James Derward “Bunkie” Selman, Jr.


James Derward “Bunkie” Selman, Jr. passed away peacefully on July 13, 2023, at the age of 92 with his family by his side. He was born December 7, 1930 in Cuero, Texas to James Derward Selman and Annie Marie Hamon Selman. He was nicknamed “Bunkie” by his father. The name Bunkie came from a comic strip character in the 1930s. He grew up in Gonzales, Texas on the family ranch in the Hamon Community. Bunkie enjoyed the country life and ranching.

He graduated from Gonzales High School in 1948 andmarried his high school sweetheart Janet Terrell Selman. Bunkie and Janet were happily married for 60 years until Janet’s passing in 2010.

Bunkie played high school football and was an accomplished calf roper, placing second in the first Texas High School Rodeo Championship.He graduated from his beloved Texas A&M University in 1952 with a Bachelor of Science in Animal Husbandry degree and received his Masters Degree in Agricultural Education in 1971.  He continued on as a calf roper with the Texas Aggie Rodeo team. He enjoyed watching all Aggie sports, especially Texas A&M football.

Bunkie served in the Korean War as First Lieutenant. He was discharged from active duty on July 4, 1954, and continued service in the military reserves.  After his discharge, he began his career with Texas A&M University Agricultural Extension Service because of the severe drought in the 1950s.  He served as County Agricultural Extension Agent in Cameron, Willacy, and Travis Counties, and was District Agricultural Agent for the Rio Grande Valley. He continued to enjoy ranching in Gonzales during his career in the extension service.

After retiring from the Extension Service in 1986, Bunkie then began ranching full time.  He was an advocate for cattleman and served as President and Director Emeritus of the Independent Cattlemen’s Association.  He was also a member of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, appointed by the US Secretary of Agriculture to Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board, a member of the Texas Beef Council, and National Cattlemen’s Beef Board.   Bunkie’s active community involvement included serving on the board of directors for the State of Texas Fair and Rodeo in Austin, Texas. He was a board member for State Bank, Central Texas Bank, and Texas United Bankshares.  He leaves as his legacy the Selman Ranch, established in 1861, which was recognized by the State of Texas as a Family Land Heritage at the Texas State Capitol as the result of operation by the family for over 150 continuous years.

Bunkie was an avid hunter and fisherman. He loved hunting on his ranches in Gonzales and South Texas and hunted throughout the United States, Central America, South America, Canada, and Africa.

Bunkie spent his years here on earth full of life, faith and family. He was a rancher, educator, hunter, beloved husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He was a longtime member of the Gonzales Methodist Church and attended the East Side Baptist Church.  He was a man of faith and was looking forward to spending eternity with the Lord.

He is preceded in death by his parents James Derward and Annie Marie Selman, his wife Janet Terrell Selman and their daughter Jana Jill Selman.

He is survived by sons James Derward Selman III (Teri Danish) of Port Isabel, Texas, Dr. Bill Selman (Claire) of Lockhart, Texas; Grandchildren, Blythe Kirchner (Brent), JD Selman IV, Jena Jill Selman, Weston Selman (Brittany); and his great-grandchildren Audrey Kirchner, Corbin Kirchner, and Steven Edward Selman; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and other extended family.  He also leaves behind his companion of many years, Mary Jones, and her family. 

The family will receive friends from 5 to 7 pm Tuesday July. 18, 2023 in Seydler-Hill Funeral Home. Funeral services will be held at 10 am Wednesday, July 19, 2023 in the First Methodist Church with Dr. Matt Pennington and Rev. Robert Ramirez officiating. Interment will follow in the Gonzales Masonic Cemetery. Pallbearers will be JD Selman IV, Weston Selman, Brent Kirchner, Scott Bateman, Jeff Terrell, David Terrell, Bryant Terrell, and Joe Terrell.  Honorary pallbearers are Jack Bateman, Verlin Callahan, Buddy Wood, Bill Quinney, John Armstrong, and John Paul Jones.  

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to the East Side Baptist Church, First Methodist Church, or the Independent Cattlemen’s Association. Friends may leave their condolences to the family by visiting www.seydlerhillfuneralhome.com.  Services are under the care and direction of Seydler-Hill Funeral Home.


Leave a reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.