Cover photo for Lyris Selby's Obituary
1934 Lyris 2021

Lyris Selby

October 24, 1934 — April 17, 2021

Queens, NY

Lyris Norma Selby-Spence was born Lyris Norma Bernard on October 24th 1934 to Lena Bernard in Port of Spain, Trinidad. In her late teens and early twenties Lyris was a performer in a troop; singing and dancing on stage. At the age of sixteen, Lyris started working for the Trinidad Steam Laundry until she left for the United States in 1969.

In July 26th 1959, Lyris married Victor Selby. Together they had three children - Sharon, Charmaine, Shurland, and step daughter Christine. When she moved to the United States, Lyris started working as a domestic worker. She later obtained her GED, and attended the Queensborough Community College nursing program. Upon program completion, she started working at Bridgeview Nursing Home. Shortly after arriving in the United States, she gave birth to Jackmiel. On October 24th 1975, she married George Spence and gave birth to Timothy.

Not long after, Lyris found herself a single parent of five. She worked three jobs to ensure her children had a home, food, and a sense of security. In 1992, Lyris relocated to Apopka, Florida, where she continued working as a nurse until retiring in 1999.

Besides singing and dancing, Lyris was a great cook and baker, including cake decorating. She also enjoyed sewing, crocheting, and crafting. Her famous home-made bread will be well missed.

Lyris enjoyed listening to music and spending time with family and friends. She was baptized at an early age, and always made sure her children went to church. She was a generous, kind, funny, loving, caring, sassy, strong woman who brought a smile to everyone she met.

Lyris is survived by her brother Russel Bernard, her children Sharon, Charmaine, Shurland, Jackmiel, Timothy, Christine, and all the children she fostered. She is also survived by her grandchildren Natasha, Patricia, Nathaniel, Robert, Jonathan, Arielle, Destinee, Samantha, Christopher, Annmarie, Jennifer, and Renee and by her great grandchildren Kyra, Xander, Tania, Uriah, Rakeem, Brooklyn, Eli, Amir, Nathaniel, Xavier, Silena, Marcus, Anjenay, Taaj, Tate, and Kaiel (deceased).In addition to her immediate family, she had many cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.

Lyris will be well missed.

You can view the livestream of the funeral services by following along at ( A recording of the service will also be available after the services for friends to view.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Lyris Selby, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Public Viewing

Friday, May 7, 2021

10:00am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Funeral Service

Friday, May 7, 2021

Starts at 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

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