Selma Loney (1922-2001)

Selma Loney was born in Covallis, Oregon in 1922 to William and Sarah Konick. William had come to Corvallis in 1913, when there was only one Jewish family living there (the Reicharts). He opened a jewelry store. He and Sarah married in 1921 and had two children: Selma and Alvin. The family traveled to Portland to celebrate the High Holidays with Sarah’s parents. And at Passover they would invite students from Oregon State College for a dinner. Sarah sent away for Bible lessons for the children, which they did by correspondence, sending in their lessons to be graded. When B’nai B’rith opened a chapter that included Salem, Albany, Eugene, and Corvallis, (around 1930) Selma was introduced to other Jewish children.

Selma attended Corvallis High School and Oregon State College, majoring in business and industry. During her college education the Second World War began and Camp Adair opened in Corvallis. Selma and her mother and other Jewish women of the area volunteered at the camp, providing a Passover Seder for Jewish servicemen.  

When she finished college she moved to Seattle, Washington to begin working. It was there, at a USO dance that Selma met her husband Roy Loney. They were married August 22, 1945. After their first child was born, Selma’s father asked Roy to come down to Corvallis and help in the jewelry store. They raised their four children in Corvallis, driving weekly to Salem so the children could attend Sunday school at the synagogue there. She and three friends started a sewing group that would make children’s clothing for Hadassah, who sent them to Israeli settlers. Later, when a Hadassah chapter was established in Corvallis, Selma was an active participant and leader in that organization.

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