ROBERT STANCELL SEATON
June 23, 1929 – February 14, 2022
Robert Stancell Seaton passed away on Monday, February 14, 2022 in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, at the age of 92.
Bob was raised on the eastside of Detroit with his mom, dad and older brother. He attended Denby High School, and as the varsity quarterback, he took his football team to the Detroit City Championship game, played at Briggs Stadium (Tiger Stadium) in front of over 28,000 fans, in 1947. During the summers, he mowed lawns in Grosse Pointe, caddied at Detroit Golf Course, and worked concessions at Briggs Stadium, while watching the Tigers play baseball. Bob was hired by General Motors and, after a short time, enlisted in the US Air
Force where he served for 3½ years while concurrently attending the University of Denver for Career Counseling. After he was honorably discharged, Bob returned to General Motors and held various positions in the experimental engineering facility at the Proving Grounds and GM Technical Center. Bob did some recruiting for GM, traveling to the top Engineering Schools across the country to cherry pick the best and brightest to come work for GM. He also was in charge of setting up an emissions lab in California, which afforded him the
opportunity to play Pebble Beach on the weekends. In those early years with GM, Bob was also busy with family, raising four children with his first wife, Billie Fay Kelly. Bob retired from GM in 1990. In 1980, Bob met Patricia Lynn Owens and they were married in 1981.
Bob and Pat were a great match. They both loved travel, golf, boating, and warm weather. And they spent the next 40 years doing what they loved, together. Bob vowed to never see winter or wear long pants again, so he and Pat spent their winter months at their beautiful home in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. And the summer months were spent at the family cottage in Algonac, MI. They enjoyed the best
of both worlds. Built in 1917 by Bob’s Grandfather, the beautiful old cottage in Michigan is a treasure trove of memories and Seaton heritage. Bob would tend to the big lawn and the fix-it chores that always seemed present, and Pat would cook the meals and spend early morning hours fishing. Dad’s biggest joys were the family reunions that happened every summer. Bob enjoyed being surrounded by his children and grandchildren, friends, and family. The days were full of fishing, boating, and swimming at the end of the dock, front lawn football or Wiffle ball in the late afternoons, board games if a thunderstorm rolled through, and always Pat’s hearty family-style dinner around the big table, followed by endless stories as the sun went down and everyone gathered on the big front porch. The porch was
Bob’s favorite place to wind down the day with a glass of wine or scotch, and good stories to share. At the end of a visit, as friends or family would drive away, Bob and Pat would stand on the back lawn and give the departing guests the official ‘Seaton farewell wave.’ Bob was a member of Spring Meadows Country Club in Michigan and Sugar Mill Country Club in Florida. He loved golf. He loved watching it, he loved talking about it, but mostly, he loved playing it. Over the years, Bob traveled to Ireland, Scotland, Hawaii, Canada and many states in the U.S. to play “the best courses” around.
Bob will always be remembered for his beautiful golf game and swing. He was proud to have carried less than a 10 handicap most of his life and was always investing in new equipment to improve his game. But what is remembered most about Bob on the links, was his patience with those he played with, no matter what their level of ability. He wanted everyone to enjoy the game as much as he did. He would never tell you what you were doing wrong, unless you asked him for advice. And if you did, he would happily spend time helping you better your game. Bob had many other hobbies and interests. He was an avid reader, enjoying everything from a good spy novel to the latest copy of Golf Digest. And he had a life-long passion for cars, in particular, Corvettes. Bob was never happier than when he was washing, waxing and detailing one of his cars. That keen interest in cars transferred easily to a love of boats as well. In Michigan, he grew up around boats; he and Pat always had a boat; and he took pride in knowing who owned most of the boats that cruised past the family cottage, right down to the model name and the engine’s horse power. Bob was also very engaged in his community, through service, civic, and church groups. In Michigan he served on the Oakland County Family Services Board. And he was a member of the Algonac Lions Club for years, helping run the Pickerel Tournament each year and meeting with fellow club members once a week during the summer to share stories, laughs and plan charitable events. These friendships grew and the current Algonac BOD’s still meet throughout the summer to tell stories over and over and over. In Florida, he and Pat were both very involved in their home church, with Bob spending several years as Comptroller and President of the Congregation, helping with budgeting, policy and hiring decisions.
Bob is survived by his wife of 40 years, Patricia (Pat) Seaton; his four children and their spouses and partners: Mike Seaton (Carla), Lee Oller (Art), Jeff Seaton, and Carolyn Mansour (John); and his grand-children Emmy Manko (Joe), Jared Fite (Alishia), Sophia Oller (Scott Stambach), Devin Oller (Katherine Crabtree), Josh Fite, Scott Oller (Megan Clark), Kellen Seaton (Jill Roberts), Kate Seaton, Alex Seaton; and great-grandchildren Lyla and Teigen Fite, and Ennis Robert Oller; and nephew Jay Seaton and family, and niece Wendy Seaton and family. Bob shared a special relationship with Pat’s sisters: Lois Spitz and husband, Smokey, Rob (Nan), Rich, Ron (Paula); and Marie Belleville and husband Gary, Beth, Matt, (Alex); along with their spouses, grandchildren and greatgrandchildren. Everyone loved Bob, Dad, Grandpa, Uncle Bob.
He was always a positive and engaging presence at any gathering, whether it was his buddies on the golf course, or grandchildren playing on the front porch. His charisma was contagious, and people wanted to be around him. His bright blue eyes, his energy, his humor, his smile, were a magnet for all of us who loved him. He will be missed every day. Bob is predeceased by his parents, Jerome and Knoldean Seaton and his brother, Jerry Seaton.
The family has requested that remembrances be made in the form of contributions to Trinity Lutheran Church in New Smyrna Beach; or a charity of your choice. The family will host a Celebration of Life, at a later date, to be determined.