John Robert Seely

August 29, 1922 – Oct. 30, 2010

SEELY, John Robert John Robert Seely passed away on October 30, 2010. He was 88 years old, and lived a full and rewarding life. Born on August 29, 1922 in Kiwanee, Illinois, he moved to Southern California in 1945 and began his life with his wife, Maurine Brevoort Seely in 1950. Together, they bought a home in Carson in 1950, where he lived happily for the remainder of his life. John joins his beloved wife of 60 years, Maurine, who passed away in 1998, and is reunited with son Maurice Eugene Seely who passed away in 1971. John leaves behind his son Robert with wife Kathy, and daughter Leone with William Storms, fiance, and four grandchildren, Brian, Ian, Caroline and Lily. John was a life long poet, copywriting the book “Rainbows & Raindrops Of The Mind,” and a long time genealogist, working with the Seeley Genealogical Society and the New England Genealogical Society.

In the final few months of his life, he was blessed to be cared for by his son, Robert and his wife Kathy. John was further blessed to live his last three months at Evergreen Chalet under the care of George and Miriam Mozes and their staff. The family wishes to thank Evergreen and Hospice for all their care and the many, many people who sent John cards and letters in his final months. The memorial service will be held at Green Hills Mortuary Chapel on November 8, 2010 at 1:00 p.m.

John Robert Seely

Published in the Los Angeles Times on November 3, 2010


John Robert Seely

John Robert Seeley was born 29 August 1922 in Kewanee, Henry Co., IL, son of Leland Eugene and Vivian (Moore) Seely. Leland Seely was engaged in farming in Stark Co. IL on land which had been in the Seely family for four generations and was owned by his father, Elbert Lester Seely. Leland died at the age of 27 in 1927 due to peritonitis. John Robert was a name sake of John Robert Moore, Vivian’s father, a lawyer who served the 37th District Illinois in the State Legislature. John lived with his Moore grandparents during the school year and spent the summers with his Seely grandparents all of whom were residents of Kewanee, IL until Vivian graduated from the University of Illinois with a teaching credential. In 1932 Vivian married Walter Helmers of Cropsy, IL and John lived with them and attended a one room school about a mile from the farm. In 1934 the family moved to Davenport, IA where John attended eighth grade. This is where he became interested in building radio crystal sets, winding coils on oatmeal boxes etc. John returned to live with his grandparents, Elbert and Rose (Hill) Seely in 1937 and attended Kewanee High School for two years. In 1939 Walter, Vivian, and John moved to Hubbard, IA where he graduated from High School in 1940.

John, his mother and half-brother, Harold, then moved to California, where he worked at Lockheed on P-38s and Hudson Bombers, after attending aircraft mechanics school. In 1942 he entered the College of Engineering at the University of Southern California. He was among the last 26 reservists in the School of Engineering called to active duty in 1943.

John completed basic training at Atlantic City in one of the “plush” Hotels on the Boardwalk. He had electronics training classes at Ft. Monmouth, NJ (Signal Corps) and attended Airborne Radar School in Ft. Murphy, FL. In the summer of 1944 John was stationed at Ft. Monroe, VA where he met Maureen Brevoort. By Sept. John Had transferred to the Army Communication Service School in Philadelphia, PA. On Thanksgiving Day he was on a DC-3 to Greenland and eighteen months of flying to remote bases for installing communications equipment needed to assist the planes returning from Europe to Canada and the U.S. Watching the Aurora dance its way from one horizon to the other was a favorite pastime during the long winter nights. Mustered out in April of 1946 John returned to classes at USC. Two trips to Virginia resulted in Maurine saying “yes” to John’s proposal of marriage and they were married on 24 June 1950. Three children, Maurice, Robert and Leone were born in 1951, 1954, and 1956 respectively. Maurice died in 1971. Robert has been married, divorced and lives in Philadelphia. He has son Brian born in 1980. Leone is married and resides in Bangor, Maine.

John was hired as an electronic technician in 1951 by Hoffman Electronics Corp. and within six months was promoted to group leader. Advancement at Hoffman proceeded through Test Engineer to Production Test Manager which included supervision of many communications and radar projects. After employment at Singer Instruments for three years and Communication Manufacturing for seven years John retired in April 1985.

Since 1978 John and Maurine have been avid genealogy enthusiasts and in 1983 began manipulating a computer keyboard to help control and save their family research. Your Newsletter mailing labels and the Ancestor file indexing project is a direct result of their interest in helping members contact each other and join hands in their research. In addition to trips just to sightsee, the Caribbean and Hawaii, they have taken several trips in this country to do family research, and finally went to England and Holland in 1988. John is a member of the Mayflower Society and of the Sons of the American Revolution, serving as President of his Chapter.

Published in the May 1990 SGS Newsletter, Issue # 64, as the biography supporting his serving as a Vice President of SGS