Seldon Louis Valentine

May 8, 1942October 19, 2020

KNOXVILLE - Valentine, Seldon Louis, 78, of Knoxville, TN passed away Monday, October 19, 2020 at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center after a five year battle with multiple myeloma and heart failure. S.L. was preceded in death by parents, Seldon and Oleta Valentine; brother, David Valentine; infant brother, Bobby. He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Mary; children, John (Melinda) and Susie (Charlie) Rathbun; granddaughters, Holly and Hannah Valentine, Sophia and Ella Rathbun; step granddaughters, Peyton and Rachel Drumheller; sister-in-law, Margaret McCarrell and Vaughn Valentine of Kingsport. S.L. is also survived by many special nieces, nephews and cousins. His special lap dog, Mack, was a wonderful companion. He attended the University of Tennessee where he was a member of the Pride of the Southland Marching Band. S.L. worked directly under Dr. Jay Julian as the first “Black Suit” student assistant. He received his Bachelors of Science degree, Masters degree, and he returned later for his administrative certification from the University of Tennessee. S.L. began his career as a part time music teacher for Knoxville City Schools. Upon graduation from UT, he became the band director at Gibbs High School for nine years and later the director of bands at Farragut High School where he built a band consisting of 335 students. After eleven years at Farragut, he became the Knox County Supervisor of instrumental music which later included choral music. After retirement in 2004, S.L. worked at Oakmont School where he developed a beginning band program. He was very involved in professional organizations and any program that promoted music education. S.L. served as president of East TN Bandmasters Association, president of East TN School Band and Orchestra Association of which he was a honorary life member, president of TN Secondary School Band Association, executive secretary/treasurer of TN Music Educators Association and served as a representative to the Music Educators National Conference. He worked several years with the Governors School of the Arts. S.L. was a member of the Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia fraternity. He was selected to be a part of the Chamber of Commerce Leadership Program and was a level III educator. S.L. sang bass for 4 Dots and a Dash; a doo-wop singing group composed of Knox County educators that represented the school system. He was a judicator for marching and concert programs and was a very involved educator that maintained contact with high school band programs after his retirement. S.L. stayed in touch with many former students and educators. He later became involved in the art program at the South Knox Senior Center which he thoroughly enjoyed. Most importantly, he was a wonderful husband, father and Papa to his family. His children and grandchildren were so special to him. Even during his illness, he maintained that positive attitude (sprinkled with a bit of sarcasm) and love of laughter. S.L.’s family would like to express gratitude to Thompson Cancer Center, Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center, and all his physicians for the excellent care given to S.L. He was always treated with respect and dignity. S.L. was a member of Rutherford Memorial United Methodist Church where he served in various capacities. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the church or the Corryton Food Pantry (7815 Corryton Road Corryton, TN 37721) or the Knox County Retired Teachers Association (711 North Hall of Fame Dr. Knoxville, TN 37917). Family will receive friends Saturday, May 8th from 4-6pm with Celebration of Life service following at 6pm at Berry Lynnhurst Funeral Home on Adair Drive.


  • Visitation

    Saturday, May 8, 2021

  • Celebration of Life

    Saturday, May 8, 2021


Seldon Louis Valentine

have a memory or condolence to add?

Bill Bell

May 7, 2021

SL was a decades long friend and colleague. We shared many experiences together. I will always cherish the times we shared. He will be missed.

Jim and Diane de Ropp

October 29, 2020

It was such a pleasure to have known S.L. through our Lakemoor Hills Home and Garden Club. He was always so full of life! What a wonderful musician, leader and inspiration to so many young students! He will be sadly missed, but his memory will live on for his family and the many lives he touched in his earthly time.

Sara Redmon

October 26, 2020

It was a real pleasure to have known SL through our neighborhood garden club. His humor, his stories, his compassion -- will be missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with Mary and the family.

Charles Paeker

October 25, 2020

Maty & family Praying for u and yours during these difficult days. I liked S. L. a lot. God is our strength in these times . He is holding u all in his arms. I will always remember the good times we had playing Rook. Rev Charles Parker

Kelley Vance (Carroll)

October 24, 2020

As a former student of Mr. V at FHS, my best memories of high school were all from band. From that first competition to graduation, we could always count on Mr. V. My mother also remembers him fondly, as she chaperoned many times. Mr. V. touched so many lives and changed them for the better. He was a bright star that is not easily forgotten. John, Susie, and your entire family are in my thoughts.

Nancy Valentine Lewis

October 23, 2020

He was always kind and generous and the best cousin ever ! I remember us as children visiting at one or the other's homes. Our Dads were brothers and very close. This world has lost one of the good men and Heaven has gained one. Sing with the angels, dear Cousin and rejoice with all of those we love that went before us.

Krystal Turnmire

October 22, 2020

Dear Mrs.Valentine and family,
I am so sorry for your loss. Praying for God’s comforting arms around you all and that you’ll feel His peace that passes all understanding.
Krystal ( Parsley) Turnmire
( former student)

Chris Caruthers

October 22, 2020

What a wonderful man and fellow Dot. I will always cherish our years as bandmates and think fondly of SL and his enormous sense of kindness. Tonia and I love you, Mary, and pray for God's peace for you and your family.

Michelle Lakin

October 22, 2020

Dear Mary,
S.L. was a wonderful representation of true musical passion. He always fought for the arts with that passion for us as Knox County music teachers. I am so sorry for your loss. I will be praying for you and your family in the tough days ahead.
With much love,
Michelle Lakin

Yvonne Housewright

October 22, 2020

S.L. was a wonderful man and had a great sense of humor. He will truly be missed by a host of friends. My sincerest sympathy to my good friend Mary, the kids and grandkids. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

Love, Yvonne