Richard Howard SEYMOUR
January 1, 1935 – March 21, 2019
Richard Howard Seymour lived a long and fulfilled life. He died of Parkinson’s at the loving Lilac Chateau in Santee, CA on March 21, 2019, remaining mentally sharp to the end. Richard was preceded in death by his wife Barbara of 60 years and his sister Merrie Jo Stattenfield. He is survived by son Greg (Alice), daughters Deni (Mark) and Jan (Carlos), and grandchildren Julian, Cale, Willow, Ciela, and Lucas. Richard was born on January 1, 1935 in Paw Paw, Michigan to Evelyn and Howard Seymour. While he spent time in Japan and other world locations as his father served as chaplain in the Navy, San Diego was his home. He was a proud graduate of Point Loma High School and later SDSU and subsequently obtained a master’s degree in biology. His thesis was something along the lines of Parasites of the Grunion. As an Aztec alum he was a devoted and knowledgeable sports fan to any San Diego team, keeping tabs and knowing the stats of all. He became a math and science teacher, school administrator, and vice principal before retiring early so as to spend the remainder of his life on perpetual vacation. He found a niche among the uplands of Julian and then finally their home among the desert rats of Canebreak in the Anza Borrego Desert. There he reigned for years as the margarita-making champion, dubbed king of the desert for seven years, an honor for which he was perpetually proud, commenting that his were the only margaritas worth having (a small insight into the sense of humor for which he was known). He reveled in both the solitude of desert living and the joy of community delivered by the social setting of that enclave. Being an educator left weekends and summers free for extensive travel with his family where his children were introduced to the wonders of the world, from his geologic and scientific perspective and his wife, Barbara’s, love of history. To prep for this we looked forward to the science movie reels he’d bring home to preview for his classes, popcorn in our laps as we watched scenes of Alaska or the life of the beaver or the inner workings of chemistry on daily life. Travel shaped his children, instilling a love of the outdoors, an appreciation for the environment, and an interest in cultural diversity. Dune buggy trips to Baja California were among the most memorable, including its full length following the rutted and eroded route of the Baja 500 and Baja 1000, but more often trips off the beaten path to remote places where it is still possible to hear the soft breeze, and where local ranchers offered up a meal of their freshly butchered animal, shared their recently constructed pottery vessel, and traded their local goods for our canned foods and matches. Richard was an avid fisher, where, along with his family, fished the most remote rivers of the northern US and Canada and the choppy seas of Mexico. He remembered fondly the bygone age of camping, fishing, dune buggies, hiking, swimming, and beach combing with the camping crew, most of whom remained lifelong friends. Dogs were always a part of his adult life and were more than canine companions, they were his and Barbara’s very large babies that went wherever they went. Richard is best remembered for his sharp memory when the rest of us failed at it, his answers to everything scientific, his actively participating in and leading community programs, his ability to catch a halibut when the rest of us could not, and his baritone voice singing background to Barbara and the kids as we rolled down the bumpy, dusty roads of Baja. Richard was always attempting to squeeze the last ounce out of life, continually planning the next fishing trip or hike through the desert. His occasional thoughts of getting his doctorate and that he never wrote his book were paths not taken. That perpetual vacation got in the way.
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Richard Howard SEYMOUR
March 26, 2019
I only got to know Richard very late in life, when he was living at Lantern Crest. My mom was also there and they found companionship and comfort with each other in a way I found very surprising and gratifying. My father had died decades before and my mother never had a close relationship with another man until she met Richard. I thought he was a great guy and I only wish that I had known him when he was younger and more physically able, it was still good to get to know him and listen to the many interesting stories he had to tell. I will be forever grateful to him for sharing his time with my mom.