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Carl Selden

Carl Andrew Selden died peacefully on February 2 after a battle with Alzheimer’s. His wife and children were by his side.

Carl was born in Des Moines to Marvin and Jean Selden, the second of five children (including Sue, Jane, Nancy, and Dave), and graduated from North High School. Carl spent his first year of college at Southern Methodist University, then transferred to the University of Iowa. He met his wife Cindy in 8th grade at Central Presbyterian Church and they married in 1970.

Carl spent his career as a CPA, first at Peat Marwick, then with his own practice. His patience, meticulousness, strength in explaining complicated things, and passion for making things better for others made him a trusted accountant and a friend to many of his clients. Carl loved his work and described every day as “a great day to be a CPA!” He loved to garden, enjoyed bridge and golf, was an enthusiastic and fast reader, loved music and theater, had a passion for cooking (his garden-fresh pesto and carbonara, along with many other often-requested family favorites, are missed), and loved to travel (especially to Arizona in recent years). He had an extensive network of friends that spanned the globe. Carl was active in his community, including serving as board treasurer at Planned Parenthood, the president of the board at the Des Moines Community Playhouse, and treasurer of the Foundation at Central Presbyterian.

Carl was bright, funny (and not just funny-for-a-CPA funny, but really funny), quick to smile and laugh, genuinely positive, and had a way of making others feel welcome and comfortable. He loved being a husband, father, and grandfather, and he was exceptional in these roles. Carl was known for showing up when people needed him, without being asked, and sometimes before they even knew they needed him. On many occasions he drove or flew across the country when one of his children, friends, or clients needed help.

Carl is survived by his wife Cindy, his children Emily (Brian), Drew (Ashley), and Kate (Jeff), his grandchildren Ryder, Perry, Alex, and Natalie, and his mother-in-law, all of Des Moines. Carl is also survived by his siblings, siblings-in-law, many nieces and nephews and their families. He was preceded in death by his parents, his father-in-law, and his older sister.

A visitation will be held on Saturday, March 4 from 1:00 to 3:00 pm, followed by a celebration of Carl’s life at 3:00 pm at Central Presbyterian Church in Des Moines and will be available on livestream here: Memorial contributions may be made to Planned Parenthood, Des Moines Community Playhouse, or Central Presbyterian Church.


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