A Sacred Moment


John Leasing Selling

May 21, 1916 - January 23, 2010

John Selling was a vibrant, inquisitive and giving person

John Leasing Selling was a participant in life, not a spectator.

He devoted over 50 years to finding great properties and creative solutions for his Portland-area commercial Real Estate clients. He traveled extensively throughout the U.S. and world for Real Estate training and conferences. John was renown for his cooking, most notably his barbecue ribs and croutons, which he shared lavishly and frequently to everyone’s delight, as well as his chutney. The Gresham Rotary, which he helped found, used his ribs as a highly successful fundraiser for many years. John’s enjoyment of the outdoors was shared with friends, family and relatives, most often as the instigator and organizer of camping trips.

John made friends easily, shared even more easily, and was perpetually optimistic, regardless of life’s setbacks. He had foibles and failings just as any human being does, yet his passion for service and willingness to take on new challenges was a constant throughout his life. Even in his late 80’s he was felling and planting trees, importing boulders and enhancing the pond and stream on his 1-acre home, as well as driving his green Volvo -- with over 500,000 miles on it -- to his Real Estate office every day.

He lived with a fervor for the moment: hiking, finding solutions to real estate challenges, searching for perfect ribs for his barbecue, enhancing the environmental integrity of his property, financing new product and service companies, training new members of the real estate professions …. and above all, enthusiastically meeting and befriending new people, throughout the world and throughout his life.

John, grandson of Portland’s first “First Citizen” Ben Selling, was proud of his grandfather’s heritage of social responsibility, philanthropy, and support of Portland’s Reform Jewish community. John’s father, Laurence Selling, was one of four co-founders of The Portland Clinic. John is survived by his wife, Lenore Selling, brother Ben Selling and sister Margaret Labby, sons Alan Selling and Joel Selling, daughter in-law Nancy Truitt Pierce, grandchildren Teresa Pierce and Drew Selling, and daughter, Judith Bullard-Schatzel.


A celebration of John’s life will be held Sunday, March 7th, at 1:30 p.m., in the Landau Chapel at Beth Israel Cemetery, located at 426 SW Taylors Ferry Road, Portland, OR.


Contributions in John’s memory may be made to East County Senior Center, P.O. Box 602, Monroe, WA 98272-0602.


Looking into the portals of eternity

Looking into the portals of eternity teaches that the brotherhood of man is inspired by God's word; Then all prejudice of race vanishes away.

George Washington



Just as the Wave Cannot Exist

Just as the wave cannot exist for itself, but is ever a part of the heaving surface of the ocean, so must I never live my life for itself, but always in the experience which is going on around me. It is an uncomfortable doctrine which the true ethics whisper into my ear. You are happy, they say; therefore you are called upon to give much.

Albert Schweitzer

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