The Rev. Dr. Richard A. Seeley passed away on June 15, 2017.
Mr. Seeley was born in Laconia, New Hampshire in 1935. He graduated from Laconia High School in 1953 and received a B.A. Degree from Gordon College in 1957. He attended Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary and received a B.D. Later, he took more courses and was granted a Master of Divinity degree in 1973. In 1987, he earned a Doctor of Ministry from Eastern.
Mr. Seeley is survived by his wife, Sherideth Cram Seeley, formerly of Pittsfield, NH. The Seeley’s have three children: two sons, Calvin and wife Alisa of Burlington, CT, Karl and wife Jean of Wolcott, CT, and a daughter, Ruth Smith and husband Stephen of Chichester, NH. Mr. Seeley has six grandchildren and two great grandsons. He was predeceased by his older brother, Milton Seeley of Wolfeboro, NH, and is survived by his brother Elden Seeley of Lynn, MA, his sister Elizabeth Mitchell of Chicago, IL, and many nieces and nephews.
Mr. Seeley was active in the Boy Scouts, receiving both the “Eagle Scout” and the “God and Country” awards. He was ordained to the Christian Ministry in June 1960 at South Baptist Church in Laconia, NH. He pastored the Georgia Plains Baptist Church, Georgia, VT (1960-64), the First Baptist Church in Hanover, MA (1964-68), the Baptist Church of Warren in Warren, RI (1968-76), the Bristol Baptist Church in Bristol, CT (1976-88), and the First Baptist Church of Endicott, NY (1988-98).
Mr. Seeley and his wife have led marriage enrichment retreats, inter-generational family enrichment experiences, marital support groups for clergy persons and their spouses, youth education programs, and workshops on Christian Parenting, and Making A Blended Family Work.
Mr. Seeley was active in the community, promoting soup kitchens, emergency housing shelters, fuel banks and food distribution programs for the hungry. He has served on the Citizen’s Advisory Council, Self-Help Inc., and was on the governing board at the Warren Drug Commission and Warren Mental Health Commission, where he was most active in initiating a health program for the community. He was also a major initiator on the Bristol County Fish Program in RI. In 1976, Mr. Seeley was chairman and prime mover of the July 4th Bicentennial Ecumenical Service Planning Committee, in which all the Warren, RI churches participated in a colorful colonial and ethnic procession of banners, flags, and musical pageantry, with a celebrative affirmation service at the community’s park, and concluding with a candlelight ceremony.
The wider mission of the church was always one of Mr. Seeley’s deep concerns. In 1971, he and Sherideth represented American Baptists in RI in a preaching mission in Nicaragua and El Salvador. While in Masaya, Nicaragua, he labored with the local Baptist pastor in the construction of a new mission chapel in San Luis.
Mr. Seeley was active in the affairs of the American Baptist Denomination. At the state level, he served and chaired ABCCONN’s annual meeting, and served on the Nominating, Camping, Executive, Christian Education, and Evangelism Committees, and on the Commission of Christian Leadership Development. He served as Moderator of the Warren Association, the Hartford Association, and the Broom-Tioga Association. He served on the Housing Equity Task Force for the National Ministers Council.
He was active in ecumenical work serving on the Ecumenical Relations Commission of the American Baptist Churches in RI and represented American Baptists on the Faith and Order Commission of the RI Council of Churches.
Over the years of his ministry he had been active in denominational youth work. He served as camp counselor and period camp director for nine years over four states.
Mr. Seeley loved to travel and has taken extensive family camping trips throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. He has been to the Holy Land three times, and arranged a one month pulpit exchange with the pastor of the Tredegarville Baptist Church in Cardiff, Wales. Mr. and Mrs. Seeley have traveled to many countries in Europe and to China where they worshiped at many churches.
Mr. Seeley enjoyed writing. He was published in Foundations journal, and attended a Writer’s Conference at Green Lake. He wrote a book on Children’s Sermons called, How Nice For You To Be In Church. He wrote” A Baptist Catechism” and “The Marriage Manual of the Pastor.”
He had a wide variety of interests and hobbies. He enjoyed gardening, boating, painting, woodworking, cooking, playing the piano, and spending time with his family.
Calling hours will be at Funk’s Funeral Home, 35 Bellevue Ave; Bristol, CT on Friday, June 16 from 7-9 PM. A Memorial Service will be held June 17, 2017 at 11 AM at First Baptist Church, 90 North Main St., West Hartford, CT.
In honor of Richard’s appreciation for his education at Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary a Merit Memorial Scholarship Fund has been established at Eastern in his name. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Eastern University, 1300 Eagle Road, St. David’s, PA 19087 (note his name on the memo line). To share memories or express condolences online, visit www.FUNKFUNERALHOME.com