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Maryland-On Friday, July 14, 2023; God called his faithful servant, Dr. James Elwood Selby Jr., home at the tender age of 48. James was a beloved husband, father, brother, son; and he was an inspiration to all who knew him. He will be forever cherished in our hearts.
Dr. James E. Selby, Jr. was born in 1975 in Portsmouth, VA, to the late James E. Selby Sr. and Daphne Jean Selby. He grew up with two sisters, (Michelle Selby and Shenelle Selby Byrd) in Chesapeake and Norfolk, VA and attended Cathedral of Faith C.O.G.I.C. James was the proud father of his only child, James E. Selby III. He met his loving wife Luz Perez Selby in 2012, and the pair were married in October 2015. They were married for seven (7) years at the time of his passing.
James graduated from Booker T. Washington High School in 1993. After graduating from Booker T. Washington High School, he attended Shaw University on a band scholarship for trumpet. While at Shaw University, James became an Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated member. Unfortunately, Dr. James' health declined while at Shaw University, and he decided to return home and continue his studies at Norfolk State University. James graduated from Norfolk State University (Cum Laude) in June 1999 with a Bachelor of Arts in History/Pre-Law. Upon graduation from Norfolk State University, James continued his studies at Troy University. He obtained a Master's in Public Administration/Health Administration in July 2001. Ultimately, James accomplished his lifelong educational goal and completed his Doctor of Health Administration Degree from Central Michigan University in 2015, earning the title of Dr. James Selby Jr.
James was professionally an accomplished leader with a proven and sustained history of achievements in government management, public service, and public administration. James started his career in the public sector with the National Institute of Health, Division of Allergy, Immunology and Transplantation as a Program Specialist. Following this, James became a Program Specialist at the National Institute of Health, Division of Clinical Research. He then pursued an opportunity as a Management Officer with the Food and Drug Administration (F.D.A.), Office of Biotechnology Products. James was briefly promoted to Supervisory Management Officer of the F.D.A., Office of Translational Services. From 2014 - 2020, James served as a Supervisory Budget Analyst/Budget Officer for the Department of Energy, Office of Chief Financial Officer. He led the working group that developed the Department's first Unified Budget Formulation System. He also facilitated the Department of Energy's Budget Formulation Course from 2015- 2019. Upon his passing, in 2020 James served as the Director of the Budget Policy Coordination Division for the Department of Education.
James received several honors, awards, and recognition for his exemplary performance during his career. He received special recognition for the O.P.M. Budget Analysis Standard Development (2019). He received the F.D.A. Honor for Program Management due to creating the budget database (2014). He received the NIH/DCR/PPAB Special Act Award (2007, 2005, and 2004). He received the NIH/OCR/PAB Rising Star Award for Superior Service (2005). In addition to his career-related awards, James competed in the U.S. Transplant Olympics and received the Gold Medal for Table Tennis in 2002. James enjoyed writing and was a published author. He published Increasing Organ Donation Rates in the African American Community (2015) and Building a Better Budget Tracking System (2013).
James was a heart and double kidney transplant recipient. At the young age of 4, James was diagnosed with cancer. He ultimately survived but was left with only one kidney. He continued to enjoy life as a young adolescent from the ages of 5-19; However, his heart and one kidney were deteriorating internally from age 5-19. At 22, James was informed that he needed a heart and kidney transplant to live. He waited patiently for over five (5) months in Sentara Norfolk General to receive organ donations. He was on dialysis and received multiple heart treatments. He received a heart and kidney transplant in April 1998 from a young lady named "Alana." In the fall of 2012, James was informed that the donated kidney was failing and would need another kidney to live. His sister, Shenelle Selby Byrd, donated her kidney to James in June 2013. James was grateful for both donations and expressed his sincere gratitude to God for his gifts of life through the organ donations.
James re-dedicated his life to Christ and was baptized on Sunday, November 17, 2019 at Cathedral of Faith, C.O.G.I.C.
James loved to travel, and together, Luz and James spent the last years of his life traveling the world and visiting exotic places, including Dubai, Maldives, Bora Bora, and many countries in Europe, South America, and the Caribbean Islands. James and Luz happily purchased their dream estate in 2020. James adored his immediate family and the family he created. He enjoyed fishing, boating, table tennis, and spending time with his friends. He was an avid health advocate and an organ donor at the time of his passing.
James entered into eternal rest on July 14, 2023. He was preceded in death by his father, James Elwood Selby Sr.; his maternal grandparents, Merelda and Lenard Rhule; and his paternal grandparents, Grace and William Selby; uncle Norman Rhule; and aunt Hattie Sumler. James will be forever cherished by his loving wife, Luz Perez Selby; his son James E. Selby III; his mother, Daphne (Thywensten Swain) Selby; his sisters: Michelle Selby and Shenelle (Hirman) Selby Byrd; his niece London Selby; his nephews: Jaelin Hamilton, Namarih Byrd, Namarqus Byrd, and Kairos Selby; aunt, Valerie Showunmi of England; uncle, Orthneil Rutherford of Jamaica; and close friend Paris Stith. In addition, James is survived by a host of close friends, cousins, family, and relatives from England, Pennsylvania, Jamaica, and North Carolina; extended family members of the Swain Family; the Perez family; members of his beloved fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated; and his pet dog "Coal."
A funeral service will be held Noon Tuesday; July 25, 2023 at Cathedral of Faith COGIC; Chesapeake, VA. Viewing will be 4-6 pm Monday; July 24, 2023 at Fitchett-Mann Funeral Services; 1146 Rodgers Street; Chesapeake, VA 23324.
Burial will be Noon Wednesday; July 26, 2023 at Heritage memorial Cemetery; Waldorf, Maryland.