Emailed Thoughts

It is sad news, true, but as I started to write ‘it is hard to think of Horace not being around…’ I realized that in fact he is and always will be around, for he has done so much and spread so much love and hope and all of that is here to stay.

He and his extraordinary spirit of justice and love remain and will continue to inspire so many of us as we face the challenges in front of us.

He may have stepped out, but he has left so much with all of us who remain. And I am glad to hear that he was able to depart directly from home, in the company of loved ones.

Jennifer J. Yanco


The Feaster Family extend our heartfelt sympathies to you, but extol the significant role your Dad played in the civil right movement!

May he Rest in Peace!

Joseph D. Feaster, Jr.


So sad to hear of Horace’s passing. Back in 1968 Horace was the primary force that inspired us to get involved in the “movement”. We were early members of his CCI board of directors and assisted him in many workshops and activities in those early years.

Besides his undaunted courage, Horace was one of the most caring and human people we ever knew. He wasn’t only anti-racist. He opposed any threat to decent human behavior.

He is much loved and will be missed. Sorry we won’t be there to join you (Aug 20 gathering) in honoring Horace.

Barb and Stan Cohen


So very sorry to hear of your father’s death. His is truly an example of “a life well lived.”
It was a privilege to be in his company.

Julie Winch


So sorry to hear about Horace passing on. What a wonderful inspiring person for all of us. I am in Bass Harbor ME so will not be able to join all of you (Aug 20 gathering) but will be holding you in my heart.

Anne Nash


Good morning Shel, Debbie, Dave, and Gary,

I am thinking of you all on this day after your dear dad’s death. What sadness you must feel.

And yet he’s at peace, free of the suffering you saw him endure, and that must give you some solace.

You gave him your love both at his death and throughout his life; that is the greatest gift you could have given.

With affection and condolences to each of you,

Bunny Meyer


What a fine, fine life he lived. How many lives he not only touched, but profoundly rocked.

Blessings and happiness to all of you, as you celebrate his life.

Warmly, Debra Wise


What a wonderful spontaneous immediate (Aug 20 gathering) way to celebrate the passing of an amazing life.

I am sorry that I can only be with you in spirit. Thank you for keeping me in the loop.

Harriet Heath


I am happy for Horace on his homegoing; sad for all of us whom he leaves behind.

I worked with Horace for about a year (2010 – 2011) in connection with a project to commemorate abolitionist Wendell Phillips, who was a close associate of Horace’s main man. Horace very graciously agreed to meet my Wendell Phillips walking tour and give us his full dress treatment of the Black Heritage Trail. Not only was his knowledge astonishing, but the way he overflowed with love and passion about Garrison, abolitionism, history and related subjects knocked me over — because it never seemed to dim or fade.

He will live on in our memories and stories and our attempts at emulation. Strength and peace to you all. Thank you for sharing him with us.

Yours in sorrow,
A J Aiséirithe


farewell Horace! My heart is saddened by this loss. I worked for many years with Horace at the Boston Public Library on the Anti Slavery collections, the Boston Female Anti Slavery Society and the William Lloyd Garrison (otherwise known as Horace Seldon!) collection. He was so enthusiastic about his research. I counted him among the best friends of the Library and Boston’s history.
I won’t be able to visit on Sunday (Aug 20 gathering). Please share a warm hug from me in remembrance of such a wonderful and special man.

I always called him Mr Garrison and he called me Maria Weston Chapman. I will certainly miss Mr. Garrison!

Love,
Roberta (Bobbie) Zonghi (former Keeper of Rare Books and Manuscripts at Boston Public Library)


My deepest condolences to the Seldon family.

Horace was a true inspiration — his enthusiasm and interest in the museum have been invaluable over the years. He will be so missed.

Kazimiera Kozlowski
The Prudence Crandall Museum
Canterbury, CT


Thank you for including me in your note about Horace.

I have forwarded it to Cynthia Costello and Chris Bryant of the Amesbury Whittier Home. Chris and I used to come into Boston to hear his presentations and to meet with him and others re: a website he was developing.

He certainly was an amazing man with lots of energy and curiosity – and contributed much.

Warm regards,

Pam Fenner
Past-President, Whittier Home Association, Amesbury


Your Dad was one of the most special people in our lives going back to 1971. His wisdom, courage, and passion inspired us continually. As for many, he was our moral compass.

He spoke frequently of each of you – how much support you gave him, how proud he was of your accomplishments, and how deeply he loved you.

His impact on the lives and institutions he touched will last for eternity.

