Howard G. Seebach, of Livermore, passed away from heart failure at the Heritage Estates retirement community on Thursday, Jan. 23. He was 89.
He was born Aug. 18, 1930, in Germantown, Pennsylvania, to Louis and Mildred Godfrey Seebach. Howard and his family moved frequently due to his father’s career with DuPont, but he spent many years in Wilmington, Delaware, and graduated from Wilmington Friends School, and later from the University of Delaware. He spent summers at YMCA Camp Tockwogh, in Worton, Maryland, and later served on the camp’s board of directors.
He was stationed in Germany with the U.S. Army during the Cold War, serving as a second lieutenant and company commander with the 510th Tank Battalion at Mannheim Army Base in Heidelberg, and later as captain and commanding officer of a Basic Training Company, where one of his recruits was Elvis Presley. It was in Germany that he met Alma Stevens, an American schoolteacher also assigned the base at Mannheim. They were married in 1956 and had four children.
After an honorable discharge from the military, Howard earned an M.B.A. from Cornell University and joined the DuPont Company in 1960, where he worked in a variety of executive sales and marketing positions over a 30-year career. After leaving DuPont in 1990, Howard and his second wife, Emilie, started a sales-meeting planning business, Seebach & Seebach.
Howard made many contributions to the communities in which lived. In the early 1960s, he was founder and president of the Foundation of Oyster Bay, in Oyster Bay, New York, which started a Headstart preschool program and post-high school education fund for underserved children. After moving to Pleasanton, California, he served as a Parks & Recreation Department commissioner and Civic Arts commissioner, helping establish the Firehouse Theater.
As a young man, he acted in theatrical productions at the Robin Hood Theater, now the Candlelight Theater, in Ardentown, Delaware, where he worked with such accomplished actors, writers and directors such as Jack Klugman, Tony Perkins, Barbara Bel Geddes, and Arthur Miller.
Howard was also active in his Presbyterian church community. It was at a church in Dallas, Texas, that he met his second wife, Emilie Green. Howard and Emilie were married in 1988, and lived in Pleasanton, California, for 30 years. He and Emilie enjoyed traveling, from sailing trips with friends from the First Presbyterian Church of Concord, to their annual trips to Oregon for the Shakespeare Festival. She was his soulmate and his life lost some sparkle after she passed away in 2012.
Howard loved telling a story, reciting limericks (often off color), and a good joke. Usually, the story featured an adventure or mishap from his life in school, the Army, the DuPont Company, sailing trips, church, or one of the adventures he shared with Emilie. His family was very important to him and he traveled to visit his children wherever they lived.
He is survived by his children, Steven (Mary Jane) Seebach; Cathy Seebach (Ted) Rigl; Jayne Seebach (Tad) VanDusen; and David Seebach; a stepson, Ron (Donna) Green; 15 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, as well as his first wife, Alma Stevens Seebach Bergmann.
Howard was predeceased by his brother George Louis Seebach; his second wife, Emilie Green Seebach; and Emilie’s two daughters, Lori Tittle and Lisa Hector.
One of his favorite quotations, from Hunter S. Thompson, was, “Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty, well-preserved body, but rather to skid-in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, proclaiming, wow what a ride!”
A Celebration of Life, followed by a reception, will be held at 1 p.m., on Saturday, Feb. 8, at Livermore Presbyterian Church. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to a scholarship fund at YMCA Camp Tockwogh, www.ymcacamptockwogh.org. Callaghan Mortuary is handling arrangements and an online guestbook is available for condolences at www.callaghanmortuary.com.