Dr. Jacob Alif Seaton

January 2, 1931March 27, 2013

Dr. Jacob Alif Seaton died Wednesday, March 27, 2013. He was born in Wellington, Kansas, on January 2, 1931, to Martin Kenner and Golda Mae (Thompson) Seaton. His parents, sisters Isabel Johnston, Lois Mae Hunt, brothers Martin Seaton and Charles Seaton preceded him in death. His wife, Olis Darlene (Pearce) Seaton; sons, William Kenner, Sean Stephen, and daughter, Laura Anne Turner survive him, along with three grandsons, two granddaughters, and one great-grandson. Olis and Jacob were married on April 10, 1955, in the Friends Church in Argonia, Kansas.

Jake, or Jay, as he was called by his friends was educated in the Wellington public schools and was granted a B.S. and M.S. from what is now Wichita State University. He finished his Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry at the University of Illinois-Champaign-Urbana in 1957, while working on an Atomic Energy Commission fellowship dealing with non-aqueous chemistry of the rare earths. He also did research on dialkyl hydrazines for the U.S. Army while at Illinois.

Dr. Seaton worked briefly at Argonne National Laboratories before entering the USAF as a 1st Lt. In the USAF, where he was researching high temperature polymers and propellants for use in rockets and potential spacecraft at the Materials Laboratory of the Wright Air Development Center in Dayton, Ohio. After his two-year tour of duty, Jake returned to Kansas to be a senior research chemist at Spencer Chemical Co. in Merriam, Kansas.

In 1962, Dr. Seaton joined the Chemistry Dept. at Sam Houston State University and in 1966 he was chosen to chair the chemistry department at Stephen F. Austin State University. His efforts were instrumental in achieving accreditation for the department by the American Chemical Society and for its continued growth and development. In 1986, he stepped down from the chairmanship and in 1996 he retired.

Dr. Seaton was the recipient of numerous teaching awards and was a member of several scholarly organizations. He served as a councilor for the East Texas Section of the American Chemical Society of which he was a charter member. He served on American Chemical Society national committees and was an American Chemical Society Liaison with Congress. He was a member of Sigma Xi honorary research society and Phi Lambda Upsilon honorary chemistry society. He was also a member of Alpha Chi Sigma professional chemistry fraternity and a Fellow of the American Institute of Chemistry.

Jake was active in cub scouts, boy scouts, youth baseball and was a volunteer with Buckner Eldercare. For two years he taught a jazz appreciation course for the Free University that was sponsored by the Student Center. Jazz music listening was a favorite avocation.

There will be no burial services. Dr. Seaton was cremated. He only asks that when you hear some good jazz music, tap your toe and nod your head in a hip manner.

His family will hold a memorial visitation Saturday, March 30, 2013, from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. at Cason Monk-Metcalf, 5400 North St., Nacogdoches.

Memorial contributions may be made to a charity of your choice.

Online memories and condolences may be offered at


  • Memorial Visitation Saturday, March 30, 2013

Dr. Jacob Alif Seaton

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April 14, 2013

Thanks for all your kind words a prayers. We will miss him dearly! The Seaton family

April 7, 2013

My sympathies to Olis and the Seaton family. Jay and I started first grade together and twelve years later we graduated from Wellington High School together. During college years he was best man at my wedding so I have many fond memories of Jay. Back then, we all knew that he had an exceptional mind, that he would go into science, and that he would be successful whatever he chose to do. As I read of all his accomplishments I could see that we were certainly correct about him. Jay was always fun and a good friend. Although I've seen him only a few times (at class reunions) in the last fifty years, I am so saddened at his death and know the world will be a lesser place without him. Wilma Wayne, Raleigh, NC

Debbie (Winchell) Tremont

March 31, 2013

Dr. Seaton was Chair o the Chemistry Department during my 5 years at SFA. He was a great guy, professor, and friend. My prayers go out for him and his family and friends who will miss his physical presence. He will be remembered by many wherever jazz is heard.

March 31, 2013

Jake was a unique professor. I can still recall lectures on ligand field theory even though I never had the opportunity the apply the theory during my career. He was a "student's professor" that engaged you. We kept in touch over the years even recently receiving a reply to an email inquiry.

Walter Dunlap (78&81)

Theresa Morton

March 30, 2013

Thinking of your family in this time.

Jenny, then Jarrell

March 30, 2013

To the Seaton Family,
Dr. Seaton was my chemistry prof in the 1990s. I visited his office at least once a week for tutoring and remember his radio always playing jazz in the background. He was a delightfully warm man who applauded my efforts and never discouraged my yen for learning. He would always laugh when the exam results came with mine the highest score of his classes. What better tutor than the professor? He is missed.

Grateful to Drs. Garrett and Jarrell for informing me of this sad news.

Jim Garrett

March 30, 2013

In the years that Jake Seaton was chair of the Chemistry Department he worked tirelessly to see to it that we had the chemicals and state of the art equipment needed to give our students an education that was second to none in the state. Jake was also a "people person" who supported the faculty and had a strong compassion for his students. A fast quip expressing his humor seemed always to be on the tip of his tongue. One day a student who often spoke with great animation came into the office feeling somewhat down. Noting that the oft demonstrative student was unusually quiet and sullen, Dr. Seaton asked him, "What's wrong? The cat got your fingers?" At his retirement reception when Dr. Seaton was told by the university president that in his career he had probably touched a lot of students, he (Seaton) quickly responded, "No, Dr. Angel (the president), not a one, NOT A ONE!!"

March 30, 2013

Wellington was always proud of Jay and what he accomplihed in his life while all the time he had a compassionate heart for others. I always enjoyed our conversations about the class of l949 and our upcoming reunions. I appreciated all the trips you and Jay made to Wellington for those times.

I wish you and your family peace in the days ahead and I will be thinking of you.

Pat Tomlins, member of WHS Class of 1949

March 30, 2013

Olis and family,
I am so sadden to hear of Jay's passing. He was one of a kind. I have fond memories of growing up on West Harvey St in Wellington. You all have my deepest condolences and my prayers. One of your classmates.
Martha Rissell Climer Amarillo, TX,

Tina Rosado

March 30, 2013

My prayers are with you in this time of sorrow he is one of gods special angels