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Lee B. Seniff


Saturday, April 14, 2018

Sharon, Vt. — Lee B. Seniff, 84, of Sharon and Guilford, Conn., died Monday April 9, 2018 at Valley Terrace in Wilder, Vt.

Lee was born Jan. 9, 1934, in New Haven, Conn., the oldest child of Dr. Dana Lincoln and Edith Melrose (Jackson) Blanchard of Branford, Conn. She graduated from the Day Prospect Hill School in New Haven and went on to obtain an Associates Degree from Briarcliff Junior College in Briar Manor, N.Y. Lee studied occupational therapy at Columbia University. Introduced to the New Haven Society as a young woman, the arc of Lee’s life took a wonderful turn when she met the love of her life, a young orthodontic resident at Yale, Dr. Robert Seniff, to whom she was married in 1958. Establishing what would become their forever home near the green in the colonial town of Guilford, they set his practice up in their house and raised three children. Along the way, they fell in love with Vermont and in the early 1960s bought a piece of property in Sharon which became their collective passion. Working as a team in his practices in Guilford and Hamden, Conn. as well as Lebanon, N.H., they were inseparable in work and in all endeavors until Dr. Seniff’s death in 2013.

Lee was a longtime member of the Guilford Land Trust where she worked to preserve the wetlands and natural spaces of the Connecticut shoreline where she grew up. She was also a lifetime member of the Sachems Head Yacht Club in Guilford where she spent as much time as possible boating on Long Island Sound. Along with her husband she became a twin engine airplane pilot and the family has wonderful memories of flying up and down the East Coast.

As a lifetime artist, she created in numerous mediums that included sculpting, welding, charcoal sketches as well as oil and pastel paints.

She was an active and competitive sportswoman who enjoyed sailboat racing, horseback riding, nordic and alpine skiing, water skiing, tennis and hiking. She was also an accomplished equestrienne since childhood who was proud to claim that she had ridden with the hounds during fox hunts in northwestern Connecticut, harkening to a grander age gone by. She also coached her children to many horse riding and sailing championships.

She loved to knit and could produce sweaters at a pace which would make a woolen mill envious and was also a horticulturist known for her award-winning Staghorn Ferns and orchids.

An avid naturalist, she was perennially curious about the natural world, growing exceptional flower and vegetable gardens, tracking and identifying indigenous flora and fauna through tracks and scat dissection and cutting ski and hiking trails on her farm in Sharon.

Lee is survived by two sons, Dana W. Seniff of South Glastonbury, Conn. and Captain Todd Seniff of Coronado, Calif.; a daughter, Sandra Haskell of Norwich, Vt., their spouses Tina Seniff, Joette Seniff and Bernard Haskell, respectively; six grandchildren, Hadley and Kyle Seniff, Piper and Chelsea Haskell and Jackson and Blanchard Seniff; her sister Deborah Richardson, Westport, Conn.; and her brother Dana L. Blanchard II of Branford.

Rather than holding a service, her family will gather to celebrate her life and the legacy of both parents.

Condolences to Lee’s family may be expressed in an online guestbook at www.knightfuneralhomes.com.

The Knight Funeral Home in White River Jct., Vt. assisted with arrangements.