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Douglas R Seltz

August 7, 1933 December 21, 2017
Douglas R Seltz
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Obituary for Douglas R Seltz

Douglas R. Seltz Douglas Robert Seltz, 84, of Mosinee passed away December 21, 2017. Douglas was born in Bemidji, Minnesota on August 7, 1933, in the midst of the Great Depression. He grew up with three brothers and two sisters, mostly in the small town of Good Thunder, Minnesota.  

They were pastor’s kids, sons and daughters of the Rev. Paul Seltz, a Lutheran minister, and his wife, Regina (Nibbe). They taught him to love the Lord. Doug had a personality that some described as larger than life.  He was a maverick and a libertarian who did things his own way. He was the type of person who never asked “Why?” but instead asked “Why not?” He asked for forgiveness and not permission.

Doug received a basketball scholarship to Valparaiso University. He also turned down an offer by the Orioles so that he could earn his law degree. He served two years in the Army and a few years after law school, he met his first wife, Colleen Mae Hanson. They went on to have three children, Gretchen, Thomas and Robert, and they adopted a fourth child, Eric. They settled in St. Paul where he practiced law.

Doug believed that individuals should help others and he practiced what he preached.  He was an active part of the Big Brother /Little Brother program for dozens of years.  He set up and gave to charities, but he believed in more direct contributions.  As a few examples: 

The Seltz family had several refugee families stay with them, followed by children from South Korea and Africa who came to the United States for heart surgery under a program run by the University of Minnesota.
Doug purchased a doughnut-making machine for Jehovah Lutheran Church. He and his boys would wake up early on Sunday to make doughnuts for the congregants to purchase after the church service was over. The smell of those doughnuts made them irresistible, and all proceeds went to the church.
A Lutheran high school in Minnesota had a football field but not a track. So, one summer, Doug built a track outside of the football field. It wasn’t a professional track, but it wasn’t half bad either.
He coached whatever grade school or little league team needed a coach if no one else was available.
He sat on the Board of Directors of Valparaiso University for 17 years.
More recently, in Mosinee, Wisconsin, Doug helped start the Wisconsin Valley Lutheran High school, which continues to grow.

Over the final 30 years of his life, he had no real physical assets.  He had been a successful lawyer and real estate investor earlier in life but lost everything after some tax law changes in 1986.  He initiated the County Market shopping complex in Wausau, WI. Nonetheless, despite his declining fortunes over the past 30 years or so, Doug’s glass was always full.  This was mostly because of his best investment that never failed: He met and married his second wife, Evelyn, in 1984.

They lived humbly, first in Minnesota and later in Wausau and Mosinee, Wisconsin.  Neither ever complained.  They loved to watch sports on television and bet each other on the outcome.  He volunteered his time as a school janitor. They genuinely enjoyed each other’s company, took care of each other and got to watch a set of grandkids grow up.  Those who knew them also knew that the two were inseparable until Doug’s death on December 21, caused by complications relating to a stroke he suffered earlier in the month.

Doug Seltz is survived by his second wife, Evelyn; by brother and sister, Rolland (Muriel) and Mary Hendrickson (John Krogman); by three children, Gretchen Gardener (Jack Watson), Tom (Julie) and Robert (Kate); by a step-daughter and step-son, Janne (Tom) Dean and Jeff Jackson; by four grandchildren, Lane (Eva), Tom, Natalia and Alyssa; and by three great-grandchildren Ellie, Emma and Levi. He was preceded in death by two brothers, Paul (Mildred) and Richard (Rosalie), by a sister, Eunice, by a son Eric, and by a granddaughter, Megan.
A celebration of Doug’s life will be held on Saturday, January 6, 2018 at 11:00 am at Trinity Lutheran Church, 501 Stewart Avenue, Wausau.    

 Mid Wisconsin Cremation Society is assisting family at this time.  On line condolences can be made at

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