Dr. J. Rodman Seely
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Dr. J. Rodman Seely
  • July 28, 1927 - October 27, 2017
  • Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

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It is with great sadness the family of J. Rodman Seely, MD, PhD announces his death on October 27, 2017. He was happily married to Susan Holmes Seely for 31 years and died at home.
Dr. Seely will be remembered for his love for and devotion to his wife and family, for the many lives he touched as a caring pediatrician, and for his witty sense of humor that brightened our lives right up to the end. He approached each day with gratefulness for the gift of life and worked hard to make the most of it. He spent his professional career of 60 years teaching and caring for children with rare genetic and endocrine diseases. With a small bear hanging from his stethoscope, he was well known for his compassion and respect for patients, his ability to have honest and comforting discussions with parents, and for his diagnostic acumen. Dr. Seely is credited with more than 75 scientific publications, won several teaching awards, and was among the first to perform amniocentesis and genetic analysis.
He was born in Willard, Utah to an elementary school principal and was one of 7 children. A gifted student, he attended the University of Utah where he received his Bachelor of Sciences degree with honors, his medical degree (Alpha Omega Alpha), and his Doctor of Philosophy in biological chemistry. He completed his internship and residency in Pediatrics at the University of Utah College of Medicine and was board certified in Pediatrics. He went on to complete his post-doctoral fellowship in Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism also at the University of Utah.
Dr. Seely dedicated his life to research and teaching. He held faculty positions in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine and at the University of Oklahoma Medical Center. He was named Program Director for the Clinical Research Center and in 1976 was named the Acting Chief and Professor of the Genetics, Endocrinology and Metabolism Section of the Department of Pediatrics at the Oklahoma Children's Memorial Hospital. In 1979, Dr. Seely opened a private practice caring for children with genetic and endocrine diseases and became the Director of the Genetics Diagnostic Center at Presbyterian Hospital in Oklahoma City. After returning to the University of Oklahoma Medical Center to teach, he ultimately retired in 2013. He was a founding member of the Lawson Wilkins Pediatric Endocrine Society and was an active member of the Oklahoma County Medical Society.
Rod was a loving and dedicated husband and father and a member of the Westminster Presbyterian Church. He found relaxation with his many friends playing golf and cards at the Quail Creek Golf and Country Club. Rod was preceded in death by Milly Cook Seely and each of his 6 siblings. Rod will be lovingly remembered by his wife of 31 years, Susan Holmes Seely, his three daughters and their husbands, Diana Seely Decker (Michael), Lynn Seely Ditzler (Tim), Tricia Seely Denison (Mike), and 9 grandchildren, including Garrett, Jarrod and Tori Decker, Madeline and Steven Ditzler, and Grant, Alli, Hunter and Natalie Denison.
Memorial services to celebrate Rod's life will be held at Westminster Presbyterian Church, located at 4400 North Shartel Avenue in Oklahoma City on Tuesday, November 7 at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Goodland Boys Home or OKC Beautiful.