SEHL, Dr. Philip Tracy
Dr. Philip Tracy Sehl, 92, of Wethersfield, beloved husband for 67 years of Floydene (Norrod) Sehl, passed away peacefully on Monday (July 15, 2013) surrounded by his family. Born on October 22, 1920 in Newark, NJ, he was the son of the late Frederick and Caroline (Tracy) Sehl. He lived in Meriden through the 1920s and moved to Wethersfield in 1930. He was a 1937 graduate of Wethersfield High School, attended Trinity College in the late 1930s and graduated from Harvard Dental School in 1944. Dr. Sehl served in the Pacific Theater in 1945 as a Lieutenant (jg) in the Dental Corps of the U.S. Navy, first on the island of Ie Shima in the Okinawa Campaign, then as part of the occupation of Japan with the Marine Corps. After returning to the states following his service overseas, he completed his tour of duty as a Staff Dentist at the Naval Prison in Portsmouth, NH. In June, 1946, he married Flo and started his general dentistry practice in March of 1947. In 1948, Dr. Sehl became a volunteer member of staff at the Newington Children's Hospital, serving in that capacity for over 25 years. He was President of the Greater Hartford Jaycees from 1951-1952. As a means to raise funds for the operations and philanthropic causes of the Jaycees, in 1952 he co-founded, along with Edwin H. May, Jr. and Harry Keefe, Jr., the Insurance City Open as a PGA event at Wethersfield Country Club. Later known as the Greater Hartford Open and the Sammy Davis, Jr. Greater Hartford Open, it is now known as the Travelers Championship played at the TPC at River Highlands in Cromwell. Dr. Sehl served as co-chairman of the Insurance City Open in 1953 along with Burton Knust. In 1954, he was elected to Wethersfield's first town council, served four terms as councilman, and was Mayor from 1960-1962. He was appointed to the Wethersfield Charter Revision Committee four times, serving as Chairman twice. Over the years, he was active in many community organizations, serving as President of the Wethersfield Rotary Club, the Wethersfield Businessmen's and Civic Association, the local Little League, Wethersfield Country Club and the Wethersfield Chapter of American Field Service. In 1971, Governor Meskill appointed Dr. Sehl to the State Dental Commission, where he served for five years and was Chairman for two years. In 1975, along with Felix Babel, Jr., Dr. Sehl co-founded the Wethersfield Citizens Scholarship Foundation, now known as Dollars for Scholars, which has since raised more than $1,000,000. A lifelong lover of the game of golf, Dr. Sehl was first introduced to the game as a caddy at Wethersfield Country Club in the early 1930s. He is a former secretary, vice president and president of the Connecticut State Golf Association (CSGA) and served on the Executive Committee and Board of Directors. Dr. Sehl was elected to the Junior-Senior Golfing Society of Connecticut in 1963 and served as its Executive Director. As a member of the United States Golf Association, Dr. Sehl served for 12 years on the Public Golf Committee and later on the Sectional Affairs Committee. In 1999, the CSGA honored him with its Distinguished Service Award, inducting him into the Connecticut Golf Hall of Fame. Dr. Sehl was a member of Wethersfield Country Club, Mid Ocean Club, Bermuda, Quail Ridge Country Club, Boynton Beach, FL and in 1988 was named only one of 275 American members of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, Scotland. In addition to his loving wife Floydene, Dr. Sehl will be dearly missed by his children: son, Paul T. Sehl and his wife Catherine Dillon of Chicago, IL; daughters, Deborah Coons and her husband Philip of Boynton Beach, FL and Andrea Norrod Sehl of Kent and his seven adored grandchildren, Katherine Venier and her husband Michael of Jamaica Plain, MA, Jonathan Coons and his wife Meagan of Needham, MA, Lindsay Victoria Quella of Chelsea, VT, Timothy Coons of Cincinnati, OH, Daniel Tracy Sehl of Beijing, China, James Sehl Quella of Cambridge, MA and Cody William Sehl of Lake Forest, IL. Besides his parents, he was predeceased by his sister, Marilyn Lichtfuss. Dr. Sehl's family wishes to thank the dedicated staff at Hartford Hospital for the wonderful care and compassion shown to all of them.
Funeral Services will be held on Saturday at 11 a.m. in Trinity Episcopal Church, 300 Main Street, Wethersfield with the Reverend Scott Lee officiating. A reception will follow the service. Burial will be private and there are no calling hours. Donations in Dr. Sehl's memory may be made to Dollars for Scholars, P.O. Box 290338, Wethersfield, CT 06129-0338. The James T. Pratt Funeral Service, Wethersfield is handling arrangements. For online expressions of sympathy to the family, please visit www.desopo.com.