Howard Lee Seal
February 8, 1930 – June 13, 2020
Please visit this link to view the Funeral Mass for Howard Seal: https://stceciliachurch.org/liturgy-broadcasts
Howard Lee Seal (February 8, 1930 – June 13, 2020).
Major Howard Seal (USAF) led a considerate life, brightened by his dedication to family and community service. He passed away peacefully in Beaverton at the age of 90.
Howard worked with the St. Vincent de Paul at St. Cecilia Church from 1992 until 2018 and helmed the volunteer organization for over a decade. With Howard’s help, the chapter provided food and other living assistance to numerous families throughout the Beaverton area.
Howard Seal was a devoted and loving family man, and a cherished husband and father. He and his wife, Theresa (née Schmidlin) were married in Anchorage, Alaska, in February of 1962. And they raised, primarily in the Beaverton area, two children: Chris Seal, of Missoula, Montana, and Becky Seal of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Howard was born in Treadway, Tennessee to Guy Walter Seal and Virgie Seal (née Richardson). He graduated from Church Hill High School, followed by a degree in Business Administration in 1952 from Carson-Newman College (now Carson-Newman University).
After college, he volunteered for the U.S. Air Force, entering Officers Candidate School and rising to the rank of Major during his 20 years of service. As a distinguished and respected officer, Major Seal served in Germany, Japan, Vietnam, and Alaska, as well as on several bases across the lower 48 states.
Howard and his family moved to the Raleigh Hills area of Beaverton after his retirement from the Air Force in 1971. There, he took up a second career in residential real estate. He was an avid reader and enjoyed watching Portland Trail Blazers basketball games with his wife and family. He cherished time with relatives and maintained many decades-long friendships, including staying connected with his high school classmates. He dearly loved his sister in Tennessee, Betty, speaking with her nearly every day during his last few years.
Colleagues, friends, and family enjoyed Howard’s wry, dry sense of humor. Quick-witted but unerringly kind, Howard would often deliver observations in his deep baritone voice. His soft-spoken humor was known to cause whole rooms of people to erupt in laughter. He was strong, gentle and kindhearted, leaving all feeling a deep appreciation for having known and loved him. He will be missed dearly.
He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Theresa, his son Chris, daughter Becky, sister, Betty Davis (Norman), sister-in law Frances Keagbine, nephews Kevin Seal, Robert Seal (Sarah), Scott Davis (Janet), James Davis (Tasha), Ray Keagbine (Nadja), Tony Keagbine (Teresa), Pat Keagbine (Tami), Gerry Keagbine (Jenni), Tim Schmidlin (Cindy) and nieces Beverly Keagbine, Ann Keagbine Vargas, and Sue Keagbine Pinto (Jon) and many grand and great-grand nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Guy and Virgie, and a brother, Bobby Gene Seal.
The family would like to thank his many friends at the Beaverton Lodge for their love and support. We also thank Dr. Uma Borate and the other dedicated doctors, nurses, and staff involved in the BEAT AML Clinical Trial in the Knight Cancer Institute at OHSU. We request donations be directed to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society as well as to St. Vincent de Paul, a passion of Howard’s.
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Howard Lee Seal
July 7, 2020
I was pretty young when I was around Howard so I’m sure my perspective won’t paint a just representation of a man so many respected. I remember he always tried to make everyone comfortable. I can appreciate it more now than I did then, but I remember how much he adored Theresa. And again another quality I appreciate now more than I could when I was younger, was how I knew how smart he was, yet he was so laid back and always listened so attentively regardless of who was speaking. The world lost a special person, and I’m thankful for the short amount of time I was able to spend with Howard.
June 28, 2020
Diagnosed with AML and concerned with taking care of my mother, my dad worked hard to get into remission- making many trips each week up to OHSU with the help of his dear friend Mona. At 88 he was the oldest one enrolled in the study, and having to be otherwise in good health, made him unique. Indeed, at every step, he exceeded everyone’s expectations. He earned the moniker he gave himself of a tough old bird.
In March, Chris and I came to Beaverton having been told by the hospital that he had only two weeks to live -maximum. We took him home where he wanted to be and got him setup with hospice. The hospice nurse asked him how long he thought he had to live and he said 2 or 3 months. We all looked at each other as though “oh, should we let him know?” Well, the tough old bird was right. In the meantime, covid came and the four of us lived together under lockdown in the two-bedroom apt. My dad unaware of the pandemic would answer the phone and tell his sister it was just another normal day. We would all roll our eyes. That time together was truly a blessing. It transformed our family and gave us all a sense of peace for his last day here. I now feel like my father is all around us, freed from his body and able to be with us in a new way. We love you dad!
June 28, 2020
My dad was deliberate, composed, rational and punctual. He was also easy-going, relaxed, humorous and loving.
