Seljevold remembered for service to Moorhead sports
Phil Seljevold had a way with words and people. Now imagine if only Rob Bye knew that six years ago. Seljevold had asked Bye to become president of the Moorhead Athletic Association. "He said it was just a one-year deal and I've done it for six y...
Phil Seljevold had a way with words and people.
Now imagine if only Rob Bye knew that six years ago.
Seljevold had asked Bye to become president of the Moorhead Athletic Association.
"He said it was just a one-year deal and I've done it for six years," Bye said. "I asked him how long I had to do the job and he told me, 'Until I get it right.' "
The jokes, good-natured humor, the love of sports and the goodwill of Moorhead athletics drove Seljevold for many years until his death from natural causes on Saturday - two days shy of his 84th birthday.
Seljevold was a longtime teacher at Moorhead until he became the athletic director in 1967.
He held the position until he retired in 1989, paving the way for current Moorhead athletic director Don Hulbert.
"I am not sure if there has been an easier transition in anything I've ever done," Hulbert said. "Phil didn't just give me information. He gave me advice and support that lasted for years."
That's a way people in the Moorhead athletic community would sum him up.
At a recent MAA meeting, Bye asked the crowd of 50 to keep Seljevold in their thoughts because his health was deteriorating.
Some, like Hulbert, did more than that by visiting him in the hospital.
His son, Larry, said being social was one of the things that made life so fun for his father.
"He was an active person, he went out for breakfast everyday and was still active in the community," he said. "Going to athletics was part of the whole picture."
There were many things Seljevold did in his time at Moorhead, but arguably his greatest contribution came when he retired.
Hulbert and Bye said Seljevold was extremely active in getting Jim Gotta Stadium built, giving the Moorhead football team a true home stadium.
The stadium celebrated its 10th anniversary this season.
"Moorhead Public Schools gave him a lifetime pass to athletic events and I think they lost a lot of money," Larry joked about his dad. "He still went to every game. He had a place at every football game, basketball game and hockey game. He went as a spectator and as someone interested in Moorhead."
Moorhead was one love of his life - but not the No. 1 love of his life.
No. That was his wife, Adeline, who he was married to for 59 years.
Adeline died in 2008, but as Larry said, they now have a chance to be together again.
"We lost our mother two years ago and he lost his best friend," Larry said. "In that sense, we take comfort knowing they are together."
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Ryan S. Clark at (701) 241-5548