On the evening of April 26, 2022, Adolfo “Tony” Antonio Selva passed away at his home in Helena, Montana surrounded by his loving family. He was 69 years old.
Tony was born October 3, 1952, in Granada, Nicaragua to Adolf and Maria Selva. He immigrated to the United States of America as a young boy, with his family. His father was a merchant marine, then Professional Painter, and later his mother became the creator and owner of La Imperial Restaurant. As a young man, he had a passion for fly fishing, and enjoyed learning and teaching taekwondo.
Tony was a graduate of San Francisco Polytechnic High School in San Francisco, CA. Following high school, he studied math and science off and on at Chabot College. In 1972 he joined the US Navy attending basic training in San Diego and then attending Electricians Mate A school and serving during the Vietnam War as an Electrician on various Surface Fleet Ships and was known by his shipmates for his knockout punches during “Smokers” aboard ship. He enjoyed boxing throughout his life and was possibly Roberto Duran’s biggest fan.
Upon his completion of active duty, he returned to CA and worked for various family businesses, notably La Imperial Restaurant in Hayward Ca and later for Santa Fe Tortilleria in San Jose, Ca.
Tony met Debbie in March of 1980 and after a fairytale courtship, they were married in the fall of 1981 in Fremont CA. They moved to Washington and Oregon in search of business opportunities that didn’t pan out. In 1984, he reenlisted in the US Navy and they moved to the East coast where he was stationed at the Philadelphia Naval Base at the Shore Intermediate Maintenance Activity (SIMA) and then 3 years assigned to the USS Clifton Sprague, AKA “Sweet 16”. While stationed on the east coast, they were blessed with the birth of their daughter Elena. When his Navy tour was complete, he re-joined the USN Reserves, and they returned to CA to reconnect with family. While there, they were again blessed and had a son, Shane. Then they pursued their dream of living in God’s Country and headed north.
In the summer of 1993, they moved to Helena, MT with their 2 children and 2 cats where they set roots and raised their family. Tony was a hard-working individual. He worked as an electrician and USNR reservist. His family grew, being blessed with the birth of Michael, and then blessed again with Jared. Tony retired out of the reserves with 24 years of Naval service. In the summer of 2012, Tony’s family suffered the loss of Tony’s Mom to cancer, and days later the loss of their home in the Corral Fire.
In his beloved home of Montana, Tony achieved his dream of business ownership by founding Montana World Trade LLC. He enjoyed his work, the people he worked with, and those he served.
You might have known him as Abdula Gandula Gonzo Gonzo Gandula Gonzo, Hadid Rasheed, Mojado Empapado, El Borracho de Mambacho, Selva Salinas, Tesoro de Piedras Greinas JR., or any number of other nicknames. Chances are he gave you a nickname too! Please share your nicknames, stories, and memories with Tonys family and friends on Tony’s tribute wall. Tony always made us laugh, it was his gift. Let’s keep it going!
Tony is survived by his wife Debbie, children Elena, Shane, Michael, and Jared, grandchildren Bristol, Connor, and Mason, and siblings Petrona, Ninfa, Ernie, Trish, Martin, and Beth.
Preceded in Death by his father Adolf, mother Dolores, sister Dolores, and daughter Amanda.
Tony fought a long and valiant battle against cancer for 2 ½ years. Tony was not a religious man but he had deep Faith in Jehovah, giving thanks and asking for strength and guidance from his creator in prayer through Jesus before his evening meals. He loved and cherished his family.
It was Tonys wish not to have formal services. A private gathering of family and close friends will be held at a later date to scatter his ashes as he requested. For anyone who wishes, memorial donations may be made on Tony’s behalf to the Helena Food Share or to the charity of your choice.
The family wishes to thank Compassus Hospice Care of Helena for the warm and respectful care given to Tony and our family. Especially Melinda, Shannon, and Tom.
The family is incredibly grateful to Tony’s friends at Simple Cremation MT, especially Colin, Spencer, and Nicole, for the loving care given to Tony and the family.
We will miss you Awesome Possum!
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