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Millicent Seely

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Millicent Seely Obituary
Millicent "Mimi" Seely

1925-2015 BRATTLEBORO Millicent "Mimi" Seely, 89, resident of Valley Cares, Townshend, formerly of Schenectedy, N.Y. and Brattleboro, died peacefully Tuesday morning February 3, 2015 at Grace Cottage Hospital in Townshend. She was born Millicent Jean Blodgett on June 25, 1925 in Champaign Ill., and was the daughter of Harold W. Blodgett and Dorothy Briggs Blodgett. Her father was a college professor and first taught at Dartmouth College until accepting a professorship at Union College in Schenectady N.Y., which he kept until his retirement. He was a respected authority and editor of the works of Walt Whitman. Mimi attended public schools in Schenectady at Oneida Junior High, where she was co-president of the student council, and then at Nott Terrace High School where she graduated in 1942. She enrolled at Oberlin College as an art major and graduated in 1945. At Oberlin she met Richard Duane Phelps, whom she married in 1946. They lived in Buffalo N.Y., Philadelphia Pa., Pittsfield, Mass., Washington, Pa., and Baltimore Md. before settling in Westminster, Md. in the late 1950's. They had three sons, Jonathan Martin Phelps, who predeceased her in 1991, Walter Evan Phelps, of Williamsville Vt., and Robert Alan Phelps, of Brattleboro. That marriage ended in divorce in 1962. In 1972 she married James T. Seely, who predeceased her. She raised her three sons in Schenectady, N.Y., working part-time at various positions, then in the early 1970's took a clerical position at the Schenectady County Clerk's office which she held until her retirement in 2000. Following her retirement, she moved to Brattleboro to be near her sons. Mimi was fond of art and music. She enjoyed singing, listening to the radio, and playing the piano. She was an avid reader and library patron, and for many years secretly worked on writing mysteries for her own amusement. During the late 1960's she enjoyed folk dancing in a monthly get-together. She gave up her car in the mid 1960's and walked or used public transportation for the rest of her life. She was "green" before there was a green movement. Mimi was devoted to her sons, Jon, Walter, and Bob; and to her two brothers, Geoffrey Blodgett, of Oberlin Ohio, and William Blodgett, of Geneva, N.Y, both of whom predeceased her; and to her nieces, Deborah Blodgett-West, of Stockton Calif., Katherine lodgett, of Philadelphia, Pa., Hillary Blodgett Iannopollo, of Geneva, N.Y., Caroline Blodgett Mantel, of Geneva, N.Y., Barbara Blodgett, of Lexington, Ky., Lauren Blodgett Sharpe, of Lyndhurst, Ohio, and Sally Blodgett Olson, of Seattle, Wash. Although baptized a Presbyterian, she last attended the Baptist Church in Brattleboro. Her maternal grandfather had been a Baptist minister, and she had fond memories of him. She once described herself as a "yellow dog Democrat," and was an early fan and supporter of Barack Obama. She kept well informed and she always voted. She will be remembered and missed by everyone who knew her for her smile, intelligence, and sense of humor. She was independent, and friendly. She had an excellent memory and could always be relied upon to remember a line from a poem, a chorus from a song, or a character from mythology. Her last words were spoken with kindness, good humor, and a smile. Her happiness and well-being were extended to the very end of her life by the staff at Valley Cares in Townshend, and by her private caregivers, who were as devoted to her as she was grateful to them. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. in the afternoon, Saturday, February 14th, at Valley Cares, 457 Grafton Rd. in Townshend.
Published in Brattleboro Reformer on Feb. 6, 2015
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