Lars Erik Lennart Sellman

January 10, 1951-May 13, 2020

Erik Sellman was born on January 10, 1951 in Lidköping, Sweden to Ingegerd and Lennart Sellmann. He was the second of three children. He and his brother Georg

 and sister Barbro spent their childhood in the small town before moving to Göteborg, Sweden’s second largest city. In Göteborg, Erik attended the natural science program at Munkebäcksgymnasiet, graduating with his high school diploma in 1970. He was a Rotary exchange student at Pocono Mountains High School in 1968-1969. Already an avid skier, he got certified as a ski instructor in these Pennsylvania mountains. Teaching people how to ski became one of Erik’s life passions. 

 

Erik completed his military service in 1970-1971 in the officer training program. For him, one of the high points of his service was standing guard at the Stockholm palace. He attended Chalmers University of Technology in Göteborg and earned a M.A. in mechanical engineering in 1975. In the summer, he worked in the Göteborg harbor and on ships traveling the Mediterranean.

 

Erik met his life partner Eva Maria Lauri in 1970 at an orienteering running event in Göteborg. They were running in the forest when he approached her to ask for directions. The two went steady ever since. The couple married in 1978 after Eva completed her M.A. in Social Work. Their daughters Johanna and Frida were born in 1979 and 1981.

 

Erik and Eva’s first move abroad took them to Oslo, Norway in 1982 where Erik took a job as an engineer with the Norwegian company Det Norske Veritas. In this first big move, they were joined by Erik’s sister and cousin and their families. The next moves would take them further from home. Erik remained with the same company but accepted an offer to work in Kuwait City in 1982 and then in Jubail, Saudi Arabia and in Manama, Bahrain. His family spent six and a half years in the Middle East. During this time, Eva and Eri

k both delighted in getting to know the local settings and cultures and enjoyed expat life. They participated in the Hash House Harriers running club and hosted many gatherings and parties.

Erik’s family returned to Sweden in 1988, this time to Stockholm. Erik joined the Swedish centrifuge company Alfa Laval and Eva continued returned to her career as a social worker. In 1992, Erik and Eva decided to move abroad again, this time to London, England. Erik and Eva enjoyed visiting historic sites and learning more about British history. They enjoyed long runs in Richmond park and even ran the occasional marathon.

In 1994, Erik joined the Alfa Laval office in Houston, TX. He immediately embraced Texas cowboy culture. He was often spotted in Lucchese cowboy boots and loved attending the Houston rodeo. Erik and Eva became involved in church, especially after Eva began working as a youth minister at the Lord of Life Lutheran church in Panther Creek. They hosted exchange students from around the world and enjoyed getting to know in their new town, hosting frequent gatherings and parties. This new community helped them get through the difficult times following a lightning strike and fire in their house in 2005.  

 

Erik loved being a part of Eva’s service work and the social life of The Woodlands. When Eva worked with the youth group, Erik relished helping out at garage sales and ski trips. Erik became a beloved ski teacher. When Eva worked at the Homeless Coalition in Conroe he became a regular presence there as well, often spending evenings and weekends delivering much needed goods and services. His dad jokes were legendary.

Erik loved his work as an engineer. During his time at Alfa Laval he would speak enthusiastically about centrifuges to anybody who was willing to listen. He was sought out for his technical expertise and traveled extensively throughout his career, visiting over fifty countries. He was recruited to work at Cameron (now Schlumberger) in 2011 and he delighted in getting to know new colleagues and work assignments. He especially appreciated having the chance to organize and present at conferences.

 

Erik was first diagnosed with cancer in 2015. After an intensive treatment he was declared cancer free in 2016 and he resumed his work and life with gusto, traveling 

frequently for work and to see his grandchildren. After several active years, his cancer returned and he resumed treatment in August 2019. Erik passed away on May 13 after a long and brave battle with the disease.

 

He was preceded in death by his parents and is survived by his wife, Eva, and children Johanna Sellman (she lives in Columbus, OH with her husband Ryan Skinner and their children Elias and Nils) and Frida Brooks (she lives in Chicago, IL with her husband Todd Brooks and their children Elliot and Alice). He is also survived by his siblings Georg and Barbro.
Erik was loved and respected by friends and family near and far and by his co-workers at Schlumberger. His easy-going spirit, passion for baking and smile will be greatly missed.
 

A celebration of life for Erik Sellman was held on Tuesday, May 19 at 11:00 am.

Because of Covid-19 restrictions, this service was closed to the public, but it was live-streamed via the Boxcast App. You can watch it any time.
 
Remembrances can be sent to eriksellmanmemorial@gmail.com
 
In Lieu of flowers a memorial in Erik’s name can made to:
 
 

“Swedish Lessons” In Memory of Erik Sellman (1951-2020) By: Ryan Skinner