James Seymour

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James Seymour

July 04, 1932 - November 07, 2016

James Seymour passed away at his Altoona home on Monday November 7, 2016 at the age of 84. He was born on the fourth of July in 1932 to parents, Raymond J. and Florence (Sutton) Seymour in Loretto, PA. Jim attended St. Michael's Elementary in Loretto before attending and then graduating from Ebensburg-Cambria in 1950. Jim excelled as a pitcher for his community and scholastic baseball teams. Following high school he was invited to pitch a game for the Johnstown Johnnies against a barn storming team of professional players at Point Stadium in Johnstown. Pitching a three hit shutout, he was subsequently signed to a pro contract, pitching in the minor leagues for two years. Jim then entered the United States Navy and served honorably aboard the U.S.S. St. Paul during the Korean Conflict. He marked his spot in history in that he sat beside the gunner who fired the last shot at sea in the war. Following his service, Jim returned home to Loretto and attended Saint Francis College, graduating with an accounting degree in 1960. The career that followed took him to Los Angeles and Baltimore, but Jim never lost his love for home and the company of family. He returned to his native home and worked, among other places, as controller at SKF and Mercy Hospital, Vice President of Finance at Home Nursing Agency, finally retiring as an auditor from the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue. While Jim's career was spent in accounting and finance, the life he found most enjoyable was spent in learning, family, and physical exercise. A prolific reader, his personal library accumulated to a number in excess of 1,500 books, which were read, reread, and notated. He authored several works of his own including his own memoirs and a biography of his deceased brother, Paul Seymour. An admirer of renaissance men of the past, he aspired to be informed and well versed on a multitude of subjects and enjoyed lively discussion in fields as diverse as theology and military history to classical movies and baseball. A consummate family man, family reunions and time spent with his immediate family were held dear by him. Among other philanthropic pursuits, through Christian charities Jim supported the education and general welfare of children living in destitute poverty overseas and supported the Cistercian Monks of Holy Cross Abbey.
After his baseball career, Jim devoted his athletic time to daily exercise and the playing of golf with friends and family. He calculated that in retirement he had walked the equivalent in mileage from Altoona to Los Angeles and back again, twice. Even as terminal illness reduced his ability to play the game, he never quit believing he had another par in him and never quit trying to make one. Following many years as a member of Park Hills Country Club and Immergrun Golf Club in Loretto, Jim completed his years playing golf as a member of Sylvan Hills Golf Club in Hollidaysburg. He was a member of American Legion Post #748 in Loretto for many decades. Jim was preceded in death by both of his parents, his brother Paul Seymour (Mary Margaret), and his sister Norma Vella (Nino). Jim is survived by his wife of 41 years, Barbara C. Seymour (Baker) of Altoona; children, Elizabeth Seymour (Paul Bookhammer) of Altoona; Christopher (Sarah) of Hollidaysburg; Anna Sigel (Jeremy) of Washington D.C.; grandchildren, Jack, Annika, Ronan, James, and Nicholas; sisters, Mary Mangus and Lois Romett, and brother Frank (Betty). Jim is also survived by countless cousins, nieces, and nephews. He will be sadly missed by his constant feline companion and favorite writer's namesake, Henry David Thoreau. Friends will be received at Sorge Funeral Home, Inc., Hollidaysburg, PA from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday, November 10th where a Vigil service will be held. A funeral mass will be celebrated at St. Mary Catholic Church, Hollidaysburg at 10 a.m., Friday the 11th by Father Anthony J. Legarski. Committal at New St. Mary Cemetery, Hollidaysburg. Memorials in his name can be made to the charity of your choice. (www.sorgefuneralhome.com)
Published on November 9, 2016
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