Saturday, October 22, 2011

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Write Your Own Obituary

Another Saturday Night, and I ain't got nobody ... wait, Sam Cooke, it's time for Genealogy Fun!!

Your mission, if you decide to accept it, is to:

1)  Geneabloggers is running an obituary writing contest - and you can win an ObitKit by participating.  See ObitKit™ Contest – What’s In Your Obituary?  Read the rules!

2)  Write your own obituary in a blog post of your own, or in a Comment on this post, or in a Facebook Status line or a Google Plus Stream line.  [Note, you may freak out your Facebook Friends or Stream followers if you do this without a warning.]  BE CREATIVE, but accurate...have fun doing this!

3)  Be sure to post a link back to your own obituary on the ObitKit™ Contest – What’s In Your Obituary?  post.

Here's mine:

23 October 1943 to 1 April 2054

He had hoped to live to age 114, so that he would be the oldest person in his family tree.  He fell only four years short.  The body worked perfectly for all of these years.  Randy died doing what he loved best - pursuing his family history wherever it led him, to libraries, courthouses, cemeteries, and the Intergalactic Web.  He had just found a treasure trove of Newton family records in an attic in Maine and while reading through them, the floor of the attic collapsed and he fell through to the floor below, striking his head on his motorized chair.  Death was instantaneous.

What a wonderful life!  Randy was born at Paradise Valley Sanitarium in National City, California (now Ciudad National, Alta California) to Frederick W. and Betty V. (Carringer) Seaver, who had married on 30 July 1942 in San Diego.  He attended school at Brooklyn Elementary (now Einstein Academy), Theodore Roosevelt Junior High School (now Emilio Zapata Middle School), San Diego High School (class of 1961), and San Diego State University (class of 1966), majoring in Aerospace Engineering.

The aircraft industry boomed after World War II in San Diego, and Randy worked for Wagner Aircraft Company in 1963, for Sunrise Aircraft Company in La Mesa from 1964 to 1967, and then for Rohr Aircraft Company (which was purchased by Goodrich in 1997), from 1967 to 2002 and after retiring in 2002 he worked from 2004 to 2006 as a contract engineer.  He worked as an Aerodynamics Engineer, moved into engineering management in 1979, rising to be Chief of Aerodynamics and Thermodynamics.  His specialties were turbofan thrust reverser design and testing, engine nacelle fluid dynamics, and FORTRAN computer programming.  He worked on many Boeing, McDonnell-Douglas and Airbus Industrie aircraft, and Rolls-Royce, Pratt & Whitney, and General Electric engine nacelle projects. 

Randy met the love of his life in 1968 - Linda J. Leland, an elementary school teacher in Coronado.  They married on 21 March 1970 in Chula Vista at Chula Vista Presbyterian Church, where they held membership for the rest of their lives.  Their first home was an apartment in Chula Vista, and they bought a home on Otay Mesa in 1972, and moved to their home on Via Trieste in Chula Vista in 1975.  There they raised two wonderful daughters - Lori born in 1974 and Tami, born in 1976.  The girls were successful in their school work and graduated from college with advanced degrees.  Linda went back to work in 1989 at a Chula Vista elementary school. 

One of the highlights of their lives was the birth of five grandchildren, - Lori had two boys, Lucas and Logan, and Tami had two girls, Lauren and Audrey and a boy, Charlie.  As the grandkids grew up, Randy and Linda doted on them and enjoyed seeing them grow into successful adults - an astronaut, an artist, a medical doctor, a college professor, and a dentist.  The five grandchildren have filled out the family tree even more - Randy and Linda now have 12 great-grandchildren and 27 great-great-grandchildren.

Outside of his work life, Randy began studying his genealogy and family history in 1988, inspired by the 1976 book Roots by Alex Haley (his books-to-be read list was pretty long in those days).   Frederick Seaver had a fine New England and English ancestry, with families back to the Mayflower, the Winthrop fleet, and hundreds of other Great Migration settlers.  Randy is the 12th generation Seaver that starts with Robert Seaver (1608-1683), who immigrated to Roxbury, Massachusetts in 1634 (Robert, Shubael, Joseph, Robert, Norman, Benjamin, Benjamin, Isaac, Frank, Frederick, Frederick, Randy).  Fred's English ancestry was to the Richman family in Hilperton, Wiltshire area, who immigrated to Connecticut in 1856.

On his mother's side, the Carringer line has been traced back five generations to Martin Carringer (1758-1835) who settled in Mercer County, Pennsylvania after the Revolutionary War. Betty's ancestry is much more diverse - with American colonial ancestry from England, Germany, France and Holland, and several Canadian Loyalist families.  There was only one post-Revolution immigrant family - Vaux from Somerset in England to New York during the 1830s.

During over 50 years of genealogy research, Randy solved almost all of his "brick-wall" family history problems, with the exception of the parents of Devier Lamphier Smith in New York, and the Thomas J. Newton line in Maine.  It is hoped that his namesake great-grandson, Randall Seaver Smith-Newton can solve those problems.  He leaves an online family tree at with over 200,000 persons in it, fully sourced to the "Millsource standard" and documented with record images, with links to over 20 U.S. Presidents and all of the pre-Conquest royal houses of Europe.  Most of his ancestral families have been added into the FamilySearch Family Tree, which has over 3 billion entries.

During his illustrious genealogy career, Randy published four ancestral family histories on his own ancestry, a ten generation multi-volume work on Descendants of Robert Seaver (1608-1683), and a volume on Linda's ancestry.   He was one of the earliest genealogy bloggers, but gave that up in 2022 after 16 years in order to write the books before he passed on.  During this period, he also wrote genealogy magazine articles, served local genealogical societies, spoke on family history subjects at societies and conferences, and taught genealogy at local societies. 

Randy and Linda loved to travel, having been to 40 states, the British Isles, northern, eastern, western and southern Europe, Israel, the Caribbean, South America, Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, Tahiti and Canada in their lifetimes.  They included heritage travel in some of their vacations.  Unfortunately, mobility problems limited them in their later years.  Linda passed away in 2039 at the age of 96, after 69 years of marriage.  Randy moved into the Home for Retired Genealogists in Oakland soon after so that he could be close to his daughters and their progeny.  He was still going on research trips until his death.

A memorial service for Randy will be at Chula Vista Presbyterian Church in Chula Vista, Alta California, with burial next to Linda in Glen Abbey Memorial Park in Bonita, California. 

Note to readers:  This is not an actual obituary - Randy is still alive at its writing. However, it could be used to form an obituary by editing the futuristic work (including the publishing, Linda's death, and Randy's death circumstances) appropriately.  As written, this would cost about $2,000 in newspaper fees in 2011 dollars!  Better to put it on the Internet, since nobody will read newspapers in 2054, or will they?

1 comment:

Julie said...

That was easy now what to do, I already had this done and posted yesterday. I really like yours Randy. Mine can be found at