Stan Selmer was born in Iowa in July 1948 while his parents were traveling, and in September 1948 was brought back to Skagway, Alaska where the family was living. All of his siblings were born in Skagway, as was his father. Stan's grandfather, originally from Norway, was one of the first barbers in Skagway, and ran the movie theater, played in the town band, and was mayor. Stan's mother, originally from Minnesota, came to Alaska to be a nurse, and in 1945 she got a job at the White Pass Hospital in Skagway where she worked until retiring in 1967. Stan attended the Catholic School in Skagway that was operated by the Sisters of St. Anne, and transferred to the public school in third grade. Other than while attending college, Stan has lived in Skagway most of his life. In 1975, he married his wife, Maxine, who also grew up in Skagway and as the great-granddaughter of Harriet Pullen has her own deep family ties to the community. Stan has served on the City Council three times, and starting in 1989 has been mayor four times. He worked for Alaska Power and Telephone (AP&T) from 1993 until his retirement in 2010, where he was involved with development of the Goat Lake and the Kasidaya Creek hydroelectric projects, overseeing the company's 2002 bankruptcy settlement, and served as executive vice president and chairman of the board.