"Top of the Mornin'  Everybody"

Fall of 2000

Everyone knew who arrived for coffee, at Fritz's (Country Side Cafe), when they heard that cheerful greeting. When he shook your hand he would almost jerk your arm out of its socket. That at 90+ years!

 Holton (Joe) Seeley sits at the end of the counter when he comes in with his cheery greeting and demeanor.

Holt was born in Stratford, September 15, 1909, the third of four children born to George Seeley, Sr.  Holton was only about 3 years old when his mother died, so the children were reared by their grandparents who also lived on the Seeley Road.  Holton is the only survivor of his immediate family.

He lives in the old Knight home at the top of the hill across from the Unger House. "Been there 52 years." You may remember him at the E. Caroga State Camp Site where he was a Ranger for over 40 years.

As he was telling me a few things he mentioned,  "I wish my grandmother had lived long enough to see the electric lights come in. She read the Bible to us every night by a kerosene lamp."

 Me thinks his grandmother had all the "Light" she needed.


This past year (2004) I had the opportunity to video Holt as he told of some of his 96 years (over 50 in the old Knight home on the hill). He mentioned, a number of times that, "I live by myself, but I'm not alone." "He" helps me all the time."

He talked of his faith, his love Elsie, and his homestead. I'll try to put a clip of the video on this web site for it was a fascinating visit with this great man of faith. He had, at least, one Bible in each room of his home as he had difficulty walking. Wherever he was at the time he could, as he told me, "get fed."

Well, he's at the "banquet table" now:

Leader-Herald - February 11, 2006

Holton Seeley

Mr. Holton Seeley 96 of Caroga Lake, went to be with the lord on February 11, 2006.

He was born in Stratford on September 15, 1909, son of the late George Lyman and Minnie Hall Seeley. Mr. Seeley was educated in local schools and employed by the New State Environmental Conservation Department for over 40 years.

He began his career as a game warden in the Caroga Lake area and then as caretaker a the Caroga Lake State campsite. For more than 30 years he served as State Forest Ranger in the Caroga Lake area, prior to retirement, "Holt", as he was known, was considered one of the most knowledgeable people in the area regarding State Forest and private lands and was a resource for many.

Mr. Seeley was a well respected member of the community and will be sadly missed. During W W II, he served in the Army, Company B 7th Battalion. Mr. Seeley was also a long time devoted member of the Emmanuel Baptist Church in Gloversville where he served as deacon for many years.

Survivors include his wife Elsie Lockyer Seeley of Caroga Lake whom he married August 17, 1942. Eighteen nieces and nephews also survive. He was pre-deceased by a brother, George Seeley formerly of Meco, and two sisters; Beatrice Stafford formerly of Stratford and Hazel Gullis, formerly of Dolgeville.



Holton Seeley - August 2005


Dear Tony:
We attended the funeral services for Uncle Holton today.  Some relatives thought there wouldn't be many people there, but I didn't agree with that assumption, and I was right.  There was standing room only by the time the services began.  Many Forest Rangers, in uniform, were there and took turns standing at each end of the casket during visiting hours.
The Baptist minister knew Uncle Holton well, and did an excellent job.  At times he found it difficult to control his emotions, which showed everyone the high regard with which he held Holton's friendship.
You will be pleased to learn his large Holy Bible, with well-worn edges, was in the casket with him.  He was ready and after 96+ years he will be welcomed on the other side.  We shall miss him, and his hearty handshake, and welcoming smile.
Marion Keyser


Received the following email from TSgt Paige C. Wroble (http://www.songstylist.com/) regarding Holt and the World War II Memorial in Washington. Paige was the grand-daughter of Jack Wroble who taught music at Knox Jr High in Johnstown

. Thought her heartfelt message (below) would be appreciated by Holt and ALL who served and are serving.



Thanks for that, Tony!  (small tribute to Holton Seeley)
As a proud, active duty member of the United States Air Force Band "Airmen of Note" (a direct descendant
of the Glenn Miller Army Air Corps Dance Band), I had the honor of performing some Glenn Miller favorites
on the main stage at the opening of the WWII Memorial here in Washington, DC. 

You wouldn't believe the sea of people that were on the National Mall that day!  I can't tell you how many
times that day I laid eyes on the faces of men and women who served during that most trying of conflicts. 
I made it my mission to thank each and every one I made eye contact with, and to breathe a prayer of
thanksgiving for those I couldn't speak to that day. 

There were hundreds of thousands of people there.  Some in wheelchairs.  Some without limbs.  Some
widows and widowers came in honor of their spouses who didn't make it to see that day - my fiancé's
grandfather among them.  Some just came and cried. 

For many, I knew this trip was a very difficult one to make and would likely be the last great "setting out"
in each of their respective lives.  They had already made the most difficult expedition of their lives, though.
Hadn't they?  I could see that, to them, this long awaited and more than well deserved journey was one
that culminated in the release of many a fear and heartbreak.  There were reunions, smiles, handshakes,
heart-felt embraces, and there was an ocean of tears shed on the Mall that day. 

Today, there is an aura of peace surrounding that monument.  It is an amazing work of art and I know
in my heart that we owe an infinite debt of gratitude to those for whom it stands.

If you haven't seen the WWII National Memorial, please make a point to visit the DC area soon. 
We'd love to have you and I promise you won't regret it!
May the Lord bless you and keep you...
TSgt Paige C Wroble



Good Afternoon,

I was so very excited to find that there is a tribute page to Mr. Holton Seeley. My boyfriend and I purchased the “Old Seeley Home” in July of 2006, and we are truly in love with our new home. It has such warm, wholesome feelings; I have never felt as comfortable in a home as I do this one, and I felt that from the very instant that we had first set foot in the home! And everyone who enters our home always tells us that same thing! It is a home

Our only wish is that we would have had the opportunity to have been able to meet Mr. & Mrs. Seeley, but at least now, I have a face to associate with the name. We defiantly feel a connection to Mr. Seeley through his home, as we have “artifacts” that we have found that keep them close to our hearts. Just as Mr. Seeley, we have a vast love of the Great Outdoors, and some of the “artifacts” that I mentioned are old trail markers found in the home, garage and just about any where else one can imaging! They are truly the best thing that we could ever have found!

We have slowly been updating our new home, giving it a real “country feel.” But only to keep the beauty of the old home! And ever time we accomplish a project, we sit back and wonder what Mr. Seeley would think, would he like it?  We trust that he does!

So anyway, thank you for the Tribute page to Holton Seeley, it truly means a great deal to us!

Best wishes,

Monica Carey


Thought the following link (below) would be a nice tribute to the old WW II warrior Holt. ALL the "warriors".

Some of the pictures are not clear, but you will get the heart of it.

Thank You, Holt. <click here




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