Walter Stirling Seeley
Walter Stirling Seeley, 92, recently of 50 Gifford Ave. and Memory Garden, formerly of 2375 Carlson Road and Winterhaven, Fla., died Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2013, at Heritage Green Rehab & Skilled Nursing. He was born Aug. 24, 1920, in Jamestown, the son of the late Earl H. and Helen Cleveland Seeley.
Walt enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1942, serving for four years. During that time, he met and married the love of his life for over 70 years, Evelyn Berg Seeley on Oct. 13, 1943. Following his service in the RCAF, they returned to Jamestown. By 1950, Walt had established Walt’s Car Exchange on Washington Street where he sold new and used automobiles. He restored automobiles of all makes at his Russell, Pa., garage.
Walt joined the Antique Automobile Club of America in 1952 and was the first member to be awarded the Club’s 50 year membership badge. He had been a member of the Horseless Carriage Club since the early 60’s. In 1956, he applied for an AACA Chapter in Jamestown that was approved the following year; this became the Chautauqua Lake Region Chapter by 1962. He designed the club emblem, which features Chautauqua Lake and the 1905 Duquesne automobile that was made in Jamestown. Walt was also a member of and designer of the club emblem for the Kinzua Valley Region.
Many of Walt’s restored cars were shown throughout the years at AACA National Meets and were awarded national first-prize awards along with “Best Restoration of the Year” awards at Philadelphia’s annual meetings. He wrote several AACA National Award Winning antique car articles, which have been pub-lished worldwide. He was featured on the cover of the July/August 1972 edition of Antique Automobile and received the Duryea Memorial Cup award for the magazine’s best article of the year. Other articles included the following: “Mrs. Packard’s Packard” in the September/October 1982 edition, an article on the history and restoration of the rare American Underslung, and articles on the Duquesne and Birmingham automobiles which were made in Jamestown. Furthermore, he was a judge on over 100 occasions at AACA National Meets.
Walt and Evelyn attended the Kiantone Congrega-tional Church throughout their lives. They hosted an American Field Service (AFS) Japanese student, Kazue Hanada Yamaguchi from 1961-62.
In addition to his wife, Evelyn, surviving are two daughters: Nancy Taylor of Jamestown and Peggy (Larry) Witherow of Albion, Pa.; four grandchildren: Amy (Brent) Zaprowski of Salisbury, Md., Karen (Bart) Elliot of Louisburg, N.C., Megan (Jeremy) Auge of DeWitt, N.Y., and Nicholas Taylor of Jamestown, N.Y.; and five great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death in 1991 by a daughter, Patricia Dianne (John) Shongo.
The funeral will be held at noon on Wednesday, Aug. 14 in the Lind Funeral Home. The Rev. Melvin R. McGinnis will officiate. Burial will be in Sunset Hill Cemetery.
Friends will be received for two hours prior to the service, from 10 a.m. to noon Wednesday in the funeral home.
Memorials may be made to Kiantone Congregational Church, 646 Kiantone Road, Jamestown, NY 14701; or the Alzheimer’s Assn. of WNY, 2805 Wehrle Dr. Suite 6, Williamsville, NY 14221.
You may light a candle in remembrance of Walt at www.lindfuneralhome.com.