Long-time Henryetta resident and retired dentist Dr. Floyd Taylor Sellers died at his home May 26, 2020.
Floyd was born Aug 7, 1936 in Bristow. He was the only son of Floyd Elbert Sellers, a Sapulpa policeman, and Gracie Pearl Taylor, an employee of her family’s grocery store chain. He began first grade in 1941 in Weleetka; but relocated to Sapulpa before completing his first school year. Floyd continued his education at Sapulpa public schools and graduated from Sapulpa High School in 1954. At Sapulpa, he starred on the high school football team, played baritone in the marching band, and participated in activities including DeMolay, Hi-Y and his senior class play. He was awarded the high school Citizenship Award by the Daughters of the American Revolution.
In addition to his academic pursuits in Sapulpa, Floyd also helped in the family grocery business, and worked in his uncle’s feed store. During his teen years, he was owner and operator of a feed and supply in Sapulpa, which produced revenue that helped to finance his higher education.
After high school, he attended Northeastern A&M Junior College in Miami, Oklahoma on a football scholarship. He was a two-year starter at center and nose guard, and was invited to play 4-year college football at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah. At Miami, he also served in the local ROTC unit.
Although his football career was cut short due to injury, he graduated from NSU in January 1958, with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Psychology, and with minors in biology and education. In Tahlequah, he was a member of Phi Sigma Nu fraternity, and was named to Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities.
Planning to eventually attend dental school, Floyd spent the academic year 1958-1959 teaching science and coaching football at Sand Springs; where he earned a life-time undefeated record as head coach of the junior varsity team.
After acceptance to the College of Dentistry at the University of Tennessee medical campus in Memphis, Tennessee, he married his college sweetheart, Darlene Ann Maltsberger in Buena Park, California March 13, 1959.
Together, they relocated to Memphis for three years of dental school. Sellers graduated with a Doctor of Dental Surgery in March, 1962. The newly designated couple, Dr. and Mrs. Sellers, then returned to their home state, where Floyd immediately accepted an appointment to the Oklahoma State Health Department in Muskogee - where he served the public in Holdenville, Okmulgee and McAlester.
Dr. Sellers spent three months in Muskogee, where he also studied for his dental certification, and passed his board exams in June of 1962. In 1962, Dr. Sellers chose Henryetta to begin his practice and, since then, Henryetta has been his workplace and home, where he earned his living, raised his children, and lived his life.
Floyd joined the Henryetta practice of Dr. Harry N. Wagner. The two dentists practiced on the second floor of the Morgan Building (aka the “Opera House”) at 4th and Main in Henryetta.
Doctors Wagner and Sellers practiced together until Wagner’s retirement, when Dr. Robert Gerety joined the Sellers practice at S 6th. and Broadway. After five years together, Sellers struck out on his own and established a new practice at 217 S 5th. Street.
He retired from dentistry in 2012, after five decades in the profession.
Since 1962, Sellers has been a pillar of the community. He was elected to the Henryetta Board of Education, and served on that body for five years, resigning only because he relocated his home outside of his district. He was a long-time Rotarian, serving as President of the Henryetta chapter, President of the Jaycees, and was active in and a supporter of Eagles, the local Chamber of Commerce and the Boy Scouts of America. He was a constant supporter of local fundraisers, supporting area schools, churches and charities too numerous to mention from Okmulgee, McIntosh, Okfuskee and Hughes counties. He also provided pro bono dental care to Henryetta athletes for over 40 years, and to nursing home patients in Henryetta, Okemah and Weleetka.
A long-time member and leader of the First Christian Church, he served as Deacon, Elder and Chairman of the Board.
Dr. Sellers was a member of the American Dental Association and the Oklahoma Dental Association, as well as the Eastern Oklahoma Dental Association, the Oklahoma Dental Foundation and the University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry Foundation. He also served on the Board of Visitors to the School of Dental Hygiene at Rogers State College in Claremore, Oklahoma
He also served on the board of the Lake Eufala Development Authority, and held various local and county offices in the Republican Party.
Since the 1980s, Sellers has served as Director of the First National Bank of Henryetta, and later as Advisory Director for the First National Bank of Henryetta, affiliated with the First National Banks of Okmulgee and of Wewoka.
He was recipient of the Oklahoma Dental Association’s Thomas Jefferson Citizenship Award, the Henryetta Chamber of Commerce Community Service Award, and was named a Paul Harris Fellow by Rotary International. He was also named an “Everyday Hero” by the Tulsa Chapter of the American Red Cross.
Famous friends included lifelong friend Ken Selby - founder of the Ken’s Pizza, Mazzio Pizza and Zio’s restaurant chains; Steve Owens - 1969 Heisman Trophy winner and former OU Athletic Director, and baseball legend Babe Chandler. He also practiced with close friend and prominent Tulsa Orthodontist Dr. James S. Torchia, and in his last months spoke often by phone with former University of Oklahoma and NFL running-back Joe Washington.
Dr. Sellers is survived by his wife, Ann, of the home; his two children, son Brad (wife Monika) of the home and of Kollmann, Italy; his daughter Sue Ann Blair of Tulsa; and four granddaughters:Sailor Ann Blair of Tulsa, and Ann-Sophie, Marie-Noelle and Madeleine Sellers of Italy.
Services will be held Tuesday, June 2 in Henryetta, at 2 p.m. under the auspices of Integrity Funeral Services.
The family suggests memorial contributions to the Dr. and Mrs. Floyd T. Sellers Memorial Fund at the First National Bank of Henryetta, Oklahoma.