Donald F. Sellin obituary

Contact: Jeanne Baron
Photo of Dr. Donald F. Sellin.

Donald F. Sellin

Dr. Donald F. Sellin, a former Western Michigan University faculty member, died May 16 at home in Kalamazoo. He was 82.

Sellin was a professor emeritus of special education who spent years advising graduate students in mental retardation. He joined the faculty in 1969 and retired in 1990 after 21 years of service to the University.

His scholarly expertise was in the field of special education with emphases on gifted and talented education as well as educating mentally and physically handicapped persons.

Donald F. Sellin

Sellin wrote or co-wrote five textbooks and dozens of journal articles and was a consultant to many local and state governmental and community organizations. He was a member of several professional organizations, including the Council for Exceptional Children, National Association for Gifted Children, Michigan Association for the Academically Talented, and the national and Michigan associations for retarded citizens.

An active volunteer and advocate, he was a member of various WMU councils and committees as well as served multiple terms as board president of the Kalamazoo Association for Retarded Citizens.

Sellin received several service-oriented awards during his career, and the American Association on Mental Retardation granted him a life membership in 1990 for his decades of involvement with that organization.

Prior to coming to WMU, he taught at Michigan State University and Slippery Rock State College, served as cadre coordinator of services for retarded children for the Michigan Department of Mental Health, and taught in public school systems in Maryland and Pennsylvania.

Sellin earned a bachelor's degree from Frostburg State Teachers College in 1957, and a master's and doctoral degree from the University of Pittsburgh in 1960 and 1964, respectively. He also did postdoctoral work at the University of Pittsburgh.


Services have taken place.


The family obituary and message book are available at For more information, visit

Memorial gifts may be made to the Marfan Foundation or the Arc Community Advocates, in care of the Joldersma & Klein Funeral Home.