James Gilbert Seely (10/22/1954 - 08/4/2020)
James "Jim" Gilbert Seely passed away on Tuesday, August 4th in Dansville, Illinois. James was born to Gilbert Andrew Seely and Dorothy Mae Seely (Burnett) on October 22nd, 1954 in Port Huron, Michigan. When he was a young boy his family moved to Lansing, Michigan. Jim would spend the majority of his life in the Lansing area until he would later move to Tuscola, IL and eventually call Fithian, IL his home with his loving Wife Beverly.
Jim was a graduate of Everett High School in Lansing, MI. After graduation he joined the United States Army. Jim was proud of his country and honored to serve. Following the footsteps of his father and brother. He would then go on to pursue an Associate degree in Architecture from Lansing Community College. He would often say I didn't complete it overnight, but I did it. In fact, thirteen years of classes, dedication and determination while raising his girls. Along the way Jim became a skilled, sought after Carpenter as well a engineer of maintenance. If it was broken...he could fix it. If you had an idea he could draw, design and build it. At one time he was asked if he thought he could make a ceramic kiln. He never had before. They had an idea and a sketch. He said sure, absolutely. I can make it. A picture of that kiln would later be featured in an art magazine with him alongside it. He didn't back down from a challenge. You could see the wheels in his mind turning as he would begin to connect the dots of how he was going to create things. When Jim wasn't in the garage with saws running and sawdust flying, he was outdoors. Not in the cold of course. Out landscaping the yard, pruning the trees, making a fire pit to roast the marshmallows and hotdogs, building his daughters a fort and several tree swings. When those things were wrapped up for the day then he would go out on his mountain bike and ride for hours all over the city. As Jim got older and his health would not allow him to be as adventurous and active as he was used to, his fascination of history and ghosts took sail. If there was in interesting documentary or a spooky ghost search, he was all in. Programed, saved and ready to watch for hours. Jim's love of music was equally a part of him. When it came to eighties and nineties music the man knew every lyric and every beat. Though the Beatles will always be his number one. He could listen to a song on the radio or a CD, turn the volume down pick up his guitar and play it like he was part of the band. His vast array of knowledge and experiences led to the most amazing stories. Full of wisdom and life lessons. If you had a minute, he loved to share them. In all honestly you only needed a couple minutes to hear a story that would take a normal person an hour to tell, but not Jim. He would speak a million miles a minute, never missing a beat. Always getting out the point he was trying to make. He had an unmistakable deep voice but a sensitive wise loving soul. By far Jim's greatest joy and what made him so proud was his daughters "Jug" (Lindsay), "Punk" (Ashley) and the love of his life Beverly 'Bev'. When he met Bev he gained two additional daughters, Meghan and Katie who would have a great impact and love on his life. Family was everything to Jim. If he couldn't swing a hammer anymore, he had them.
Jim leaves behind his loving wife Beverly (Carter) Kenny of Fithian, IL. His daughters Lindsay Marie Seely (Ashley) of Grand Ledge, MI and Ashley Rae Seely of Lansing, MI. His stepdaughters, Meaghan A. Kenny of Tuscola, IL and Katie L. Kenny of Bloomington, IL. His Sister, Linda (Seely) Chambers of Wilmington, NC., and his Brother Robert Seely of Farmington, MI. Jim had four grandchildren that were the light of his eyes: AJ McGinnis, Kylei McGinnis, Hayden Lockhart and Oliver Price. He was preceded in death by both of his parents.
Jim will be buried with Military Honors in Fort Custer National Cemetery in Augusta, Michigan. The family is having a private memorial. We would like to say a special thank you to the Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Home in August, MI. for all their assistance during these times.
Memorial donations may be made to the family at Rortvedt Funeral Services & Crematory:
3 South Hodge St.
Tilton, IL 61833
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