Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

Sele served city and bank as clerk


Dorothy Sele

Dorothy Sele, who worked as a clerk for the City of Haines and as a teller at the Haines bank, died April 2 in Bothell, Wash. of complications from a blood disorder.

She was 89 and had lived several years with her son Darryl Sele and his wife Susan at their home in Bothell.

She requested no services be held.

Resident Dick Flegel said this week that when he took over as manager of the local branch of First National Bank of Anchorage in 1973, Sele was part of a professional team of five women who already worked there and helped him understand the community.

At a time when banking was done manually, from counting cash to reconciling the books, her daily transactions always balanced, he said.

Dorothy's son Brad Sele said his mother focused much of her energy on raising her four active sons and "there was never a dull moment."

She also enjoyed sewing, knitting, solving word games, reading, visiting with friends, going on hunting trips with her husband, and spending time at Chilkat Lake. She volunteered for many community activities and organizations.

Dorothy Sele was born in Cannon Falls, Minn. on Aug. 14, 1927 to Fred and Mary (Stav) Kautz. Her mother died when she was young, and her aunt and uncle, Minnie and Alton Nelson, took her into their home in Hallock, Minn.

She graduated from Hallock High School in 1945 and married Willard "Moose" Sele on Oct. 29, 1946. They moved to Bremerton, Wash., where her husband worked in a shipyard. In April of 1952, they arrived in Haines to work for Alton Nelson, who was operating the Standard Oil distributorship and a hardware store.

Christy Tengs Fowler grew up next door to the Seles and remarked on the family's bonds: "I always wanted sons, because I saw the great relationship Dorothy's boys had with their mom."

Fowler's mother Helen Tengs and Sele were friends. Holidays they shared with the Sele family included charades at Thanksgiving and singing around the piano. "Dorothy had a kind heart," and was a lot of fun, Fowler said. "She and my mom once 'streaked' through a party at the Elks Lodge in nude-colored long Johns with balloons attached at the chest." Sele also danced in a local Hawaiian dance group.

Moose died in 1975, and Dorothy left Haines in 1993 when she moved to Port Angeles, Wash., to be near three of her brothers and one of her sons. Her final years were spent in Bothell.

She was preceded in death by her husband, by brothers Harold, Leonard, Fritz, and Ralph Kautz; by sisters Millie Sauer and Viola Roy, and by nephews Bob Kautz and Durwood Sele.

She is survived by sons Darryl Sele of Bothell, Bradley Sele of Boise, Idaho, Terry Sele of Haines, and Roger Sele of Sitka; by brothers Robert and Floyd Kautz, and by sister Joan Raines. She also is survived by eight grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren, by and numerous nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers and cards, Dorothy Sele requested that donations be made to children's charities.


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