On March 25th, 2021, the world lost a scintillating and passionate young woman.  Selinde passed away from injuries sustained as a passenger in a vehicle accident at Richland-Furnace during her workday at the Ohio Division of Forestry. She left this world doing what she loved and believed in: Wildlands Firefighting and Forestry. She was surrounded at passage by her loving family and partner Kees. Soar high and far, beloved Lindy: so many hearts are with you.

The April 10th, 2021 Memorial is viewable at,
Posted by Bo Reese on March 27, 2021
Selinde was so caring, funny, and a joy to be around. She was truly great and always wanted to help other people. She was so brave in many ways, I remember she was very smart with animals and science, and was never afraid to pick up snakes or other animals.
Posted by Mae Reese on March 27, 2021
Lindy, I am so grateful to have so many amazing memories with you. I truly saw you as an older sister who I constantly looked up to. I remember when we were at Boogie at the Bricks with Harper and his friends and I twisted my ankle stepping off one of the curbs. You were the only one that noticed and decided to carry me on your back for the rest of the night. Thank you for all the romance novels you gave me (I read all of them) but you know that because you let me call you and rant to you about them. Thank you for the T shirt you sent me for Christmas last year that said “mae” right across the front and you said you couldn’t resist buying it. Thank you for the mixtape you made me after my accident in December. I’ll never forget you or the impact you had on my life.
Posted by Heather Reese on March 27, 2021
Selinde our whole family was incredibly blessed to have you in our lives. When you were Harper’s special person we felt like you were part of the family from day 1. I already knew how amazing your family was because of Dirks awesome mentoring of Harper and the incredible tireless hard work and joy for life of everyone in the family for band, on your land and in our university and community. Fearless was definitely your thing. You sewed beautiful patches in Harpers shirts, went with us once to our church, always helped and made everyone feel accepted and loved. You called me Mrs. Reese. You let me do your hair for prom.  I’m really going to miss seeing you around. Thanks for teaching us how to go after our dreams and Thank you for the beautiful rainbow to show us you’re waiting to meet us again in heaven.
Posted by Laura Simon on March 27, 2021
Dear sweet Lindy,

We were only together for a few short weeks in Maryland, but words can only begin to describe the ray of light you left in my life. I just remember how care-free yet passionate you were about anything you did. I will forever cherish the memories of you braiding my hair, playing your guitar ever so beautifully, teaching me how to make friendship bracelets, giggling on the kitchen floor late at night, hunting for terrapin nests on Poplar while listening to The Beatles, and so many more. The world was so very lucky to have you in it, leaving the brightest energy wherever you went. Rest easy, you beautiful soul.
Posted by Jake Schoen on March 27, 2021
Lindy could find the fun in anything. She is central to so many of my favorite memories from our short Maryland summer together. I'm so grateful to have have called such a wonderful person my friend. Words can't describe. My deepest condolences to all who's lives were brightened by her unrivaled energy and sweetness.
Posted by Rowan Knutsen on March 27, 2021
Selinde was my earliest friend, she is present in my first memories, she was a sister and an inspiration to me and always will be.  She inspired my love of the outdoors, encouraged me to be adventurous, to do whatever I wanted but was too afraid to try. The examples I have are top numerous to count, but had she not been my friend, I would not be a half the person I am today. Selinde was, in every way, more full of life than anyone I have ever met. I might never have known who I wanted to be if she hadn’t challenged my limited perceptions, and there is no way to put into words everything she means to me. No tribute I can give will be a worthy one, no words I can say will cover a portion of who Selinde was, to me or anyone else, but I will remember her always. Selinde, I am forever grateful, I am forever lucky to have known you and to have been called your friend.
Page 2 of 2