He gave my brother and me a wonderful upbringing. Suburban living with good schools, sports, cub scouts, campfire girls, trips back east to visit grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins. He was supportive of my mother when she went back to teaching, helping her on the weekends decorate her class and encouraging her later hobby of watercolor painting.
He was always looking out for all of our well-being- physical, intellectual and emotional. Even when times were hard he did what he could to help us and never showed us the sacrifice he may have been making, and I’m sure there were at times sacrifices. My dad was not materialistic. He appreciated nice things, but having them wasn’t important to him. By example he taught us the value of money and of work, and the importance of helping others. He dedicated 26 years of his life right up until his leukemia diagnosis at the age of 88 to volunteering at the St Vincent De Paul. He was devoted to it like one is devoted to their profession or to a passionate hobby.
He was accepting of us and never made us feel like we had to be other than who we were. I was a tomboy and that was fine, gay is fine, college or no college was fine, married or not, grandchildren or not. He just wanted us to be happy, safe and secure.
June 28, 2020
My parents and I went to visit my brother in Montana in June 2019. They were excited about the trip and enjoyed their time there with the exception of my mother forgetting her medications (all 20 of them) which was a tad stressful for a bit. We saw the Bisson and the beautiful Montana scenery and my brother's lovely home.
June 28, 2020
My dad celebrating is 89th birthday at the Chart House with mom, me and Susan Voglmaier. He wanted to go there and we all had a great time. He blew out his candle successfully! We saw a majestic Bald Eagle fly by our window.
June 25, 2020
This is not a memory of Mr. Seal, but is a question for his wife. In the mid-50s, I was a student at Mt. Angel Women's College. There was also a student whose name was Theresa Schmidlin. When I saw this Obit. in the Oregonian, her maiden name caught my eye. I hope that she will see this comment and at least let me know if she is the person I remember. I was at MAWC for several years, and then transferred to the University of Portland in '55. I met my husband there; we graduated and married in 1957. We have lived in Roseburg since 1960. Both of us were teachers. Your husband's Obit shows that you have had an interesting life. One I'm sure you never dreamed of, those many years ago.
My condolences on the death of your husband.
Sincerely, Helen Marie (Long) Hilgers
Susan Pinto (Keagbine)
June 23, 2020
Uncle Howard was always a man of few words but when he spoke you listened. I know that we will miss him at our family gatherings. I can honestly say that I didn’t really get to know my uncle until my husband was in my life. Through his eyes I saw who Uncle Howard really was. He was a strong man who stood for what was right and enjoyed joking with people. I know that his presence will be missed.
June 21, 2020
Howard was one of the funniest people I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. He was succinct, too. He would find just the right moment, and with that basso profundo voice, he would make a brief and quiet remark that was so perfectly witty that it would turn the whole conversation on its side.
His humor was always kind, too. Even when he was poking fun at one of us, he made it clear that it came from a place of love and affection. That kind of quick, dry wit is rare, and Howard had the kind of brain that could find the precisely funny few words for commentary. His timing was flawless.
I had the pleasure of spending about 20 Thanksgivings with Howard and his family in Beaverton. I moved to the West Coast in '97, and my dad (Howard's younger brother, Bob) died a few years later. Howard made it clear that I was always welcome at their dinner table.
We loved Howard a lot, and always looked forward to seeing him, Theresa, Chris, and Becky in Beaverton.
In the nearly two decades since my dad died, Howard stepped in as kind of a surrogate father for me. He was also the closest thing my son had to a grandfather. Philo and Howard had a great and respectful affection for one another.
Philo referred to Howard as "the patriarch of the Seal family." I always enjoyed hearing him say that.
Howard was subtle, and thoughtful. He set a strong example as a father, as a husband, and as an uncle, and he truly lived his faith. His faith was an active, real-world faith. It was rooted in community service, fellowship, and charity. Howard was able to communicate so much about his values, just by the way he lived day-to-day.
Major Seal, we salute you and thank you. I will always root for the Trail Blazers on your behalf (unless they're playing the Warriors, of course).
Kevin & Philo Seal
June 19, 2020
Howard's sister, Betty, and I shared many wonderful memories with him and the family. We took several car trips across the country to visit them and they made several trips back east. We took a couple bus trips together making memories. The most memorable trip for us was when we came west and joined together to drive to Anchorage through British Columbia and the Alaskan Highway. We had no reservations but stopped each night and found rooms to rest for the night. We visited Elmendorf Air Force Base a few times and while entering Howard had show his credentials. All the guards at the each post saluted him. The trip was such a great joy, we laughed at each other and with each other. It was such a joy to be with Howard and Theresa. Howard was a great brother-in-law whose dry wit kept us laughing even if the mosquitoes were as big as grasshoppers.