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KLINGBEIL, Selma M., age 101

Died: Wednesday, April 25th, 2018

Memorial Service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, September 8, 2018 at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Altoona with the Reverend Dan Kohn officiating.  Interment will be at a later date.

In lieu of flowers please send your donations to Grace Edgewood Assisted Living on Spooner Ave. Altoona, WI or the Altoona Historical Society Inc. P.O. box 1 Altoona, WI 54720 or the Altoona Lions Club.


Selma M. Klingbeil, age 101, died on Wednesday, April 25, 2018 at Grace Edgewood Assisted Living and Memory Care in Altoona.

Selma was born on November 12, 1916 to the late Carl and Helena (Nelson) Henderson in Sarona, Wisconsin.  She was a first-generation US citizen born to Swedish immigrant parents. Her father, a blacksmith, moved his business and family from Sarona to Campia, eventually setting up shop in Rice Lake where Selma graduated from high school in 1934.  On August 5, 1938 she married William J. Klingbeil of Altoona. 

Selma worked as a gifted seamstress, upholsterer, and knitting machine operator in her home in Altoona through the 1940's to 1980's.  She made clothing for area residents as well as sewing the draperies for the school auditorium and making cheerleading outfits at times.  She also sponsored a bowling team and used her knitting machines to provide the team with apparel.  At the end of her professional sewing days, she continued her creativity making many quilts, afghans, and beautiful porcelain dolls which she not only dressed in vintage costumes, but poured, fired and painted the porcelain as well.

She was active in community affairs including the drive to keep public schools in Altoona after the school was destroyed by fire in 1951, serving as Secretary for the new Little League and Babe Ruth Baseball in Altoona including  development of the ball diamond at Tenth Street Park, as well as those on Spooner Ave, and as a Girl Scout troop leader and as an active member of Grace Lutheran Church in Eau Claire and Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Altoona.

Selma was a life-long learner and educator.  She taught upholstery classes at Chippewa Valley Tech for nine years, and successfully encouraged her children to pursue their college educations, something she always wished she could have done as well.

Selma and Bill enjoyed traveling, taking their children to all 48 states during their childhoods. They later traveled to Alaska, Hawaii and Europe as well.

Selma was able to remain in her home in Altoona until age 95 due to the attentive care provided by neighbors, friends and community services.  The family would like to thank everyone who helped Selma achieve this over many years, especially neighbors and friends Wayne Johnson, Jerry Homme, Sue and Jim Haigh, Larry Silvernail, Sue Englesby, Mike and Shelly Lenz, the late Steve Sullivan, Mark Quam, Pastor Dan Kohn, and the volunteers at Meals on Wheels.   Our heartfelt warm thanks go to the staff and facility at Grace Edgewood Assisted Living and Memory Care and St. Joseph's Hospice for taking such great care of Selma in her final years.

She is survived and will be sorely missed by her loving family: daughter, Joan (Jim) Templeton of Waterloo, Iowa; son Jim (Robyn) Klingbeil of Poynette, Wisconsin; grandchildren, David Templeton and Paul Templeton; and many nieces and nephews.

Selma was preceded in death by her husband, William and by her siblings; Sal Schilling, Nels Henderson, Elsie Steltzner, Millie Sheldon and Clarence Henderson.

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