Longtime Alaskan and Kenai resident Elsie T. Seaman died Saturday, March 20, 2010 at her son's home in Kenai. She was 90.
Memorial mass will be held at 6 p.m. Friday, March 26, at Our Lady of the Angels Catholic Church in Kenai. Father Andrew Sensinig O.M.I. will officiate.
Mrs. Seaman was born April 28, 1919 in McIntosh, S.D. to Frank and Helen (Primeau) Tahnk. Her parents died when she was young and she lived in an orphanage for several years in St. Paul, Minn. In 1932, she went to live with her sister, Virginia, in Cloquet, Minn. She graduated from high school in 1936. She then attended St. Benedict's College, majoring in English and minoring in French and history. She graduated from St. Benedict's in 1940 and was valedictorian of her class.
She worked as a temp for several months before teaching at Jordan High School in Minneapolis for two years. During World War II, she worked at Consolidated Aircraft (Convair) in San Diego. She met and married Sgt. Carl Seaman, who was stationed at Pt. Loma in California.
After his discharge the family moved to Oakdale, La. They were there until a house fire and poor working conditions forced them back to San Diego.
In 1952, the family moved Alaska to homestead on Bernice Lake. In 1954, they returned to California, where she attended San Diego State College to obtain her elementary teacher's license. They returned to Alaska in 1956, and she taught at the Kenai Territorial School.
In 1959, the family's home was destroyed by fire, but with help was rebuilt. Mrs. Seaman kept books and continued teaching. In 1963, she transferred to North Kenai Elementary. She returned to Kenai in 1965 teach and then back to North Kenai in 1970 as the librarian, retiring in 1974. Then she and her husband spent winters in Oakdale, Calif. and summers at the homestead. They raised peacocks, quail and chickens, acquired a miniature donkey, a horse and a sheep. They also built tennis courts which became a neighborhood gathering place.
Mr. Seaman died in 1988, and in 1992, Mrs. Seaman moved to Kenai to be closer to family, church and the Senior Center, where she enjoyed companionship and activities.
"Elsie lived her life for others. Though her life had many hardships, she never lost faith nor stopped reaching out. Whatever she did, Elsie was putting someone else first. Knowing her and loving her, being a part of her life on Earth was a blessing from God. She touched so many lives in countless ways, whether an old homesteader, card playing buddy or church member. Our world is sweeter having had Elsie in it for so long," her family said.
Mrs. Seaman was a member of Our Lady of the Angels Catholic Church from its beginning, as a council member, lector, catechism teacher and historian.
She was also a member of the Kenai Senior Center, Nikiski Senior Center, North Kenai Community Club, Kenai Historical Society, TOPS 189, and Kenai Friends of the Library.
Mrs. Seaman was preceded in death by her parents, three siblings, husband, and sons, David and John.
She is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Michael and Joan Seaman; daughter, Carla Ramsey; grandchildren, Julie, Michelle, Rachel, Sarah and Jackie; six great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to a charity of choice.
Arrangements were by Peninsula Memorial Chapel.
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