With heartfelt sympathy and much love,

Ann Coles


I worked with Horace for several years with Community Change on our Boston multicultural festival at Roxbury Community College and knew him as my neighbor in later years in Wakefield.

I admire his fierce devotion to life, love and social justice.

He was a leader among leaders.

Please accept my sincere condolences and may the gathering be a rich, comforting and joyful sharing for you and all gathered.

Ben Tousley


Horace befriended me as a 23 year old, full-of-myself idealistic white kid.

He was patient, kind, funny and loved ice cream.

I had never met an older white male who really cared deeply about racism.

He brought me on CCI Board, connected me with giants, and stayed humble, consistent and almost a cute sprite, at times.

I will miss him.

Dave Stark


Dear Seldon Family,

We were all saddened by the passing of Horace and send our heartfelt condolences.

His passion, spirit and energy were infectious. I always enjoyed our conversations and learning about his great life’s work fighting for justice and equal rights.

His life is one to truly celebrate as a life well lived.

Our deepest sympathies.

Vinnie Bonazzoli


Your father was a gem!

I knew him through his tours on Beacon Hill. He researched the history of the home we live in which is now condos.

We kept in touch about lectures he would be giving and African American History.

I have really missed seeing him the last few years. He and you are in my thoughts and prayers. I will remember Horace fondly. He will be missed by many people.

Best, Jane Kuchefski


Horace was a very special person and his absence will be felt by many. But we will not forget his decency and the ethics and energy he modelled in his life and work.

Thank you for sending me this note. I might not otherwise have heard that he had passed, and while I’m sad, I’m also glad to have the chance to remember his lovely spirit.

Wishing you all strength and love as you endure this difficult period.

Nora Lester Murad


It is with a heartbroken heart that I send my condolences to each of you.

Horace did so much for me in the development of my being able to grasp the intrinsic causes of racism.

Everyday I think of more things he did – Dylongso awards and honoring leaders, Tours all over Boston and sharing his knowledge of history and much more.

You have a lot to be proud of.

My sympathies,
Trudy Glidden


I am so sorry to hear of Horace’s passing, but glad to know his pain is over. What a wonderful, amazing, loving man.

I first met him when I was age 16 and active in my Pilgrim Fellowship group in Grafton, MA – I’m almost 72 now.

He had a huge impact on my life and SO MANY others.

Very best wishes to you all,
Don Miller


I was a year ahead of your father in ANTS (Andover Newton Theological School), and knew him and Sylvia well then.

All of us who knew him considered him one of the nicest persons we have known. You are fortunate to have had him as a father.

Thank you for writing, and reminding me of him. I hope your gatherings and memorials go well.

Sincerely,
Wayne “Doc” Price


My heartfelt sympathy goes out to you his family and all of us for whom Horace was such a beacon of hope.

Peace,
Susan Kosoff


I am so, so sorry to hear about your beloved Dad’s death.

He was such a great man and good friend.

I’ll be thinking if all of you and sending love.

Jean Kilbourne


Your Dad Horace was truly a great man, and the world is a bit dimmer without his light. I’m a former student of his, from Boston College, and his class changed my life for the better.

Thanks,
Stas Gayshan


I am very sorry for your loss.

I very much see myself as a part of your father’s anti-racist lineage via Paul Marcus.

He did so much for New England’s anti-racist community and his work is the foundation for countless others, myself included.

He was a great man, a generous and kind man, and a tremendous spirit. Thank you all for sharing your father’s boundless energy with us for so long.
Sincerely,
Paul Madden


OMGosh. A Truly Wonderful man. I first knew Horace when I was a state officer in Pilgrim Fellowship about 1963. We both had Haverhill ties. His niece Nancy Jenkins was a childhood friend. We all watched Howdy Doody on their first TV on Race Street.

I remember contacting him when I heard of his beloved bride’s death when I was a freshman at U of Rochester. We traded emails a while back to re-connect. Read about his tour guiding. He could do a Russian Cossack dance.

Quite a man and character. Sorry we lost him. Glad for the path we shared.
Thank you for contacting me. Would love to read his obit. Full life Well Done

John Graham Moab, Utah


I wish I could be with you all tomorrow (August 20 gathering), but my brother and I are embarking on a road trip to scatter my parent’s, Bill & Alice Wimer’s, ashes. They loved Horace and he loved them. I loved Horace – but who didn’t.

Long ago, in the 50’s, Horace served as the Associate Minister at Immanuel Congregational Church in Beverly where my father was Sr. Pastor. This was the beginning of a long and deep relationship.

