Richard 'Dick' Downing Seidel, Sr.
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Richard 'Dick' Downing Seidel, Sr.
Dick's story starts on April 11, 1935, the middle child of Paul J. and Susan (Whelen) Seidel. Dick was born in Hackensack, New Jersey. The family (including older brother Paul and younger sister Suzie) would move numerous times throughout their early academic years attending 11 different schools. One of Dick's favorite stories with brother Paul was walking home from Sunday school one afternoon both wearing their neatly white pressed shirts. They heard the train so they ran to the bridge to look over and just as the train was passing it blew a plume of smoke and soot that shot right into their faces turning them black along with their white shirts. They looked at each other and couldn't stop laughing.
The Seidel's finally made their way to Meadville, Pa. where Dick (now a junior in high school) attended MASH and played on the football team. He loved telling stories of his football days at MASH and at Boardman H.S. in Ohio. The best part of relocating to Meadville was that Dick found the love of his life, Sara Jane McCaffrey. Dick and his buddy decided to switch dates and it was certainly one of the best decisions Dick ever made. They were wed August 10, 1957. Soon after, Dick left to serve his country in the United States Army from 1957 to 1959, stationed in Germany and accompanied by his wife in 1958. They would always say it was like a yearlong honeymoon as they traveled all around Europe as young newlyweds.
Their first child Elizabeth Ann was born in Heidelberg, Germany in 1959. She would be the center of their love and affection for the next 4 years. Dick would go on to graduate from Alliance College in 1965. By this time a second daughter Molly Ann, born in 1963 joined Mom and big Sis on Dick's graduation day. That same year (1965) a son and namesake, Richard Downing Seidel Jr. was born. The last boxcar to join this Seidel train (our little caboose) was baby brother Matthew Paul born in 1971.
Dick worked as an Engineer for the Erie Lackawanna Railroad retiring in 1978. His love of trains carried on for the rest of his life. Dick would always tell his children to listen for 3 long train whistles, which meant, "I love you". To this day those whistles make our hearts beat a little faster and remind us of our loving Dad.
After retiring from the Railroad Dick joined Parker-Hunter Inc. He loved playing the market and had a passion for helping people. This was indeed his dream job. This also gave him the opportunity to attend school functions whether it was a theater performance, football, basketball, soccer game or a track meet. When not attending sporting events he loved the game of golf and was himself a scratch golfer. Whether he was playing at one of the local golf courses or watching it on television it was something he enjoyed. He spent many days on the links with good friends and family. A highlight was attending the Masters practice session in Augusta, Georgia along with wife Sara and her brother Bill and his wife Donna.
Dick retired from Parker Hunter in 2006 after 28 years. At this time he became more involved in the lives of his grandchildren. He would often and always share with them his love of scripture and write them letters of love and encouragement. He also attended their various school and sporting events. Dick was a prayer warrior and was on his knees every night giving thanks to God and lifting up family and friends in prayer. He loved living at Cribbs House at Wesbury and volunteering his time. He made many friends and Dick especially enjoyed attending bible study under the leadership of Sam Marchetta.
Dick had one last destination, one he longed for these past few years. He would always say, "I am ready" and on Sunday, December 2, 2018 he entered into the presence of his Lord and Savior.
Loved ones that will joyfully be welcoming him home are his wife Sara, his parents, a sister Marion, brothers in law Phil Barnes, Wally Brown, Bill McCaffrey, Jack McCaffrey, Karl Perry, a sister in law Nita McCaffrey, and a niece Tina Alexatos
Loved ones that will miss him until they meet again are his children: Elizabeth Forgy (Mike), Molly Byham (Jeff), Rich Seidel (Mary), Matthew Seidel (Jill), grandchildren: Nick and fiancée Gemma, Jacob, Rachel, Alec, Mia, Celeste, Anna, Rockne, Kayle, Tyler and Hope and step grandsons Aaron, Jason and Lucas. His wonderful big brother Paul Seidel (Carol), devoted and loving little sister Susan Barnes Brown, sisters in law Rose Anne Alexatos, Kathleen Perry, Mary Ellen McCaffrey and Donna McCaffrey along with several loving nieces, nephews and close friends who brought Dick much laughter and joy.
A memorial service will be held at Cribbs Community Room, Wesbury Retirement Community 31 Park Ave. Meadville Pa. 16335 on Friday, December 28 at noon with Pastor Sam Marchetta presiding.
Memorials in Dick's name can be made to The Wesbury Foundation c/o Spiritual Life Program, 31 North Park Avenue, Meadville, Pa. 16335 or Marquette Hospice House c/o Hospice of Crawford County, 766 Liberty Street, Meadville, Pa. 16335.
Arrangements are under the direction of STEPHEN P. MIZNER FUNERAL HOME & CREMATION SERVICES, INC., 404 CHESTNUT ST., MEADVILLE.
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