George Kenneth Seaton, father of Paul Seaton, passed on peacefully at home on March 14, 2013, with family by his side. Born Feb. 7, 1909, Ken had recently celebrated his 104th birthday with a family reunion at his home in California. He was a remarkable man, loved and admired by many — a role model for family and friends alike.
Ken was born in Leavenworth, Kan., but the family soon moved to Missouri where Ken grew up on a farm with his sister Lorrine. He attended school in a one-room schoolhouse for grades 1-8. A brother, Elwyn, was born on Ken’s 12th birthday. Ken drove his sister in a horse-drawn buggy to high school where he played basketball and was a good student, excelling in math.
In 1940, Ken met his wife, Lois Ladd Mitchell, while they were each on vacation in Yosemite National Park. They were married a month later. Ken went to work at Lockheed in Burbank, Calif., working to install parts on the World War II Hudson bomber and later on the P38. During this time, their first child, Elaine Ladd, was born. In 1945, Ken and Lois moved to Oxnard, Calif., where Ken would work as a parts manager for his brother-in-law’s GMC/Packard dealership. Their second child, Paul Kenneth, was born.
Ken and Lois built their first apartments in 1948. They did much of the work themselves and named their six little units a combination of their names – Kenlo Court. Ken retired from the parts dealership in 1952 and continued buying or building apartment units, which kept him busy fulltime as owner, manager, tax accountant, electrician, plumber, painter, roofer, carpenter and gardener. Ken sold his last apartments in 2006 and retired at the age of 96. Being owner and manager of apartments gave Ken opportunities to know a lot of families over the years. It was not unusual for good people to fall on hard times, and Ken was patient and understanding when they could not pay the rent — and he was impressed by their strength of character and loyalty as they found ways to catch up on their rent.
Ken and Lois were avid square dancers for 47 years. Travel was a big part of their lives with a favorite destination being Alaska, where Paul and his family lived. Ken helped to build three houses in Alaska over the years, one each in Seward, Anchor Point and Kachemak City. He and Lois enjoyed traveling in their motorhome across the country and to national parks such as Yosemite and Yellowstone.
Throughout his years in Oxnard, Ken was very active in local churches, and his handyman services were greatly appreciated. He gave unselfishly of his time and talent and enjoyed the many special friendships he made along the way. Ken had a prolific fig tree and was known for sharing his figs and still making jam at 102. Ken contributed to the well being of the southern Kenai Peninsula through a family advised fund with Homer Foundation.
Cruises with extended family became a favorite birthday celebration starting in his late 90s. His last cruise was to Alaska in 2012 with his daughter and son-in-law. His son Paul and wife Tina met Ken in Juneau and gave him a VIP tour of the State Capitol where Paul is a member of the Legislature.
Ken will be greatly missed by his family. He is survived by his daughter, Elaine Boynton, and her husband Jim of West Hills, Calif., and son Paul Seaton and wife Tina of Homer; grandchildren Sharon Ross (Cary) and Janet Ladd (David) of California; Tawny Reynolds (Shaun) of Minneapolis, and Rand Seaton of Homer; great-grandchildren Julia and Marley Ross, Ani and Zoe Ladd, and Hazel Reynolds.
A memorial service to celebrate Ken’s amazing life and character will be held on Saturday, March 23, 2013, in California. All those who knew Ken and would like to join the family in a celebration of his life are invited to send a prayer and a big thank-you thought for his wonderful life with us.