Walter Kent Seldal left this world too soon for us. Kent’s life of service held little fanfare for himself and total commitment to the needs of others. Kent was a pastor, teacher, chaplain, friend, father, husband, actor, singer, and once, a demolition derby race car driver. He could be trusted with building lasting relationships of care and concern. Kent’s eyes twinkled with the joy of life. He understood and appreciated the people around him, their unique place in the world, their needs, their worth.
Fun to be with at any meal, Kent enjoyed sharing their table of amazing food with friends and family. He especially liked his wife Mary Beth’s spectacular desserts. His favorite was blueberry pie, with berries picked near Copper Harbor.
Always interested in learning and expanding his perspectives, Kent earned BA and MA degrees. He was a graduate of Multnomah School of the Bible, Western Washington University, and Covenant Seminary. In addition, he had clinical pastoral interfaith professional education, enabling him to hold a chaplaincy position serving Memorial Medical Center in Ashland and to serve as chaplain for the Behavioral Health and Rehabilitation Center.
Instrumental in starting the Ethics Committee at Memorial Medical Center, and in the development of the Bay Area Ministerial Association, Kent knew that working with others is key to community success.
Prior to moving to the Bay area, Kent served as a pastor in churches in Pennsylvania and Iowa.
Active in the community of health, Kent was appointed to the Bayfield County Department of Human Service Board. He also worked with the Ashland County Alcohol and Drug Abuse program.
With his love of children, Kent volunteered to read to students at Lake Superior and Our Lady of the Lake Elementary Schools.
Kent’s enthusiasm for life included singing with the Rittenhouse Singers, playing dartball at Good Shepherd Church, and holding roles in theatre performances. On the board of the New Day Advocacy Center in Ashland, Kent helped build a new play area for the children of clients served.
He and his wife of 52 years, Mary Beth, enjoyed spending time caring for their large garden and orchard and tending a fire on long cozy winter nights. Longer days included boating and hiking. An avid fisherman, Kent would not leave a hot spot or one he thought might become one until he had exhausted any doubt that fish were there to be caught. His favorite fishing took place in Alaska alongside his brother-in-law’s family. Hunting was also a sport he enjoyed. He said his time alone in the woods offered solace and appreciation of all of nature.
Preceded in death by his brother Lynn and parents Walter and Verna (Hoover) Seldal, Kent leaves his wife Mary Beth, son Joshua and spouse Elle, grandchildren Isaiah, Alana, and Robert, and son Timothy and spouse Kristina and grandchildren Logan and Violet. They and other family members and friends mourn his early and untimely passing.
Kent served man and God. He held his course and did so with love and joy. Now Kent is with his Lord and Savior, Jesus, and has full access and understanding of the peace and love that he committed himself to live while among us.
Kent’s family deeply appreciates the support so many people are providing in this difficult time, including The Mountain Funeral Home as it assists the family. A life celebrating memorial will be online. In lieu of flowers, please send gifts to New Day Advocacy Center and/or the Ashland and Washburn Fire EMTs.