Dr. Milton Henry Seifert, Jr., MD, of Excelsior, MN, passed away on October 26, 2022, at the age of 91, Excelsior, MN. He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Dorianne (Woodworth) and their daughter, Abby Blankenship (Jesse); his five children from his first wife; Laura, Rosalie, Milton III "Mike" (Barrie), Maria, Rita; 7 grandchildren, Brandon Seifert, Lindsey Seifert, Megan Vanderzanden, Jake Vander-zanden (Adrianna), Lucia Zabilla, Dante Hajiani, Alex Hajiani; 2 great- grandchildren, Russell Hawk, Nora Hawk; siblings, Mary Shaw (Tad), Paul (Carol), and Tom. He will also be deeply missed by his nieces and nephews, friends, colleagues, and patients. He was preceded in death by his brothers, Jack, Peter, Gregory, and John.
He was born April 3, 1931, in Minneapolis, MN to Dr. Milton H Seifert, Sr and Laura (DuPont) Seifert. Milton grew up in Excelsior, attending St. Thomas Military Academy and the College of St. Thomas. He received his MD from St. Louis University of Medicine. After medical school, he served in the Air Force branch of the military as a Captain and was honorably discharged in 1959. Dr. Seifert subsequently returned to Excelsior, MN to join the family practice, The Seifert Clinic.
A family practice doctor for 50 years, he had a patient base of up to 10,000. In the year 2000 that spanned 4 to 5 generations. Dr. Seifert relished being part of the community that valued his passion for the doctor-patient relationship. He steadfastly believed in treating the whole person. While forming relationships with his patients to help with their health care, the patients also participated in a Patient Advisory Council (PAC). The PAC worked collaboratively to help Dr. Seifert evolve the practice. This included determining office procedures, setting fees and salaries, handling debt collection, and investigating patient concerns. The concern patients were most vocal about, was the wait to see him, which could be up to 3-hours. However, every patient knew that he would spend any amount of time to meet their needs. A typical PAC meeting in Excelsior was described by a Washington Post reporter as a scene that could have been painted by Norman Rockwell. His "go to" prescription for patients was a mix of personal responsibility built on the guiding principles of honesty, hope, faith, courage, integrity, willingness, humility, love, discipline, patience, perseverance, awareness, and service. Dr. Seifert borrowed this from Alcoholics Anonymous calling it, "possibly the most powerful concept of the 20th century".
Considered by many as a pioneer with both conviction and courage, and well regarded by his fellow physicians, he served on an important credentials committee of his county medical society and held non-salaried teaching positions at two medical schools, as well as served on the MAFP Research and Quality Improvement Committee. Dr. Seifert's practice was featured in many publications, as well as honored by medical associations, which included, Megatrends, The Washington Post, The American Medical Association, The Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal, and the Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians, which made him the recipient of their Physician of the Year award in 1990. He appeared on The Today Show on two occasions and appreciated the way his patients, family, and friends celebrated his national recognition and celebrity.
Dr. Seifert is described by his family as a Quixotesque dreamer. He was passionate about celebrating the moment, and he genuinely conveyed that the conversation shared with him was most important, energizing and nothing could distract him, not even food, well perhaps the exception being, SPAM. He instilled an unmatched work ethic and positive perspective in each of them based on a belief that anything is possible when one was willing to put their body, mind, heart, and soul into the moment. He engaged on a level of equality; always as a peer regardless of relationship, age, or standing, including those society labeled as "Misfits", but who he was able to connect with at their point of goodness for deep and fulfilling interactions with all walks of life, perspectives, and developmental abilities. His reverence for diversity was inspiring and ahead of its time and popular sentiment. As both a small-town pragmatist and an incurable visionary, he inspired similar perspective, as well as championed endeavors that demonstrated vision, leadership, physical fitness, recipient centric caregiving, patient advocacy, and the desire to connect with a wide range of people from diverse backgrounds and perspectives to make both short-term and long-term relationships mutually fulfilling. Finally, he was able to balance all his "change the world" quests and interests by communing with nature in a "Lake Wobegon-Like" picturesque way. His children recall his reverence for the Ginkgo Tree; the oldest living tree species dating back to when dinosaurs roamed the earth. One of the gifts he gave them was how to connect with and find peace in the beauty of nature, which was often experienced through the seasonal outdoor activities he joyfully shared with them. He had a zest for the outdoors, and often teased them in his funny-fake German accent; "Youvill do it, undt youvill Enjoy it!" will live on in their hearts forever.
A public celebration in the new year is planned. To receive updates as to time and place, or to make a donation in lieu of flowers, please email: info@SeifertMemorial.com