Janice Taylor Sellak, 81
Janice Taylor Sellak, 81, of Sacramento, California, died peacefully at her home April 5, 2020, with her daughter by her side. Due to the current COVID-19 restrictions, a celebration of her life will be held at a later date in Springfield.
She was born Jan. 29, 1939, in West Plains, the daughter of Jenks and Lavell Scott Taylor. She was raised in Gaines-ville, where her parents owned and operated Taylor’s Court, a restaurant/motel business, for many years. She graduated from Gainesville High School in 1956 as valedictorian and went on to graduate from what is now Missouri State University with a B.S. in education with honors and a master’s degree in Spanish from the University of Wisconsin. Her teaching career spanned several states and continents as she worked from Chicago to Springfield until 1967 and then was employed by the Department of Defense to teach the children of American military personnel.
She met and married Mohamed Sellak, a Moroccan Royal Air Force pilot, while teaching in Kenitra, Morocco, in 1971. Her daughter, Yasmina, was born in 1973. Together, she and her daughter lived in Spain and Turkey as well as the U.S., traveling with Mrs. Sellak’s job until she retired in the early 1990s.
She returned to Springfield following her divorce and spent most of her later years continuing her teaching when she could and being an inspiration to her daughter, her family and her many friends. Her true gift was her selflessness in supporting others however she was able, and her greatest joy was being able to help raise her grandsons, who filled her life until the very end.
She is survived by her cherished daughter, Yasmina Sellak, and grandsons Rhys and Owen Honaker of Sacramento; her nieces and nephews, whom she loved as her own: Joni Fulks and husband Larry, Bryan Shaw and wife Donna and their family, Edwin Shaw and wife Judi and their family, Rick Taylor and wife LaDonna, Cindy Tilley and husband Paul and their family; Karen VanHooser and husband Tom and their family; and other beloved family members and friends, as well as her mother-in-law and extended family in Morocco.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her brother, Loren Dean Taylor; her sister and brother-in-law Alma “Sue” and Glen Shaw; her niece, Ginger Young; and beloved extended family and friends.