Fenmore Roger Seton

fenmore seton
Fenmore Seton, 85, husband to his beloved Phyllis for 61 years, passed away on Memorial Day, May 26th 2003, following a lifetime of accomplishment, purpose and loving commitment to family, friends and the community. He will be remembered for his business acumen, his life-long devoted efforts to the cause of the physically disabled, and his wide-ranging philanthropy. A graduate of the Yale class of 1938, he established (with Phyllis) the Seton Elm & Ivy Awards to honor each year members of the Yale and New Haven communities who had worked to foster and improve town/gown relationships. This initiative earned for them jointly the honor of a Yale Medal award. Fen with Phyllis was also recognized with the 'Seal of the City' award of the New Haven Colony Historical Society and the 'Connecticut Philanthropist of the Year' award from the National Society of Fundraising Executives. Fen was a decorated WWII Air Force Major who participated in the Normandy D-Day landings on Omaha Beach and in the Battle of the Bulge. He was the founder and CEO of the Seton Name Plate Corporation (now part of Brady Corporation: NYSE - BRC) a company which he built and led to a position of worldwide prominence as a premier manufacturer of identification and labeling products. For more than 60 years Fen served as an active advocate for the physically handicapped. His significant efforts to empower persons with disabilities took many forms but were largely directed through Rehabilitation International, the global organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for the disabled. Having served first as Treasurer, he was elected President of RI at its 1988 Congress in Tokyo. In 1992, Fen received from President George H W Bush the Presidential Distinguished Service Award 'For historic contributions over a period of years to the rights, quality of life and productivity of Americans with disabilities.' In the same year, Fen addressed the United Nations General Assembly to present a global program designed to benefit the millions of people worldwide with physical disabilities. Among Fen's other awards were a Citation of Honor from the Office of the Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, the Preminger Medallion for Distinguished Service in the field of International Rehabilitation, and the Public Service Award presented by the Social Security Administration 'in recognition of your tireless efforts throughout the world to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities.' Fen was also honored with The Distinguished Service Award of the National Easter Seal Society 'for more than 55 years of dedicated service as a staunch champion for disabled persons and their just causes'; and The Chairman's Award of the People-to-People Committee on Disability 'for world leadershipand selfless service to people with disabilities.' Fen was an enthusiastic supporter of a myriad organizations and charities in the Greater New Haven community. He received Honorary Degrees from Albertus Magnus College and from the University of New Haven. He is survived by his adored partner Phyllis, his beloved daughter Dinny and her husband Charles Wakerley, his cherished grandsons Christopher and James Adams, his sisters Lucile Bendick and Myra Meyer, his brothers Charles and Ted Seton, and many treasured relatives and friends. Fen was an extraordinary man whose multitude of good deeds, large and small, will endure as an inspiration to so many whose lives he touched. The funeral service will be held on Friday, May 30 at 11:00 am at the Congregation Mishkan Israel, 785 Ridge Road, Hamden followed by interment at the Grove Street Cemetery. Calling hours will be on Wednesday May 28 and Thursday May 29 from 4 pm to 8 pm at Old Farm Road. Contributions may be made to The Rehabilitation Center, 95 Hamilton Street, New Haven CT 06511 or the Clifford Beers Clinic, 93 Edwards Street, New Haven, CT 06511.

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  1. Dear family of Fen Seton, our heart was broken to hear that Fen died. Many years we researched together in the history of World War II. Fen was one of the authors of a History Book of 327th FCS in 1945. He and his unit had to left our area before he saw the print. The men never saw the printed book again. After 60 years we German found the full order of the booklets under the floor of the printing factory. The workers saved it for the Russians and Communists. We both Germans and Americans were happy to found this value.It was a great pleasure for Fen too. After our contact Fen sent us many information and material for a exhibition. The planning exhibition is not finished. We just working at it. But it will be truth. Sorry that Fen can\’t see it, but it will be dedicated to him and we will have a good remembrance for him too. In German-American Friendship Bernd Schmidt Chairman U.S. Veterans Friends Germany Weimar/Germany

  2. Dear Mrs. Seton…I am so sorrry to hear about the loss of Mr. Seton…He hired me many years ago on 50 Fitch St. All my best to you and Dinny…love Annie D\’Elia Wolfer

  3. Fen and Phyllis are classic examples of how to nurture a small business into unique and thriving results for education, the arts, family living and worldwide practical opportunities for people with disabilities. The Seton’s invariably have shared the credit for their many good deeds. We have been privileged to have seen their grace, thoughtfulness, and generosity at the University of New Haven and in so many other places.

  4. Fen will be lovingly missed, but his kindness and generosity to all will be cherished by all… He will be remembered in our memories as well as our hearts… I admired his devotion to the Yale Club of New Haven… My sincerest condolences to Phyllis and his family… May God grant you His peace and comfort… always, Barry

  5. Fenmore was a caring, gracious person who will be fondly remembered. He was always ready to lend a hand.

  6. I worked with Fen and his Group in WWII as they controlled many of our missions of the 367th Fighter Group, 9th AF. I had the opportunity and pleasure to visit with Fen many times via e-mail and phone in these past few years.

  7. Joe and I send our sincere condolences to Mrs. Seton, Dinny, Charles, Chris, Jim and the entire family. How very sad it is today to have lost such a great friend — but I do feel blessed, privileged and honored to have worked with such a distinguished gentleman. .Sweet dreams forever Mr. Seton.. With countless precious memories, admiration and affection. Fondly, Liliana Capriglione

  8. Mrs. Seton, John and I and our family send our sincere condolences to you , Dinny, Charles, Chris, Jim and the entire family. We will all miss Mr. Seton. I often think and tell many of my friends how much Mr. Seton (and you) helped our family. I first met both of you when I started working at Seton Name Plate (over 32 years ago). My family and I have so many memories of you and Mr. Seton and how both of you were there everytime we needed your help. Laida Lopes

  9. My memories of Fen span 30 years when I began at Easter Seals Goodwill Industries Rehabilitation Center. Fen was always the consumate gentleman and one who remained committed to helping people with disabilities overcome their barriers. A generous man in so many ways who was loved by all and will be missed by so many.

  10. My most sincere condolences to you Phyllis, Denny, Charles & Family. Fen was a most extraordinary person. One of great character, generosity & heart. I will always be thankful for the opportunity of knowing and working with him. My Love to you & the Family. Most Sincerely, Nate

  11. One of the luckiest moments in my life was when I met Fen and Phyliss Seton. They\’ve been great friends and mentors. I\’ll miss Fen terribly.

  12. We always expected Fen to be the perennial role model, the two of you the paradigm for joy in living and giving. More people than you will ever realize have adored both of you, individually and as a couple. May you be strengthened by your friends, your biological and extended families during this difficult time.

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