to linger long after the last bite was eaten and/or her stories came to a teachable end. Vilosa, we pray that for all the feasts you prepared on this time side of life, that God grants you a seat at HIS table.
Vilosa departed this life November 20, 2019. She leaves to celebrate her life her loving son, Billy; a devoted daughter-in-law, Kathy; granddaughter, Takisha; grandson, Jarvay; two great grandchildren, Nichelle and NaShea; one great grandchild, (name); beloved cousins, Michael and Viola; and other cherished relatives, neighbors, and friends.
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Celebration of Life: December 12, 2019 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Pipkin Braswell Chapel of Peace
6601 Colfax Avenue
Denver, CO 80220
Reception: December 12, 2019 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Rising Star Missionary Baptist Church
1500 South Dayton Street
Denver, CO 80247