Harry Seelman, 92, of Oxford died Friday, April 11, 2014, at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated April 14 at St. Peter’s Catholic Church, Cosgrove. The National Catholic Society of Foresters recited a rosary prior to the Mass. Father Edmond Dunn and Father Stephen Ebel officiated. Burial was at the church cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Harry Seelman Memorial Fund.
Harry was born Jan. 21, 1922, in Boulder, Colo., the son of Jacob and Irene (Rohret) Seelman. He was a graduate of University High School in Iowa City. Harry married Lucille Crock at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Mechanicsville on Oct. 3, 1946. He was a member of St. Peter’s Catholic Church, the Knights of Columbus and the Cosgrove Institute. Harry was a lifelong Johnson County farmer and a past president of the National Farmers Organization (NFO). He served on the Cosgrove School Board at the time the high school addition was built. Harry was an avid reader and writer, and will be remembered for his frequent letters to the editor and editorial comments often relating to the family farm and the business of agriculture. Those letters often appeared in the Iowa City Press-Citizen and The Gazette.
In soil and water conservation techniques, he was a pioneer. He was also an innovator; when he bought a new piece of machinery or equipment, he frequently remade it or tweaked the design so it would be more practical or useable. He was a lifelong Johnson County Democrat and political activist. Most important to Harry was his family; he treasured family gatherings and holidays.
“Dad had an enormous influence on our lives. We celebrate the legacy of an amazing man. When he first started farming in Johnson County over 70 years ago, he had a team of Belgian horses. Farming has changed a great deal over his lifetime, but the values he instilled in us have never changed; hard work, honesty, perseverance, respect, and caring for others are just a few of the many virtues we learned from him. He told us often that he loved us, and we will miss him greatly. Thank you, Dad, for all you have done for our family and our community. You made a difference.”
He is survived by 11 loving children: Barbara (Bob) Reiter, Bloomington, Minn.; Dianne (Keith) Gibson, Dubuque; Cynthia Seelman, Oxford; Chris (Chuck) Rohret and Mary Mascher, all of Iowa City; Coleen (Art) Chipman, North Liberty; Nan Seelman, Grosse Pointe Park, Mich.; Steve Seelman (JoDel Wright) and Tom (Val) Seelman, all of Oxford; Jim (Bev) Seelman , North Liberty; and John Seelman, Oxford; 18 grandchildren: Rick (Heather) Michel, Ross Gibson, Cory Seelman, Amy (Nathan) Nolte, Abbie (Reid) Jensen, Jason (Lyndsey) Mascher, Julia (Nick) Oxley, Laura (Phil) Lockwood, Tony Chipman, Allan Seelman, Angie Seelman, Jeremy (Janeanne) Gerot, Travis Aubrecht, Megan Aubrecht, Kiley Seelman, Amanda Seelman (fiancée Tom Webber), Brett (Erica) Seelman and Megan Seelman; 15 great grandchildren: Mollie, Emily and Bailey Michel, Cooper Seelman, Lucy and Lizzie Nolte, Neva and Milo Jensen, Aden and Cale Mascher, Thomas, Katie, Sarah and William Gerot, and Mason Aubrecht; his sister, Esther (Gerald) Ivancie of Centennial, Colo.; in-laws include Marie Cook and Paul (Geri) Crock, all of Mechanicsville, Leona (Les) Johnson of Denver, Colo., Robert (Cheri) Crock of Cedar Rapids and Martin Golden of Round Rock, Texas; numerous nieces, nephews and extended family.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, Lucille (2001), son, Allan (1971) and siblings, Walter Seelman, Bernice Ebel, and Regina Golden.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.lensingfuneral.com.