Many, many years later, when my parents were in a nursing facility in North Andover, Horace’s visits were what they cherished more than anything. He was always a loyal friend who brought the news, good and bad, never talked down to them, conferred with them about how to confront injustice, and laughed…oh, how he could laugh.

I loved Horace for so many reasons. Who else remembers everyone’s birthday, even before iCalendar?! His birthday, Nov. 1, always seemed so appropriate – all Saints Day. He was a saint – he is a saint.

So, today my wish is that we may all be on fire with Horace’s ardor. None of us can afford to sit back and watch. Horace trained us all well. Now, it is up to us to carry on his work.

May God bless Horace and may he rest in peace.

God bless you all, Alice Erickson aka Dee Wimer


I’m Dick Chamberlain ( The Rev. Richard Chamberlain ), I’m 81, and I had a great deal of contact with Horace in my late teens and early 20’s .

Here is the MOST POWERFUL image of Horace that has stayed with me all of these years: I attended Sylvia’s Memorial Service. As each of us moved through a very long reception line to speak with Horace what struck me so strongly was that Horace was ‘counseling’ with each of us! He had that strength.

For decades my wife Ann and I received birthday cards from Horace. He must have kept up with countless folk.

I did not see it written in the material you sent but for X amount of time Horace was the National Director of Pilgrim Fellowship Junior High work for the Congregational Churches…working out of The Congregational House at 14 Beacon Street, Boston. His supervisor was The Rev. Dr. Edward Powers. About that time I served as National Youth Associate for Pilgrim Fellowship and the Council for Social Action…of the Congregational Churches…also being supervised by Ed Powers.

A wonderful human being…Horace.

Dick Chamberlain


I first met the Seldon family back in the late 1950’s. My family were members of the First Parish Congregational Church in Wakefield and back then most of us kids were required to attend Sunday school which in hindsight was a better deal for us than having to attend the service in the large chapel with our parents.

One of my classmates turned out to be Horace and Sylvia”s Seldon’s oldest son David. We became fast friends and soon discovered that by sticking together it made the whole Church experience more bearable and sometimes very funny. On several occasions when we had to attend the main service Dave and I would start laughing at something we saw going on like a lady sitting in front of us quietly breaking wind or something similar and came close on more than one occasion to getting kicked out of the service. To this day Dave still blames me for instigating all that and now after all these years I am willing to admit he was right and I now take full responsibility and pledge never to do it again.

It didn’t take long for me (even as a little kid) to come to the conclusion that David and Gary had the coolest parents of any kid in town. As I became a frequent visitor to their home I still remember to this day how warm and charismatic their parents were and what a tremendous sense of humor they had.

One memory of Horace that has stayed with me all these years was the time I was invited to go on a trip with the Seldon family to visit one of their relatives who was disabled. As I recall they lived somewhere near the coast and this must have taken place back in the early 1960’s.

During this trip we stopped at a beach to go swimming and Dave and I had to change into our bathing trunks in the back seat of the car. As we were kids we were a little self-conscious about getting undressed in public but as I recall there was no one any way near the car but Horace agreed to stand outside the car as a guard just in case. At the moment we were in the middle of changing Horace started to say “ step right up, step right up, ten cents a peek, ten cents a peek” This caused us to go into hyper drive to get our trunks on envisioning hordes of beach goers swarming about the car to check out the attraction —— it was hilarious!

I guess it was one of those things where you had to be there to appreciate how funny it was but Horace had a remarkable wit and an incredibly pin point laser like delivery when he knew the time was right.

Fifty plus years later I still remember.

Rich Peterson


So sorry to hear that our dear Horace has gone on to the next dimension.
Sadly we have not been in touch for a long time. He loved coming to the JGWhittier Home /Museum and The friends Meetinghouse where he presented an excellent program about his beloved Garrison of Newburyport & his friendship with Whittier, two early abolitionists who “set the world on fire” from this little corner of the universe.

On behalf of many of his friends here we send our best for a dear man who vowed never to let the message of these men, their bravery & faithfulness to the cause of equality , never fade away. Horace was a passionate keeper of memories. Everyone who got to know him will never forget him and his passion to keep the Abolition story alive.

The Friend
Cynthia Costello. Past President of Whittier Home Association, 86 Friend St, Amesbury 01913


I knew him from BOAF (Boston African American National Historic Site), when I was working on research for additions to the Black Heritage Trail on Beacon Hill.

That man was a fighter for what he believed in, and I admired him for that. Again, my condolences.

Kathryn Grover


Horace was one of our best friends for the past 45 plus years. We worked very closely with him at Community Change, SOAR and many other areas.

