Sunday, January 16, 2022


Cynthia E. (Purcell) Selmont


Cynthia E. (Purcell) Selmont beloved wife, mother, and grandmother, passed away peacefully on Jan. 4, after a short illness.

Cynthia had a lifelong love for movies, television, and theater. As a teenager, she was accepted into the prestigious New York City High School for the Performing Arts. She studied acting in Manhattan and began an exciting career in advertising at Benton & Bowles during the “Mad Men” era. Her Ivory Snow print ad was a highlight. Work took her to France and Italy for television commercial productions. One of her cherished memories was in Rome, when seated at a long table of actors and actresses being served Fettuccine Alfredo by the creator of the dish, Chef Alfredo di Lelio. It was she to whom he awarded the famous gold spoon!

A weekend trip to Connecticut on a crowded train led to a love-at-first-sight meeting with Korean War veteran and stockbroker George A. Selmont. The couple were married in Manhattan in May 1964 at City Hall followed by a celebratory lunch with friends and family at the Russian Tea Room. A daughter arrived, then a move to Connecticut, where the couple owned and operated Nills Store on Clinton Beach and Selmont Realty while George became a special education teacher, a college professor, and administrator. Three sons followed and Cynthia perfected her parenting and homemaking skills and created the world’s best birthday cupcakes—well known in the classrooms of Abraham Pierson School.

As her children became more independent, she began a second career as an executive assistant at Live Entertainment/North American Entertainment Group. She loved her co-workers and thoroughly enjoyed mundane office tasks like confirming Bob Dylan’s appearance, setting a wakeup call for Hunter S. Thompson, or confirming details of a Tyler Perry tour. Certain of her children never got over the fact that she knew of the secret Rolling Stones concert at Toad’s Place on Aug. 12, 1989, but was sworn to secrecy and didn’t tell them. Not even a hint.

Born Oct. 1, 1938, in Bronx, New York, to Alfred Purcell and Mary (Johnson) Purcell, she is survived by her siblings, Victor Purcell, Frances Lynch, and Richard Purcell; her children Corey Borzain (David), George “Ges” Selmont (Monika), Clay Selmont (Monica), and Brett Selmont; her four grandchildren, Tanner and Piper and Luke and Nate; and cherished nieces, nephews, and friends.

Celebrations of her life will be held in Westbrook and in Manhattan, New York in the spring. The family would like to thank the doctors, P.A.s, and nurses of the Yale New Haven Hospital SICU for their dedication and kindness. Donations may be made to Westbrook Ambulance in her memory. Memories may be shared at

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