Leave a Tribute

Recent Tributes
Posted by Steve Dishong on May 4, 2021
We were hoping the passage of time would make writing this easier —it hasn’t. The pain and sadness we feel has not changed. But another thing that hasn’t changed is the memory of your radiant smile. The memory of your smile continues to make us smile. Yours was a genuine smile from the heart. We also often think of how helpful you were to us, no matter the task at hand;. as well as how eager you were to learn something new. Your family and everyone who knew you will always miss you, but we are grateful we had the privilege to know you. With love, Steve and Sherry
Posted by Danny Reese on April 30, 2021
Dear Selinde, my heart aches so much. What a privilege it was having you spend time with our family, I miss all the wonderful fun and laughs we had. What a unique spirit you are sweet Lindy. The world is not the same.
Posted by Gavin Nupp on April 12, 2021
Lovely badass
best friend
her Life

Memorial Services

Selinde's memorial service and processional were held on her birthday, April 10th 2021, and are viewable at

We will have a bonfire gathering sometime in June at the family farm when all of our friends and family have been vaccinated and can safely gather, hug and sing songs in Selinde's memory. 

In lieu of flowers, please make donations in Selinde’s name to The Athens Conservancy (P.O. Box 2281, Athens OH 45701). The funds will be used to set aside land in Selinde’s memory, where the public might enjoy the Appalachian woodlands she loved so dearly.


Obituary – Selinde Downey Roosenburg

10 April 2000 - 23 March 2021

Selinde Downey Roosenburg, age 20, passed away as a result of injuries sustained as a passenger in a UTV rollover. She was working on a prescribed fire at the Richland Furnace State Forest. We may be comforted to know that she died doing what she loved; and that she surely wore a beaming, tired smile in the moments before the accident. Her last gift to this world was to give life through the donation of her organs. Our sparkling, vibrant daughter, sister, cousin and partner would have wanted this tragedy to bring life and joy to others.

Lindy was born in Lancaster, Ohio on 10 April 2000, but grew up a barefoot explorer in the woods outside Amesville. From birth, she was a spirited child who confronted the world on her own terms. She attended West Elementary, Athens Middle School, and Athens High School and was a member of the Athens Marching Green and Gold and the Athens Swim Team.

Selinde settled on Forestry after two years at Ohio State University , but when learning changed she decided to experience life rather than merely imagining it from the classroom. In the fall Selinde attended an All-Women Wildlands Firefighting Course in Washington State. Working at Zaleski State Forest reinforced her decision to become a Wildlands Fire Fighter and Forester. She had been accepted into the best Fire Science program in the country, with a generous scholarship, to finish her training at University of Idaho. Lindy was looking forward to learning all she could about fire and bringing her knowledge back to the woods of SE Ohio.

Lindy was beautiful without knowing it, strong-willed yet vulnerable, bursting with energy and enthusiasm, but also quiet and introspective. She was a fiercely loyal and loving young woman, with a humor so quick and dry that the unsuspecting only caught the pun or barb if they saw the twinkle in her eye. She lived her life with an inspiring liberation, like wearing white shrimper boots on OSU campus in defiance of the standard attire. She rejected pretension and would not tolerate drama. For her, the days were for experiencing life to the fullest, making other people laugh, and becoming a hero to her community.

Lindy loved animals of all shapes and sizes, filling our lives with rabbits, ducks, dead bluebirds and wiggling snakes, while spoiling the family dogs at every opportunity. She played guitar, fiddle, and trumpet; but mostly she sang, announcing her presence before she arrived and gracing quiet moments with her joyful voice.

Selinde is survived by her parents Willem Roosenburg and Kate Kelley, brother Dirk Roosenburg, grandmother Carol Kelley (Bryn Mawr PA), aunts (Alex Woodard, London England; Eleanne Roosenburg, Acton MA), uncles (Brendan Kelley, Seattle WA; Ian Kelley, San Diego, CA), cousins (Esme and Phoebe Wessel, Asheville NC; Jordan Kelley, Ocean City NJ), her partner Kees Van Dijk (Lancaster OH), and many, many dear friends.
Recent stories

What an Amazing Human Being

Shared by Bernhard Debatin on April 29, 2021
I remember Selinde coming to our house when she was maybe 12 years old, hanging out with my son Sam, with whom she developed a close friendship. They were playing hula hoop in the driveway and I was watching them in awe from our kitchen window. They had such intense fun with this and they were so completely absorbed in the moment. It was almost as if they had created a magic bubble together; a bubble that completely pulled them out of time and space, that allowed for pure being in the here and now.