During the 40+ years of friendship, he never missed sending us birthday and anniversary greetings. We will greatly miss him.

Oscar and Sophia Harrell


My encounter with Horace when the Garrison crew visited the Sophia Smith Collection in 2014 was so memorable. I still refer researchers of abolition, Garrison Family, The Liberator, and other topics to his great Web site.

I am so sorry for your loss, but what a long and productive life he had! As an archivist and historian I can tell you it really hurts to lose these one-of-a-kind folks from the older generation. They are irreplaceable.

Amy Hague, Research Services Archivist
Sophia Smith Collection (home of the Garrison Family Papers)
Smith College


I am saddened to learn of Horace’s death, but I am glad to know that he died at home with loved ones at his side. I have always felt privileged to know Horace, beginning with participating in Good Friday anti-death-penalty vigils on Reading Common, and later going on trips that he organized to visit John Greenleaf Whittier birthplace and homestead sites in Haverhill and Amesbury MA as well as to the Abyssinian Church in Portland ME, and attending events at the Museum of African American History in Boston. He was truly inspiring. I look forward to attending/participating in Horace’s memorial service and the Women’s March of Courage on October 21. What a wonderful idea!

Carolyn Whiting


We were so influenced by your dad and were around for the beginning of Community Change, participating in the weekend long enactment of three different levels of social experience, with Harvard students. It was brilliant.
Don and Mary Rae Kellett Means


Horace was such a beloved person in our lives, a faithful communicator (birthdays, anniversaries)- a rare and beautiful practice of community in an internet age where “real”cards seldom come through the mail slot. He was truly a remarkable human being, gave so much to our world. Stood for all that is good and just, took risks, kept those around him on their toes!
My dad died 5 years ago at 95, (a minister, worked for awhile with Mass Council of Churches- in the same building as Horace??), and I felt with his passing “they don’t make them like that anymore”. His uprightness, and passion for justice, firm principles,and indomitable spirit—AND longevity! I feel that about Horace.
I love knowing he was surrounded by all of you, and your love and devotion. I hope we all can go that way.
Blessings to you all-
Betsy Rose


I first met Horace quite by accident at his adopted home of the BOAF. I was an undergrad at Northeastern and not quite sure what direction I was moving in life, but having a passionate love of history. Horace gave me the wonderful tour of the Black Heritage Trail and I learned more of his own story. Several years later my office moved to Bowdoin Square and I would drop in frequently to soak in the knowledge and life history from Horace and BOAF community.

He later introduced me to Michael and Annlinnea Terranova, who later became my beloved landlords, Bernadette, Bob, Paul, Ryan and one of the earlier incantations of the Beacon Hill Scholars and into the holy community of the North Slope.

I entered Northeastern’s History graduate program and Horace was kind enough to write me a letter of recommendation, but more he offered a living example of what it meant to embody that history. Anyone who knew Horace, knew that Garrison, Douglas, Walker, weren’t distant mythological figures, living, breathing fire, direct lines to “the work,” the work of today and any cursory glimpse of current events proves him nothing but right.

After I graduated and moved, I stayed in sporadic contact with Horace. Always about “the work, the work.” The last conversation I had with Horace was about my conversation with Christo Brand. Brand was Nelson Mandela’s prison guard on Robben Island and eventually his dear friend and supporter.

Brand told me one of the transformational moments he had with Mandela was when he asked Mandela about why he wasn’t embittered by his imprisonment. Mandela responded that he was not imprisoned, he was preparing. “Either I will leave here and lead my people or I will die here and be the example for the next generation, either way I am already free.”

So now that Horace has moved beyond, his life and message remain as inspiration and hard truths still need to be told and “the work” still goes on.

“It was the glory of this man that he could stand alone with the truth, and calmly await the result.”
-Frederick Douglas speaking at the William Lloyd Garrison’s funeral.

Anam Cara,

Keith Bowman


Mel King introduced me to Horace when Mel was running for mayor and I was impressed with his dedication to the cause of social justice. He led the way with his energy, ideas and optimism about making change. He and Community Change developed an unbelievable network of people who had the same goal to make a difference. Horace set the bar for all of us and we must carry on his mission.

Loretta M. Dixon


I was very sorry to hear this, of course, but also humbled to think of how – and how well – Horace lived life to the full.

I met your father in Oxford, when he visited as part of the week-long institute for teachers and – as in Horace’s case – park rangers. I was a grad student employed by Prof. Richard Carwardine to photocopy handouts and shepherd the American visitors, both in their studies and in their exploration of the city. Horace, of course, won the heart of the whole group, and I know he was a favourite student of Richard’s for the summer institute.

