Francis McLain Seely

SEELY, REV. FRANCIS McLAIN 87, passed away peacefully this past Sunday, September 12, 2004. A Presbyterian Missionary to Thailand for 31 years, a force for inter-religious dialogue, Bible translator, songwriter, musician, father, grandfather and great grandfather. Born February 13, 1917 in Aurora, Illinois (son of Edmund Hills Seely and Elisabeth Merrill; brother to Alma, Mary, and Merrill), Francis was preceded in death by: his first wife, Ruth West in November 1978, and his second wife, Jean C.T. Thompson in July 2004. Francis graduated from Maryville College, TN and McCormick Theological Seminary, Chicago, Ill., class of 1946. In 1947, Francis and family moved to Thailand. During his stay in Thailand until 1978, Francis was in charge of a mission station that included schools, a hospital, and a leprosarium; he served as Minister, Bible and seminary textbook translator, seminary instructor, and composer of the official school song for the Prince Royal's College in Chiang Mai, Thailand. In addition, Francis was the beloved father of eight children. While in Thailand, Francis established the Foundation for Inter-Religious Dialogue and served as director for the Dharma Logos Project sponsored by that Foundation. This project continues today as the Institute for the Study of Religion and Culture in Chiang Mai at Payap University. The project combines the efforts of Francis and of Jean's first husband, Tommy Thompson, in whose memory the Sinclair Thompson Lectures were established. Francis retired in 1978 upon Ruth's illness & subsequent death. He married Jean C.T. Thompson, and enjoyed a wonderful sharing of life and family for 25 years until Jean's death this past July 7, 2004. Francis is survived by: 11 children and stepchildren, 11 children-in-law; 18 grandchildren, and 22 great grandchildren (with 3 more on the way!). His children are: Clarissa (Gunnar) Barnes of Dickson, TN; Edmund (Cheryl) Seely of Fairfield Glade, TN, Lucy (Carroll) Varnell of Knoxville, TN; Joan (Kenny) Haun of Russellville, TN; Joyce (Peter) Rosswaag of Upper Black Eddy, PA; Jennifer (Robert) Durant of Crofton, MD; Jonathan (Donna) Seely of Tullahoma, TN; Karen (Michael) Smith of Morristown, TN; David (Eleta) Thompson of West Hartford, CT; Bruce (Chris) Thompson of Mercer Island, WA; and Marjorie Thompson (John) Mogabgab of Kingston Springs, TN. A celebration of Francis Seely's long and productive life will be held on Wednesday, September 15, 2004 at 2:00 p.m. at First Christian Church in Tullahoma, TN, officiated by the Reverend Susan Nooe Rock and the Reverend John Biesemeier. Graveside services will be held on Thursday, September 16 h at 2:00 at Lynnhurst Cemetery, Knoxville, TN., officiated by the Reverend Kenneth Haun. In lieu of flowers, the family requests any remembrances be made to the Hospice of the Highland Rim, 110 East Lauderdale, Tullahoma, TN, 37388. Tullahoma Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.

SEELY, Francis McLain Rev; 87; Aurora IL>Tullahoma TN; Knoxville N-S; 2004-9-14;
SEELY, Francis McLain Rev; 87; Knoxville TN; Knoxville N-S; 2004-9-15