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Lois Cornell Selberg

Lois Cornell Selberg

Lois Cornell Selberg was born on a farm near Rustad, MN, to Clarence and Delia Cornell on March 21, 1925. Lois remained loyal to Rustad throughout her life and lived much of her 93 years on the family homestead, first at her parents, then at the house built by her husband Charles at the acreage. Lois described a rather idylic childhood amidst her four sisters and her mother who loved to sing.

In 1943, Lois began her long love affair with Moorhead State, where she majored in English & Educational counseling. She was newspaper editor, a sorority member and active in student government. Lois made lifelong friends at Moorhead State. During summers, Lois participated in WWII efforts; both as Rosie the Riveter in St. Cloud and a file clerk in Washington D.C.

Upon graduation, Lois was a high school counselor in Glenwood, MN, and Walnut Creek, CA. During the late 40's and 50's, Lois met and married Charles "G'noo" Selberg. With much of the Moorhead State group around them, the Selberg couple lived in San Francisco.

Lois and Charles returned to Moorhead in 1960. Although, Charles was primarily an artist, he built a house on the Cornell farm, mostly sprung from his and Lois' dream and imagination. During these years, they decided to open a fencing academy, the first and probably only, for Moorhead. Lois described her marriage as a lot of joy, a lot of love, and a lot of laughter. The laughter ended with their divorce in 1966.

In 1962, Lois began her long professional association with Moorhead State. She was hired as an instructor of English, which she remained until 1968. Then began the proudest accomplishment of her career, Project E-Quality, a program she headed that taught African American students from the deep south and the inner city. These years were still during a prejudiced time, but Selberg stood bravely despite threats and condemnation.

The Fourth of July celebration at Moorhead State was another of Lois' children. She ran this celebration for many years to the delight of the greater community and fireworks enthusiasts. Also, she centered much of her attention on the Student Advisor Program; she mentored many students.

Lois retired in 1993 to her Rustad home to live with her beloved dogs and the trees and flowers she enjoyed. Her final years were spent at River Pointe in Moorhead where she brought laughter and joy as well. She was a dedicated reader and intellectual and a champion of liberal causes. She was also a fiercely loyal friend always willing to lend a hand.

Go gentle into that good night, dear friend.

Lois is survived by her sister, Audrey, and her family of choice: Sharon and Michael Ferris, Ron Matthies, John McCune and Simon Bartholow. She was preceded in death by her parents and sisters, Ruth, Dorothy and Miriam.

Lois passed away Monday, June 11, under the care of Hospice of the Red River Valley. A visitation will be held Friday, June 15, 2018 from 1:00-2:00 pm followed by a Memorial Service at 2:00 in Wright Funeral Home, Moorhead, MN.

Burial will be in Moorhead Memorial Gardens.

Memorials are preferred for the Lois Selberg Scholarship Fund at Minnesota State University Moorhead or Hospice of the Red River Valley.

Video tribute and online guestbook at