By chance, I was already visiting the US (for my first time!) to do research later in the same summer (2007). So, Horace kindly invited me to stay with him and enjoy the full tour of the city: The streets he’d identified as those where Garrison and the British abolitionist George Thompson faced a lynch mob; the church where he’s seen JFK cast a ballot one election day; the Columbus Park statue where he’d protested racial justice in the city. We went on the African-American Liberty Trail, naturally. It was all, of course, a treat for anyone interested in US history, but also a joy given I’d been reading materials by George Thompson, amongst others, in my research down at Columbia University and the NY Historical Society. Horace’s fascination with the past and urgent engagement with the present illuminated a tourist’s first glimpse at the city and the country.

My overwhelming memory of the visit was the difficulty of persuading Horace to let me pay for dinner or otherwise compensate for the imposition!

I have been amused, in my own career as an historian over the past decade, to find out how many folks knew Horace well: When I mentioned him and his deep interest in Garrison to senior scholars and experts, I found out they were also friends and correspondents of Horace.
Horace clearly touched many lives, and his memory and his inspiration will live on with his friends around the world. I hope this is a source of pride alongside the sadness of his death. I am sure that the memorial will be an occasion of celebration and thanks – and hope – as well as mourning. Horace offered a light in our world and it is not extinguished.

Richard Huzzey
(Now at Durham University, in the north east of the UK)


I first met the Seldon family back in the late 1950’s. My family were members of the First Parish Congregational Church in Wakefield and back then most of us kids were required to attend Sunday school which in hindsight was a better deal for us than having to attend the service in the large chapel with our parents.

One of my classmates turned out to be Horace and Sylvia”s Seldon’s oldest son David. We became fast friends and soon discovered that by sticking together it made the whole Church experience more bearable and sometimes very funny. On several occasions when we had to attend the main service Dave and I would start laughing at something we saw going on like a lady sitting in front of us quietly breaking wind or something similar and came close on more than one occasion to getting kicked out of the service. To this day Dave still blames me for instigating all that and now after all these years I am willing to admit he was right and I now take full responsibility and pledge never to do it again.

It didn’t take long for me (even as a little kid) to come to the conclusion that David and Gary had the coolest parents of any kid in town. As I became a frequent visitor to their home I still remember to this day how warm and charismatic their parents were and what a tremendous sense of humor they had.

One memory of Horace that has stayed with me all these years was the time I was invited to go on a trip with the Seldon family to visit one of their relatives who was disabled. As I recall they lived somewhere near the coast and this must have taken place back in the early 1960’s.

During this trip we stopped at a beach to go swimming and Dave and I had to change into our bathing trunks in the back seat of the car. As we were kids we were a little self-conscious about getting undressed in public but as I recall there was no one any way near the car but Horace agreed to stand outside the car as a guard just in case. At the moment we were in the middle of changing Horace started to say “ step right up, step right up, ten cents a peek, ten cents a peek” This caused us to go into hyper drive to get our trunks on envisioning hoards of beach goers swarming about the car to check out the attraction —— it was hilarious!

I guess it was one of those things where you had to be there to appreciate how funny it was but Horace had a remarkable wit and an incredibly pin point laser like delivery when he knew the time was right.

Fifty plus years later I still remember.

Rich Peterson


My wonderful memory of Horace Seldon is when he came to Dave and Debbie’s wedding.

I was thinking that he didn’t know anyone at the wedding. He could just stand off in the corner somewhere and say “I don’t know anyone here.”

But he did not do that. He zeroed in on my two aunts- Aunt Gertie and Aunt Ceil and asked them to dance.

He dance the most with Aunt Gertie. Everyone noticed how happy Aunt Gertie was! We were happy because Aunt Gertie was happy and Horace had given her his time and attention. They danced the night away!

I thought that was so cool of him! I never forgot it.

Ruth Lucca (debbie Seldon’s sister)


I am deeply saddened that we no longer have Horace Seldon as a beacon, cheerleader, educator, and firebrand to address and fight for social justice.

I was a long time member and representative to the Society Organized Against Racism, serving a few terms as its president. In addition, I was at times involved in Community Change programs. And working at Suffolk University, my path crossed Horace’ frequently as he served the Park Service.

I will remember him as a solid and strong presence in the struggle and as someone who stood with raised fist, twinkling eyes, and the profound ability to teach us all.

Paul R. Korn – Gloucester, MA