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On August 18, 1935, outside a homestead one mile west of Paden and a slight ways south Ruth, Claude, Kate, Inez, Hershel, Dusty, Smokey and Joyce Seaton stood awaiting the arrival of the newest addition to the family. It wasn’t long before Sammy and Sylvia (Hull) brought them inside to meet their 9th child and 5th son they simply named L.J. A few years later these 9 children would be standing outside their home at 52 Springs welcoming the 10th child this time a sister named Helen who would complete the family with a total of 5 boys and 5 girls.
That beautiful dark haired baby boy grew up to be an amazing man, husband, father, grandfather and favorite uncle, but he was also a great friend and neighbor to many. Just like his name he was a man that loved the simple things in life with the smallest things bringing him much joy, especially when they involved the children of the family with many nieces, nephews and grandchildren running to hug him when they saw his cowboy hat and big smile. They were something that he would set his coffee cup aside for, take them up in front of him on his horse or even stop a game of dominos for their hug and it made them love him a bit more. As simple as his name was, those two simple letters became a well-loved family story that tied them to their family’s rich history. As easy to say as his name was this youngest son received a nickname as is a family tradition. Many questioned how he went from L.J. to Dick and the answer was simple it was in honor of a great-uncle that his own father had been named after.
Dick attended Paden schools, but like his brothers worked alongside his father in the fields at home and around Okfuskee County learning skills and knowledge that would benefit him his entire life with the greatest being following the Golden Rule. Of course when he wasn’t working alongside his father and brothers, you could find him alongside them playing that amazing traditional country music the Seaton Family was known across the state for.
Like his brothers before him, he proudly stepped up to serve his country by being sworn into the United States Army. It was here this smalltown handsome farm boy became not just a soldier, but part of an important and elite group of the Army. Dick would be come a member of the United States Army Honor Guard.
Upon honorable discharge Dick, like many others in this area, would continue to serve the country by becoming a civilian employee of Tinker Air Force Base, marry and raise a family. He married the late Janice Line and they would raise Dewayne, Rod and Renee at the family home north of Paden. Just as his father had taught him, he would teach his sons to play and sing. However, one of his greatest times spent with his daughter was riding upon the back of a horse in their corral and helping her become a barrel racer known in the area. Dick was also an accomplished horseman winning several roping competitions.
As the years passed, his marriage ended in friendship and he would go on to find not just love, but something better. He found a roping and fishing partner and on November 8, 1983 he would marry Gertrude “Mary” Hill. After retirement from Tinker, these two would spend time doing two of their favorite things being with their grandchildren and fishing. Their love of fishing would take them on a new adventure in life as they became gate keepers for the Army Corps of Engineers at one of their favorite lakes that also became a destination for family to visit.
After 32 years of marriage, Mary would precede Dick in death. He would settle in at home spending time with his great-grandchildren Lexsey and Jeremiah passing two of his favorite things riding horses and fishing. You could also find him doing what Seaton’s have done for years spending time with family, watching westerns, playing dominos, drinking coffee, telling stories and of course, singing country songs many have never heard.
Dick was the last of Sammy and Sylvia Seaton’s ten children and on October 28th, the day before his parent’s 107th wedding anniversary, their baby boy joined the family waiting over Jordan. As his family stood near his bedside as he took his last breath their hearts were broken yet at peace. This amazing man sang them to sleep rocking them, held their hand, saddled their horses and taught them to bait a hook and strum a guitar had regained his strength. If they closed their eyes they could imagine the sounds of heaven filled with sweet fiddle music and imagine the hugs that welcomed him home that evening because they had grown up surrounded by the love of such a large and close family. The circle is unbroken and the family table is once again filled with big Seaton smiles, cowboy hats and coffee cups.
Those welcoming Dick home included his parents, siblings, wife along with his daughter Sylvia Renee’ (Seaton) Stewart, son Jesse Dewayne, grandson Joshua Dewayne Seaton and great grandson, William Michael “Weebe” Ferry.
Those left to cherish his memory are son Rod, grandchildren Melonie, Tiffany, Amanda, Crystal, Chad, Ashley and Felicia, Jessica, and Angela great-grandchildren Lexsey Jeremiah,Cullen,Cody,Jaiden, Aiyana, Isabella, Chevelle, Kannon, Addilynn, Dominic, Jacob Eugene, Brittany, Logan, Isaiah, Xander, Landon, Aryton, Graceland, Dustin and Tatum and his first great great-grandchild Margot Emelia along with many nephews, nieces and cousins.
Like the sweet strains of Seaton Fiddles his memory will forever fill the hearts of those left to cherish his memory in stories that will be cherished for generations to come. Dick’s family and friends will do just that next year when the fish are biting good as they plan to gather to celebrate the father, grandfather and uncle that meant more than can be put into words. A private burial will also be planned by his family.
Cards of condolences can be sent to the L J Seaton Family, 360105 e 1000 Rd, Paden, OK 74860.