Obituary: Charles Seleen, 1950-2022 | Obituaries | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Obituary: Charles Seleen, 1950-2022

Vermont dentist lived a purposeful life of service

Published September 26, 2022 at 6:00 a.m.
Updated September 26, 2022 at 11:23 a.m.


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Charles Seleen - COURTESY
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  • Charles Seleen

Dr. Charles Seleen passed away in the 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, with 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 health care in Vermont and was a trusted resource for legislative committees and public institutions. He mentored dental externs in his office as an adjunct faculty member 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 not his only passion! Chuck was a tennis pro and a master scuba diver. He taught tennis, ice diving and rescue diving, and he always made time to play catch with his daughter in the front yard. 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.

Charles Seleen - COURTESY
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  • Charles Seleen

Chuck's passion for rescuing animals deserves a special mention. Under the auspices of New England English Springer Spaniel Rescue, he and his family rehomed 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, Mass., and graduated from the University of Vermont and Tufts School of Dental Medicine. His first job in dentistry was with Vermont Dental Care, where he worked for roughly 50 years. His extended family included his predeceased 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.

Charles Seleen - COURTESY
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  • Charles Seleen

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, c/o Vermont Dental Care , 32B Malletts Bay Ave., Winooski, VT 05404. Donations of any amount are very welcome.




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