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Sellers Was Tenacious In Research

Sellers Was Tenacious In Research

Dr. Terry Sellers, Jr., whose specialty was adhesives for bonding wood products during his professional career, and who also wrote two ex­quisitely detailed genealogy books on his Alabama families, died suddenly and peacefully at his home in Oneonta, Ala. on June 9. He was 77.

Sellers wrote and had published in 1985, “Plywood and Adhesive Technology,” probably the most respected and referenced book ever written on plywood adhesives.

For many years, Sellers wrote the “Board Talk” column in Panel World magazine, often describing his worldwide travels to research institutes, universities and panel operations, where he consulted on adhesives development.

Sellers was born in Quinton, Walker County, Alabama, and grew up in nearby Cordova, graduating from Cordova High School. He graduated from Auburn University in 1960 with a B.S. in Forestry and received a M.S. the following year also from Auburn. He obtained his doctoral degree from the University of Tokyo in Japan.

He worked in industry for 20 years (Unit Structures-Koppers Co. and Reichhold Chemicals, Inc.), before being appointed in 1980 as Full Professor and Research Scientist of Forest Products at Mississippi State University’s Forest Products Utilization Laboratory in Starkville, Miss. In 1980 he also began a private consulting career, which eventually expanded over five continents. He authored more than 170 publications in scientific and trade journals. He retired from Mississippi State University in 2004 and was designated Professor Emeritus of Forest Products. In 2006 he was named Outstanding Alumnus by Auburn University’s Forestry and Wildlife Sciences Alumni Assn. He served as president of the International Forest Products Research Society, and received commendations and awards from the U.S. Dept. of Commerce for international trade standards, The Shell Oil Company for research and development, and the Forest Products Research Society (now Forest Products Society) for outstanding service.

Sellers donated his professional papers to the Forest History Society Library in Durham, NC.

As far back as the 1960s, Sellers began researching his father’s and mother’s families (Sellers and Gilchrist) histories, a complex and enduring hobby that reached fruition with the publication in 2008 of a 290-page book, “Iron Butterfly,” which provided a history of the Scots race of people and genealogy of 14 related families.

Sellers followed it up with “The Stars Are Friendly” in 2014, a genealogy of his wife’s families (Estill and Perrin).

“I have always been interested in world geography, history, religion and people, and how they relate to one another,” he said. “The world is my home and the people in it are my family.”

Sellers was preceded in death by his grandparents, Randolph and Delonia Ann Shipp Sellers, John Oscar and Stella Catherine Dunn Gilchrist and parents, Terry (Sr.) and Lillian Nora Gilchrist Sellers.

He is survived by his wife, Esther Joan Estill Sellers; children, Kathryn Jill Sellers and Lee Anna Makhloufi (Abel); grandchildren, Lea Joan Makh­loufi, Annie Perrin Grisham and Alexander Terry Makhloufi; sister, Elizabeth Ann Sellers Felton (Gene Felton, deceased); and numerous cherished siblings-in-law, nieces, nephews and cousins.

In lieu of memorial flowers, send contributions to the Wilburn Hudson Memorial Scholarship Fund, Cordova High School, 183 School Road, Cordova, AL 35550.

A memorial service was held June 13 and the funeral service held June 15 at Long Memorial United Methodist Church in Cordova.

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