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Isabel A. Selinger

Obituary
December 7, 1928 - November 13, 2020
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Topsham-Isabel Aguilera Selinger died on Friday November 13, 2020 after a rich and full life.  She was born in December 1928 in Havana, Cuba, the youngest daughter of Lutgardo and Maria Josefa Aguilera.  She attended high school at Merici Academy in Havana.  Isabel graduated from Barry College in Miami Shores, Florida, with a degree in art history, kindling her lifelong love of art.  She became a naturalized US citizen in 1963.  Isabel was a Catholic all her life, devoted to her faith.                                                           

Isabel dearly loved Cuba and told many stories of growing up there.  She was introduced by mutual friends to her husband, Maurice A. Selinger, Jr., "Skip,” to those who knew him well, and they were married in Havana in April 1958.  Isabel and Skip returned to Cuba for family visits several times before the Cuban revolution forced her family to flee their native country in 1961.  She and her husband settled in Washington, D.C., Skip’s home town.  They made several moves between Washington and New York City throughout the 1960s, ending up in New York in 1971.  In 2005, Isabel and Skip moved to a cozy house on Levenseller Pond in Searsmont to be closer to family.  In 2008, they moved to The Highlands in Topsham where they met many new friends and participated actively in the community.

Isabel had a deep and abiding passion for art and art history.  In 1971, she became a volunteer guide for bilingual English and Spanish school groups at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and worked continuously in that role until 2005.  She immersed herself completely in her work, appropriating her college-bound son’s bedroom and filling it with crates of art books and reams of notes for tours she conducted.  She went on trips with other Met volunteers to China and Japan, which she documented extensively in thick photo albums.  She dearly loved her museum friends and maintained close contact with them until she passed away.

While Isabel loved New York City, she also loved Maine, where she indulged in other passions, including gardening and exploring the area around her Maine home.  She loved seeing her grandchildren swimming in the pond and looking for wildlife.  Her gardens were filled with beauty and were a source of great pride.  She kept up her gardens and houseplants right to the end.

Isabel loved people and loved to socialize and entertain.  She made friends easily and kept them close throughout her life.  She and Skip enjoyed visits with friends in Watch Hill, Rhode Island and in several Florida locations, where they were treated, and acted, like family.  Coming as she did from a large one, family was paramount to Isabel, and she stayed in touch throughout her life with her four siblings and many nieces and nephews.

Isabel is survived by her only son, Cito, and his wife Cynthia and two grown granddaughters.  Her husband predeceased her in 2017.

 Memorial donations may be made in Isabel’s name to Highlands Resident Assistance  Fund, 30 Governors Way, Topsham, Maine 04086.

 A private service will be held for the family.

 Arrangements are by Stetson’s Funeral Home, 12 Federal Street, Brunswick where memorial condolences may be expressed at stetsonsfuneralhome.com