Date of Death
May 16, 2016
Place of Death
A memorial service will be held on Tuesday, May 24, 2016, beginning at 11:00 AM, at Trinity Lutheran Church, 504 S. Westnedge Ave., Kalamazoo, MI 49007. A visitation will be held at the church one hour prior to the service.
Age 82, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, May 16, 2016, at home with family at his side. Don was born April 4, 1934 in Washington, D.C., to Francis and Florence Sellin. While attending high school at the Maryland School for the Blind, he also took classes at nearby Baltimore City College. Don then enrolled at Frostburg State Teachers College where he met the love of his life, Lucy, the mother of their five children and his wife of the last 59 years. Upon graduating he taught locally for three years before working in a fellowship program at the University of Pittsburgh through which he gained his doctorate in education or Ed.D. His focus would be on the newly forming field of special education with emphases on gifted and talented education, as well as educating mentally and/or physically handicapped persons. His career as a professor, researcher, and author saw him serve many roles. He taught at Michigan State University, Slippery Rock State College and Western Michigan University from which he retired emeriti. He also worked in the 1970’s at the Michigan Department of Mental Health as Cadre Coordinator of Services for Retarded Children. Don also managed to publish five textbooks at the university level alongside dozens of journal articles. Always a ready volunteer and an advocate for the un-championed, Don served many terms as board president of the Kalamazoo Association for Retarded Citizens as well as giving his time to his church, serving on the council and teaching adult Sunday School. In his private life, he always had a warm hello and a ready ear for anyone needing someone to listen, though he could just as easily supply the conversation. He was a loving husband, father and grandfather. He was the consummate model railroader, preferring N gauge and Lionel. Don was also a lifelong reader, recently studying the presidents and the Civil War. In addition to Lucy, surviving are his brother, Wayne (Cindy) Sellin; four children, Elizabeth (Norman) Jackson, Francis (Cynthia) Sellin, John (Julie) Sellin and Andrew (Grace) Sellin; fourteen grandchildren and one great-grandson. He was preceded in passing by a son, Philip Sellin.
Memorial contributions may be given to the Marfan Foundation or The Arc Community Advocates, c/o of the funeral home.