Rev. Frank D. Seydel


Rev. Frank D. Seydel passed away on Monday, August 21, 2023.

Memorial Service will be held on Sunday, September 3, 2023 at 3 p.m. at Collegiate United Methodist Church/Wesley Foundation (2622 Lincoln Way, Ames, IA 50014) with a luncheon immediately following the service.

Rev. Seydel served Assistant Professor of Chemistry & Director of Campus Ministry, University of Tennessee, Nashville, Tenn.; Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Tennessee State University; Associate Professor of Biology, Friends University, Wichita, Kans.; Associate Professor of Biology, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.; Associate Director, Clergy Education in Human Genetics, Div. of Biochemical Genetics, Div. of Genetics, Georgetown University, Washington D.C.; Director-Clergy Education in Genetics, Biochemical Genetics Laboratory, Georgetown University; Mount Vernon, First;  and Mount Vernon, The United Methodist Church. He retired in 2011.

Survivors include his wife, Lynn of Ames, IA; his son, David of York, PA; and three grandchildren, Kaitlyn, Ethan, and Madeline; and his daughter, Roxanne of Springfield, VA.

Frank D. Seydel was born on May 15, 1944, in Davenport, Iowa, to Robert Emory Seydel and Mildred Faye Gauley Seydel. In 1947 his family moved across the Mississippi River to Moline, Illinois. Frank attended the Moline school system and graduated from 12th grade in 1962. He attended Iowa Wesleyan College, Mount Pleasant, Iowa, graduating with a B.S. degree in 1966, with dual majors in biology and chemistry and a minor in math.

After teaching biology and physics for one year in Danville, Iowa, Frank entered Iowa State University and received his Ph.D in Biochemistry—Cell Biology in 1973. He then attended Princeton Theological Seminary and received his Master of Divinity in 1976. After his graduation, he was hired by the University of Tennessee at Nashville to implement a biochemistry curriculum. He also taught preprofessional chemistry, and three levels of nursing chemistry.

Frank had married Lynn Swanson in 1970 while a student at Iowa State University. This past April 18th, they celebrated 53 years of marriage. Both their son, David, and their daughter, Roxanne, were born in Nashville, TN.

Frank was ordained an Elder in the Iowa Conference in 1980. That same year Frank and family moved to Wichita, Kansas, where he had been hired to help implement Friends University's Nurse Anesthesiology curriculum. He also taught biology and chemistry classes.

In 1983, Frank and family moved to Washington, D.C., where he was hired by the Division of Genetics, Department of OB/GYN at Georgetown University to implement a prenatal screening program and assist the chief of the Genetics Division in the development of a Clergy Education Program. Frank was ultimately Director of the Clergy Education Program, and he was Director of the Prenatal Screening Program for sixteen years. He received his board certification in Genetic Counseling in 1989.

He was a member of Phi Kappa Phi, academic honorary, and Sigma Xi, scientific honorary. Frank was active in the Mid-Atlantic Region Human Genetics Network; he was chair of the Education Committee for 10 years and chair of the Ethics Committee for three years. He was a member of the American Association for Mental Retardation. He was active in the National Council of Churches’ Committee on Developmental Disability and the United Methodist Church’s Task Force on Developmental Disability, where he served as secretary, chair, or vice chair for 10 years.

In 1999 Frank was appointed pastor of the Mt. Vernon, IA, United Methodist Church. By the time he retired in 2011, he had grown the church by 33%, completed a million dollar addition, and added an associate pastor.

Flower gardening and cooking were his passions. In retirement he was also active in the Story County Republican Party, where he served three years as treasurer. He died on August 21, 2023 in Ames, Iowa.

He is survived by his wife, Lynn, Ames, Iowa; his son, David, York, PA, and three grandchildren, Kaitlyn, Ethan, and Madeline; his daughter, Roxanne, Springfield, VA; his brother, Robert, Long Beach, CA; two nephews, Robin and Matthew, and one niece, Joy.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made in Frank's name to Food at First, Iowa State University, USS Iowa or your favorite charity.

Bishop Bigham-Tsai and the Cabinet – August 29, 2023