Marine Sgt. E-5, Delta 1/7 Skip Seeley, age 73, Unicoi, ventured into the hereafter on Wednesday, April 24, 2019, while he was surrounded by his loving family at his residence. He was born on August 23, 1945 in the old Appalachian Hospital, Johnson City to the late Earl O. and Lucille Leonard Seeley. Skip grew up in Carter County then, he moved to Unicoi County after he returned from the Vietnam War.
He was a 1963 graduate of Happy Valley High School where he made all conference in football and ran track. Skip was a class officer all four years of high school.
He joined the United States Marine Corps immediately after graduation on The Buddy Plan with Gary Canter and Harold Wilson. Skip's platoon of seventy-five soldiers was known as the Tennessee Volunteer Platoon. He served his country honorably during the Vietnam War. Skip was a very proud veteran of the United States Marine Corps. He was awarded 13 Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation (Civil Actions First Class Color with Palm), Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal with 1960-device, Rifle Sharpshooter Badge, Good Conduct Medal, Bronze Star Medal with Combat “V”, 2 Presidential Citations, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Navy Unit Commendation, Combat Action Ribbon and Vietnam Cross of Gallantry.
Skip also served in The National Guard and Active Marine Reserve. He had three honorable discharges.
He worked as a Brakeman/Conductor for Clinchfield Railroad. Skip worked in Maintenance for eight years with the Veteran's Administration, Mountain Home. He worked construction jobs and prior to his disability retirement, Skip worked on Interstate 26 on the Pipe Crew and as a Powder Man.
Skip was a former Dirt Track Race Car Driver and loved being outside. He helped with the Erwin Little League and was President of Babe Ruth for two years. Skip was instrumental in forming the Erwin Junior Athletic Association (Pee Wee Football) where, he and his wife, Becky worked faithfully for twenty-five years. He along with Gale Dean established Cub Scout Pack 66 of Unicoi.
Skip was a member of Buffalo Valley Christian Church. He was a lifetime member of the DAV, a member of the Erwin American Legion and was a past member of The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his only son, Sam Seeley on May 24, 2004; His best friend, Harold Wilson, who was killed in action during the Vietnam War on March 21, 1966; the mother of his two first born daughters, Peggy Bennett Wright on March 16, 2010.
He leaves behind to cherish his memory, his dearest and best friend, Becky “Brown Eyes” Seeley, his wife of forty-three years; three daughters: "Melena Dawn" Madonna (Todd), West Chester, PA, "Criste Lynn" Seeley May (Dan), Timoniun, MD, Karen “Effie” Seeley, Erwin; one sister, Dawn Freeland (Butch), Dallas, TX; nine grandchildren: Caroline Seeley, Andrew Madonna, Nicholas Madonna, Taylor Gaddy, Aubrey Seeley, Nathan Madonna, Garett Gaddy, Griffin May and Ruby Lucille May; one nephew, Joseph Freeland; special friends, Donald and Lynn Wilson.
The family will receive friends from 5:00-7:00 P.M. on Monday, April 29, 2019 at the Unicoi Funeral Home Chapel. Reverend Garry Edwards and Reverend Roland Whittemore will officiate the 7:00 P.M. funeral service. Clayton Wilson and Skip's daughters will also be speaking. Committal will be held at 11:00 A.M. on Tuesday, April 30, 2019 in Roselawn Memory Gardens. Active pallbearers will be Andrew Madonna, Nicholas Madonna, Nathan Madonna, Griffin May, Garett Gaddy, Clayton Wilson, Joseph Freeland and Andy Gaddy. Donald Wilson, Gary Canter, Gary Blackwell, Stephen Honeycutt and Happy Valley Football Team 1962-1964 will serve as honorary pallbearers. Military Honors will be rendered by Carter County Honor Guard. Everyone is asked to meet at the Unicoi Funeral Home by 10:30 A.M. on Tuesday.
Flowers will be accepted, however, memorial donations can be made in honor of Skip's service to his country to: Carter County Honor Guard, 162 Spiral Vision Road, Elizabethton, TN 37643.
Online condolences, photos and memories may be shared with the Seeley family through our complimentary, interactive Book of Memories at www.ledfordfuneralhomes.com
Unicoi Funeral Home, 4428 Unicoi Drive, Unicoi, is privileged to serve the Seeley family. (423) 743-1380.