SEATON, Alexander “Alex” German - Passed away peacefully at Peoplecare, Tavistock on Tuesday January 5th 2021. Alex Seaton of Woodstock in his 88th year. Beloved husband of R. Eileen Seaton (nee Burnett). Dear father Elizabeth (Pete Broere) Seaton, Mark (Barbara) Seaton and Lisa (David) Hanna. Loved grandfather of Lucas, Bobby, Taylor, Emily and Madeline. Dear brother of Hugh (Donna) Seaton. Also survived by several cousins, nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.. Predeceased by his brothers Donald and John Seaton. Alex was an educator all his life in the Woodstock area. Cremation has taken place with a private interment at Lakeside Cemetery. If desired, memorial contributions to Alzheimer Society or VON-Sakura House would be appreciated, and may be arranged through the Brock and Visser Funeral Home, Woodstock (519-539-0004). Personal condolences may be sent and shared at www.brockandvisser.com
A special thank you to all the supportive staff of both Peoplecare, Tavistock and Oxford Gardens, Woodstock.
It is with great sadness that we announce that the final bell has rung, the busses have pulled out and school is now officially over for Alex Seaton, a lifelong Woodstock and Oxford County Educator. Continued education was truly his life’s devotion. Navigating life’s journey with humour, enthusiasm and compassion were consistent life lessons he taught all who crossed his path. We were all the recipients of Alex’s adventurous spirit and generous heart.
Alex is survived by his wife, Eileen (Burnett), who is smiling slightly as Alex will no longer be reminiscing about how much he misses the kids at school, and his children, Elizabeth (Peter), Mark (Barb) and Lisa (David). His grandchildren Lucas, Taylor, Bob, Emily and Madeline celebrate him and will miss him dearly.
Alex’s life began in 1933 in the small village of Lakeside. He was the son of Donald and Elizabeth (Bessie). Brothers Donald and John are gone, but his youngest brother Hugh, survives him and can tell us many stories. Alex is no longer scouring the bottom of Sunova Lake for his lost tooth or looking for the end of his finger that was “chopped off” in Hugh’s baby buggy. Life wasn’t always easy on the farm, but the tales Alex told us all were filled with crazy pranks and tinged with love and hilarity. Who else could say that their head was run over by a horse and buggy and they survived?!
Alex attended Teacher’s College in Stratford, Ontario. It was there he officially committed himself to the profession of teaching and where he met his wife of 64 years, Eileen. Alex admired Eileen from afar. One day after adjusting his bolo tie and grooming his meticulous hair, fate allowed Alex to meet the woman of his dreams. Legend has it that Eileen, wearing the most fashionable four-inch-high heels, lost her footing and tumbled down a flight of stairs. Who was waiting at the bottom to pick her up? Alex.
A true Renaissance Man. Everything Alex did revolved around a basic life value: treating others the way he wanted to be treated. Kindness, respect, dignity, and love guided him throughout his life, and he brought those values to all those he touched. Life is meant to be lived. Do not take yourself too seriously. Life is an adventure and have fun along the way.
Alex had a lifelong love for the Masonic Lodge, with the small Doric Lodge in Lakeside a second home. He was a member there since he was young and continued attending as long as he physically could. Alex was District Deputy Grand Master in 1979. We can all remember him practising his work in the chair at home or at the cottage. Quiet respect for an old institution brought him great joy in his life. At the very end, Alex asked about the Lodge.
In 1965 Alex took his family to live in Scotland for a year. Alex taught school in Glasgow as his passion for life-long learning continued. But there was the adventure of it all. He and Eileen bought a beat-up panel van and he fixed it up with a few two-by-fours to sleep on, even though Eileen was claustrophobic, with plasticine and bubble gum to fix the leaks, off the family headed. Every castle ruined or not, every historic site, every natural phenomenon we saw. For an entire year we toured the British Isles.
Our families’ beautiful cottage, LizMarLi, in northern Ontario was built without electricity, plans, or any experience greater than building a playhouse. The cottage still stands and remains in the family where many, many memories have been made. Grandchildren were treated to cupboards full of candy, theme weeks and hilarity on the dock and in the water. Alex became a legend, yet again where he was given a banner, “Land of the Midnight Bum”. Alex was still water-skiing at 70 years of age. People still ask after him and recognize us as Alex’s kids.
Alex taught throughout Oxford County for over 35 years. Alex was ahead of his time as a teacher, principal and community leader. He was always looking for opportunities to enrich the lives of his students and families. A few of the most memorable. Sending the whole school of East Oxford home with head lice, instead of the few that were affected, so the kids had two more days off school at Christmas. Building a large windbreak at Zorra Highland Park School that still stands. Offering extra electives for the kids at Southside school and building tennis courts with the help of parents and the community. Taking the whole school to meet the Prime Minister of Canada, Pierre Trudeau. Establishing school floats as an annual inclusion in the iconic Woodstock Victoria Day parade.
Retirement was another adventure. Within months of retiring, he and Eileen went to the Czech Republic and Slovakia to teach English. One year turned into two! He then taught himself how to play the five-string banjo, joined a band, the Glengarry’s and performed at Roy Thompson Hall! Alex also played a key role in the Retired Seniors of Ontario organization and the Woodstock Senior Citizen’s group. An ardent and skilled woodworking folk artist, Alex’s creations blessed many a bazaar table and won him and Eileen awards and many drive-byes to see their incredibly decorated home and gardens.
Alex didn’t take himself too seriously. A key to his outlook and fun life. So, when you feel a candy beginning to sprout in your ear, remember Alex. He would have taken it out for you. When you walk down a street somewhere and see someone with a red or yellow hat, matching shoes, and jacket, it might be Alex tapping you on the shoulder.
Alex, Dad, Pop, Grandpa we will miss you. Thank you for being such a super husband, father, grandfather, and educator. Whatever Alex did, he touched people deeply. It wasn’t so much the curriculum that concerned him in his teachings. His real focus was to have fun, learn and be happy in life. It is a journey that we have all benefited from. Thanks Alex, you loved us, and we love you.
We have many memories and stories to share about this amazing man, husband, father, grandfather, and educator. Due to COVID-19 we cannot do this at this time but will inform you of a date later this year when we can get together and celebrate his rich and adventure-filled life. Please gather your stories and memories.
If you wish to make a donation, The Alzheimer’s Society of Oxford County would be the recipient Alex and Eileen would prefer.
The family would like to thank the staff at Tavistock People Care for their continual kindness and care of Dad in his last few years of life. Also, the folks at Chartwell, Oxford Gardens for their support and kindness during his two years living there with Eileen.
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