Obituary

Charles A. Seleen, dentist, animal rescuer, father

Dr. Charles A. Seleen passed away in Respite House on September 19, 2022 having lived a purposeful life of service to his patients, his profession, his community, and his family.

Dr. Seleen cared for the dental health of three generations of families as dentist and Director of  Vermont Dental Care, offices in Winooski and Barre. He pioneered Expanded Function Dental Auxiliaries, supported school-based dental services, advocated for the state Tooth Fairy Program, and staunchly defended Medicaid provisions for children's dental care. He served on numerous boards and committees related to healthcare in Vermont, and was a trusted resource for legislative committees and public institutions. He mentored dental externs in his office as adjunct faculty of the University of New England College of Dental Medicine, and he never stopped learning. He formed strong collaborative bonds with his peers to expand treatment opportunities for his patients and further develop his own skills. He took quiet pride in his induction into the International College of Dentistry. Dentistry was his passion.

But dentistry wasn't his only passion! Chuck was a tennis pro and a master scuba diver. He taught tennis, ice diving and rescue diving, and loved playing catch with his daughter with whom he shared a love of sports. He commuted to work by bike for 38 years, and incentivized alternative transportation for his staff. He rebuilt an old sports car that he rarely drove but tinkered with constantly. 

Chuck's passion for rescuing animals deserves special mention. Under the auspices of New England English Springer Spaniel Rescue, he and his family re-homed about 60 unwanted dogs. The ones that were too 'quirky' to place stayed with him. His favorite was Oliver, but he truly loved them all. 

Chuck attended public schools in Dedham MA, and graduated from UVM and Tufts School of Dental Medicine. His first job in dentistry was with Vermont Dental Care where he worked for 50 years. His extended family included his pre-deceased parents Arthur and Rita Seleen, his wife Leanora Mead Terhune, children Wendy Sefert Harvey and Geoffrey Scott Sefert, his 'sister' Dr. Julie Olin, dozens of fur kids, and his coworkers at VDC.

Chuck was trusted and loved as a husband, father, dentist, mentor, teacher, and friend. A scholarship will be established in his name to support a deserving student at UNE who demonstrates public service through volunteer work or other efforts to address unmet dental needs in the community. Tax deductible contributions may be made to Chuck's Scholarship Fund, ℅ Vermont Dental Care, 32B Malletts Bay Ave, Winooski VT 05404. Donations of any amount are very welcome. 

Submitted by:

Lea Terhune
leaterhune44@gmail.com
802 658-1908

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