Henry Rawie "Hal" De Selm
DE SELM, HENRY RAWIE "HAL" - age 86, of Knoxville, died July 12, 2011 at Fort Sanders Regional Hospital surrounded by his family. Born November 1, 1924 in Columbus, Ohio, second son of Ralph E and Helen R. De Selm. Educated in Columbus public schools, Miami University and Ohio State University. He served in the US Marines during WWII 1943-1946. He was on the faculty of the Botany Department and the Ecology Program at the University of Tennessee, 1956-1989 when he became Professor Emeritus. He was a member and supporter of the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church. He was a member and scientific contributor to many environmentalist and scientific publications and organizations. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Mary Elizabeth "Bee" Hersee De Selm, of Knoxville; daughter, Diane De Selm Overcast of Marietta Georgia; son, Richard Lowell De Selm and wife, Tracy of Chapel Hill, North Carolina; grandchildren, Megan Elizabeth Rudock and husband Jeremy of Winston-Salem North Carolina, Jannah Webb Overcast of Atlanta Georgia, Grant Lowell and Claire Martin De Selm of Chapel Hill North Carolina; great-grandsons, Henry Joseph Banaghan, Harrison Alan Rudock and Garrett Webb Rudock of Winston-Salem North Carolina. Memorial service will be held on Sunday, 3 o'clock in the afternoon at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church, 2931 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, Tennessee. Reception to follow in the Greg McKendry Hall. In lieu of flowers, donations in his honor would be welcomed to any of the nature or wildlife conservation organizations.
Published by Knoxville News Sentinel from Jul. 14 to Jul. 17, 2011.
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21 Entries
Professor DeSelm was a wonderful teacher and encourager to his students. I took all 3 quarters of first level Botany curiculum from him in 1971-72 and enjoyed every minute of it! He made learning and and the subject of Botany interesting and fun. He made me want to major in Botany but my Mathematical skills won out! He will be missed. I am so very sorry for your loss.
Debbie (Bryant) Sutton
July 19, 2011
He will always be respected for his life work as well as his life. Sharon Bell
July 17, 2011
Dear Bee, I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. I'll never forget your encouragement when I first started working at Senior Citizens Home Assistance Service. Sincerely, Ludell Coffey
July 17, 2011
Hal was one of the first people to welcome me to the University of Tennessee -- if memory serves, he attended my interview talk in Geography. I was honored to later take over teaching of his Plant Geography of North America course, and over the years very much appreciated the ideas, maps, and other materials he shared with me. I will miss his enthusiasm for botany and plants, and his friendship.
Sally Horn
July 17, 2011
My wife and I enjoyed Tennessee Native Plant Society field trips with him in recent years, though I have known Hal since around the time I came to UT in 1968. A great loss.
Gordon Burghardt
July 16, 2011
So sorry about your loss.
Lisa Mixon
July 15, 2011
"Slim" (as I called him) and his friend Jim would often join a few of us for lunch at the UC and I thoroughly enjoyed our diverse conversations. He was quite a character and I'll miss our occasional chats.. Best wishes to his family and friends.. Ron
July 15, 2011
I always enjoyed talking to Dr. De Selm when he would stop by our lab every couple of weeks. He always had a great story to tell. Every time he left, I always said I hope to be like that someday - still going into the field and enjoying life.
July 15, 2011
Rich and family,
Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this time.
UNC swimming and diving team
July 15, 2011
Dr. DeSelm was my major professor in the 1970s. Thanks to his patience and guidance, I received my degree in Ecology, and have since been blessed with a career in the field. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.
Cloyce Hedge
July 15, 2011
Bee, six and one half years ago you gave me great comfort at my mother's celebration of life. You and Hal had been part of my life before that, but since then you have become a very beloved friend. Hal has been a real joy as I've been priveleged to return to the Science Forum, and we all will miss him so much. My heart cries for you now, as you begin this new era of your life, without your life partner. He is no longer struggling, no longer in pain, and is by your side to help you in this transition. Know that you are loved by so many, and your family is too, and that we all are here to help and comfort you. I am here for you in any way that you want or need. Hal's life is one of great love and numerous contributions that will continue on through the generations and you have been the rock that supported him. May I offer the prayer that "the best possible outcome for all" be yours.
Sharon Murphree
July 14, 2011
Dr. DeSelm was a wonderful, friendly, kind man. We knew him through the Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage in the Smokies. I am sure that he inspired many botanists and nature lovers through the years. Our condolances to his family.
Laura & Hal Mahan
July 14, 2011
Dr. Hal Deselm was a wonderful person
I knew him thru the Science Forum.in which he was so ver good.
Don Dessart
July 14, 2011
Dear Bee,
You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.
Hannah Blair
July 14, 2011
Hal was one of the true ecologists of Tennessee. He had a wealth of knowledge of the Tennessee plant communities, which he shared freely with others. He never stopped working. Hal was always friendly and always made himself available. He will be greatly missed.
Dennis Horn
July 14, 2011
Dr. DeSelm (from UT Botany classes in the late 60's) became Hal when we began to attend TVUC in 1975. He was a wonderful character to represent both of those worlds and a great person with whom to share plant and gardening stories. I will miss him.
Loretta Price
July 14, 2011
Bee -- my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time.
Regina Dean
July 14, 2011
Dear Bee----I feel fortunate to be your neighbor and am glad that I had a chance to get to know Hal at least a little. I enjoyed the short visit with him recently and send you and your family my best wishes.
Phyllis Daniels
July 14, 2011
Bee, my thoughts are with you and your family. It saddens me to think about all the botanical knowledge lost with Hal's passing. No one will ever know more about the vegetation communities of Tennessee. His legacy will live on in his students and botanical colleagues. Sincerely, Patricia Cox
Patricia Cox
July 14, 2011
Our granddaughter chose "Dr. De Selm" to be her substitute grandfather when her own grandpa was out of town for her school's grandparent's day. We have a great smiling pictureof the two of them together to remember the day! He always had a smile and a greeting for us, and we will miss him.
David and Donna Brian
July 14, 2011
Bee- May you always keep your best memories of Hal.
John Pettyjohn
July 14, 2011
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