Obituary: Selma Milchen, 1930-2024 | Obituaries | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Obituary: Selma Milchen, 1930-2024

Speech and language pathologist was an active volunteer and a professional singer who once sang under the direction of Seiji Ozawa

Published June 10, 2024 at 6:00 a.m.


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Selma Milchen - COURTESY
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  • Selma Milchen

Selma Pearl Borenstein was born in 1930, in Boston, to Gertrude and Emanuel Borenstein. She died May 13, 2024, at her home in Bennington, Vt. Selma was the mother of Margaux Milchen, of Aurora, Colo., and Jeff Milchen, of Colchester, Vt. She is also survived by Jeff’s wife, Jennifer Rockne; granddaughter, Layla Krens, of Orlando, Fla.; and husband, Joe, and their daughter, Emma.

After public schooling in Newton, Mass., Selma attended Smith College, before graduating cum laude from Boston University with a BS in speech and theater. Selma loved the arts, singing professionally, teaching modern dance and acting with the Framingham Community Theatre. She had a scholarship in the opera department at Tanglewood, where she sang in the Berlioz Requiem under Seiji Ozawa years later.

Selma married Alvin Milchen in 1954; they divorced in 1974. While living in Framingham (1957– 1982), Selma served on the board of the League of Women Voters and on the Framingham Area Fair Housing Committee. She earned an MS from Worcester State University in communication disorders in 1981.

The next year, she moved to Shaftsbury, Vt., to work as a speech and language pathologist in the public schools, retiring in 1995. She sang with the Bennington County Choral Society for 37 years and wrote concert reviews for the Bennington Banner for five years, until someone changed her “Baroque Flavor” to “Barbecue Flavor.”

She served on the board of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Bennington, where she was a member since 1982. She volunteered with the Community of Vermont Elders, the Bennington County Coalition for the Homeless, and she was active with the American Association of University Women for many years. Selma loved dogs and adopted three from Second Chances.

Donations in Selma’s memory may be made to the UU Fellowship of Bennington or the Bennington Coalition for the Homeless.

Gratitude to everyone at Bayada hospice care, At Home, and friends and neighbors who helped so much during Selma's final years.

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