January 30, 2018
January 30, 2018
True to her strong and independent soul, Selma Moench (ever the professional travel tour director) took her last and most important journey early January 25. She had celebrated her 91st birthday Sept. 6, 2017.
Selma, the youngest of six children born in Fredonia, ND, to William and Elsie Kurtz, developed tenacity and drive from growing up on a farm. She fully displayed these qualities, which served her so well, for the rest of her long and fulfilling life.
Her talents became essential to a successful grain and livestock farming operation northwest of Edgeley, ND, after her marriage to Melvin Moench on October 8, 1944. Four Moench children quickly learned that only hard work with high standards would fly.
As Melvin neared retirement, Selma arranged a tour for her homemaker’s club that proved to be a huge hit. Word spread. Soon Selma planned and escorted tours for senior groups eventually starting Golden Age Tours. As a small business owner, Selma’s knack for planning and logistics bore fruit. Her charm and meticulous attention to detail ensured memorable trips. She and Melvin scouted locations ahead of time in their motor home. These dry runs produced the best experience possible. Selma handled all arrangements. “I buy all tickets, arrange lodging, sightseeing, and food, then go along to see that it’s all done right,” she said. She managed all of this professionally before the benefits of modern technology.
Selma’s fearlessness, grit and ability to deal with adversity proved invaluable in dealing with the inevitable curve balls. Tourists felt confident in Selma’s capable hands. She marveled that she created one brochure and had no need to advertise. She logged hundreds of thousands of miles traveling, pressing on after Melvin’s death in 1982. She especially liked going to the nation’s capital. “You always learn something new, she said. “When you get home you see the place you visited on tv and it makes you understand it better.” Her zest for life and adventure took her all over the world. She cultivated lifelong interest in issues of the day. You could count on her for spirited discussion about her passionately held views. Her love of camping, gardening and music reflect her lifelong appreciation for the arts and nature.
Selma treasured family. To foster togetherness as the family grew, she planned and gifted yearly reunion trips. Selma relished providing these opportunities for her family to build and maintain relationships. To her family she leaves a legacy built with Melvin that epitomizes the virtues of hard work, integrity, independence, excellence, dedication to family, service to community and faith in God.
Her surviving family will remember Selma’s determination, dry humor, high standards and tenacity, creativity, sense of style, and advocacy for seniors. They are proud of the role she played in helping to foster special memories for thousands of tourists, families and friends. She earned the moniker “Queen of the Road.” She was all that and so much more!
Comforted that she was well-prepared for her final journey are sons James (Connie) Moench, Bismarck, ND, and Russell (Diane) Moench, Rochester, MN; daughters Diane (Doug) Vee, Billings, MT, and Peggy (David) Johnson, Audubon, MN.
Selma also leaves grandchildren Jessica Moench, Mark Moench, Adam Johnson, Sarah Moench and Stephanie Moench, and three great-grandchildren – Alonna Rose Moench, Vance Mark Moench and Andrew Steven Moench.
The family asks that that memorials be directed to Prairie Public Broadcasting.