At countless marching band events and at a number of other gatherings and visits, I had ample opportunity to appreciate Selinde's pleasant presence. I experienced her as an incredibly vibrant, smart, and intense person. She was kind, independent, and fearless; hungry for life and not taking any BS. She was unbelievably stoic with regard to pain, as we could witness when she had suffered a complicated leg fracture, resulting in a metal rod implant and a lengthy, painful healing process. She also was extremely funny and had a quick and contagious sense of humor, paired with joyful outbursts of laughter.

I so enjoyed talking to her. Sometimes, this would turn into serious conversations between two humans, at eye level and with sincere wholeheartedness. I had a couple of such conversations with her when she had broken her leg. In these situations, she had this inquisitive, wondering, and thoughtful look in her eyes: Genuine curiosity and an unusual enthusiasm about exploring something new or discussing a captivating topic. Occasionally also some amused mocking, a gentle reminder that in her opinion grown-ups like myself were strange creatures that had to be treated leniently.

And then she would leap back into just being a playful, hilarious teenager. At band camp and other band events, she was a central source of fun and of (always harmless) mischief. Her eyes would brightly sparkle in anticipation of the joy to come. And while she was crucial in co-creating friendship and group identity, she was completely unassuming and modest.

For years, I took pictures at band events and posted them on the band's facebook page. Selinde was one of the most interesting individuals to photograph because of her expressive face and her genuine, completely natural behavior. And she almost always smiled with her eyes. Over the years I took hundreds of pictures of her and almost all of them captured specific aspects of her rich and fun-loving personality.

Selinde has always had a special place in my heart. She was an amazing human being, radiating radical, thoroughgoing joy of life. Her star burnt bright and beautiful, as if she knew her life was short.

Selinde will always have a special place in my heart.
Shared by Molly Armstrong on April 10, 2021
If I had to choose a color to represent Selinde it would be orange. Fierce, jubilant, warm, and passionate. I remember going to Disneyland with the band and Selinde taught me a hand clapping game to pass the time in line for rides. By the end of the day we both had bruises on our thighs from playing the game so quickly and with so much energy. In health class in high school I remember eating an apple next to her and when I finished it, she asked for the apple core and promptly ate the whole thing but the stem. Lindy, every time I eat my apple core I think of you. You taught me how to dance to Cotton Eyed Joe while we were working the concession stand for a football game and I still picture your skirt swirling around you as we dance. I recently came across a poem that I think is very fitting and reminds me of you: “I like to pretend that you ran away/ that you’re living on an island/ and have a garden/ and a dog/ and that your brother drops by/ to bring you groceries/ and books/ and that you are very/ happy and free” (S.C. Pacheco). Lindy, in my mind you are forever running through the forest, finding creatures and climbing trees, and eating my apple core. 
Shared by Rory O’Malley on April 10, 2021
Selinde seemed to always be seeking adventure wherever she could find it, and I loved that about her. I remember at West Elementary we used to run together during cross country club after school, and there was one specific day - I remember it was painfully humid and the sun was relentless - when Selinde and I simply decided that just running wasn’t good enough for us. We ran along with the group to the West State ball fields but we peeled off there and dashed into the thicket beside the bike path. I think we stayed there for maybe an hour, looking at leaves and vines or jumping off fallen down trees and weaving little grass crowns. Selinde showed me various bugs she liked and I watched in wonder. When we returned, quite pleased with ourselves, we discovered that everyone was just about to go looking for us because we had taken so long! We giggled but we knew we’d probably do it again. I am so fond of this memory of Selinde because I can feel her heart and her spirit in it - she was such a compassionate, genuine, and creative soul and I wish I could capture that perfectly in words, but I fear this memory is the best I can do. Every moment I had the privilege to share with Selinde was charged with feeling and energy.Selinde - I miss your bright face and your rosy cheeks; your clever quips and your knowing smile. Thank you for never compromising who you are and for being an example of love to us all.