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In Memory Of Our Poets

John Francis Seale, Jr. (1940-2016) - Class Of 1958

John Francis Seale, Jr. passed away on July 22, 2016 at the age of 76. He was the son of the late John Francis Seale and Gladys Turner Seale and the cherished husband of Patty Hamn Williams Seale, and the late Betsy Mattingly Seale. John, or "Johnny" as he was known to his childhood friends, grew up in Montgomery, and spent his childhood with his little brother Turner, fishing, hunting, golfing and playing the sports he loved. He loved to reminisce about his time at Cloverdale Elementary and his beloved Sidney Lanier High School. He was an exceptional athlete but he always said the values that led to success were endurance, heart and grit. His life epitomized those qualities.

Anyone who knew John knew that The University of Alabama was his alma mater. It was at The University that he met Betsy. He was a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity and majored in Biology. Upon graduation, he attended Samford Law School in Birmingham. But a lawyer he was not. Instead, his career path took him to Greensboro, NC where he took a position in sales at Johnson Controls. He moved up the ranks at Johnson, and after several years launched his own company, Conservatrol. What he loved most about his career were all the friends he made along the way. His "never-met-a-stranger" personality endeared him to all who knew him and his sense of humor, warm smile and bright green eyes were legendary.

His passion for Alabama football was only surpassed by his extreme love and devotion to his family. He had five children: Kathryn Mattingly Seale Schmidt (John), Carolyn Chapman Seale Williams (Brad), John Francis Seale III (Kristin), Elizabeth "Betsy" Hilton Seale McArthur (Hamish), and Joseph Turner Seale (Caroline). The Seale Family is as tightly knit as a family could be. Life with John as a father was a thrill and he loved his traditions. Whether it was piling in the "big, black van" for a road trip to Alabama, or sharing a seven scoop "Matterhorn" at Baskin-Robbins, he lived for family. He also shared a strong and unshakable connection with his brother Turner, which endured throughout his life.

When Betsy passed away in 2012, John moved back to Montgomery, where he reconnected with Patty Hamn Williams. Patty and John were immediately kindred spirits, as they both had recently lost their spouses. Their bond was strengthened when they married, and the love they shared was obvious in the smiles and laughter they enjoyed together.

John had 11 grandchildren: Turner, Mattie and Grayson Schmidt; Preston and Charlie Williams; Harrison and Johnny Seale IV; Lucia and Perry McArthur; Harriet and Joe Seale, Jr. A visit from Big John always meant lots of teasing, football coaching, and tickling. Kids loved him.

John leaves behind many people who will miss him dearly. Survivors also include his brother Turner Chapman Seale and his wife Kitty; niece Kate Seale Robertson, and her sons Chapman and Bennett; his late nephew Turner Chapman Seale, Jr.; and Ken and Caroline Williams and family, Ginger and Kevin Jacks and family and Kirby and Mary Blake Williams and family. The Seale children can be emailed at sealeteam5@gmail.com. To honor John and his love of family, pull out your grill this summer and cook some BBQ with your loved ones. That was his favorite thing to do.

A celebration of John's life will be held at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Montgomery with a visitation at 10:00 and a service 11:00 am on Thursday, August 4th, 2016. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his memory to The Crimson Tide Foundation, Attn: Scholarships Box 870343, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487 or the charity of your choice .
Published in the Montgomery Advertiser on July 28, 2016.