"Don't be afraid of death; be afraid of an unlived life. You don't have to live forever, you just have to live."- Natalie BabbittVisitation
Ida Marie Freeborn Sellinger enjoyed a full, wonderful life before passing away peacefully in her home in Clifton, New Jersey, on December 30, 2019.
Born in Philadelphia on September 22, 1932 to first-generation Irish immigrants, Ida and older brother William ("Bill") were raised to believe in the value of hard work, the delight of laughter, and the strength of love.
Ida strove for excellence in school, earning herself a spot in Philadelphia's prestigious University of Pennsylvania. There, she pledged Alpha Omicron Pi sorority, where she formed many lifelong friendships. Over the next 50 years, Ida continued to meet annually with her beloved circle of sorority sisters. It was through one of these sisters that she met her one true love, William "Bill" Sellinger, who she married in 1958.
Following Bill's graduation from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law, Ida and Bill moved to Clifton, New Jersey where Bill founded a personal injury law firm and Ida performed physical therapy. In 1959, Ida gave birth to her first son, William ("Billy"), followed by Timothy in 1964 and James in 1966.
While raising her family, Ida handled the law firm's bookkeeping and supported Bill in his political career. Ever the consummate hostess, Ida welcomed impromptu gatherings of family and friends, often performing "loaves and fishes-type miracles" stretching meals meant for a few into delicious feasts for many.
Since their vast group of family and friends loved spending time in their home, Ida and Bill started hosting an annual Christmas Eve party, an event that expanded to house-filling crowds over time, and which came to signify Christmas itself to many of its regular guests.
Over the years, Ida and her family enjoyed travelling on cruises together and spending winter months on the golf course and in the swimming pool at their Florida vacation home.
As oldest son Billy grew older, he displayed enormous artistic and musical abilities. His unexpected passing at age 29 caused great sorrow.
Son Timothy followed in his father's footsteps, graduating from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law school and partnering in the family law firm, which became Sellinger & Sellinger.
James continued the family tradition, becoming a partner in Sellinger & Sellinger after graduating from Pepperdine University School of Law.
Sellinger & Sellinger's proximity to the Clifton family home allowed Bill, Timothy and James to share many weekday afternoons with Ida, discussing current events and teasing each other over lunch.
Over the years, Bill and his "Ida Babe" shared triumphs and tragedies, laughter and tears, their love growing ever stronger through it all. Bill passed away in 1999, and it was Ida's courage and strength that carried her family through their grief.
James married in 2000, and in 2001, Ida's much-longed-for first grandchild Griffin was born, followed by granddaughters Devin and Alexandra ("Allie").
In 2003, Timothy married Edyta "Edy" Koziel, and soon Ida welcomed granddaughters Kathryn ("Katy") and Jacqueline.
Ida doted on her grandchildren, happily attending countless concerts, performances, parties, and graduations over the years. Always there for a hug, homemade milkshake or board game, Ida's grandchildren knew she'd move heaven and earth for them and they loved her deeply.
This holiday season, Ida held on long enough to see her family and friends through one last Christmas party. Due to the passing of family and friends over the decades, the guest count grew smaller, yet love and laughter remained and multiplied, filling Ida's home one last time as it had always filled her life.
Ida Sellinger is survived by her son Timothy and his wife, Edy, son James, and grandchildren Griffin, Katy, Devin, Allie and Jacqueline.
Bizub-Quinlan Funeral Home
1313 Van Houten Avenue
Clifton, NJ US 07013
St. Philip the Apostle R.C. Church
797 Valley Road
Clifton, NJ US 07013
712 Grove Street
Upper Montclair, NJ US 07042
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