Walter Harry Seyter
Walter Harry Seyter, age 85 formerly of Big Flats, New York went to be with the Lord on January 1, 2022, surrounded by his loving wife, daughter, and son-in-law at his home in DeLand, Florida. He waged a gallant and graceful battle against Alzheimer’s disease until his last breath.
Born on June 17, 1936, he was the son of Henry C. and Laura C. Seyter. Walt grew up in the Golden Glow area of Elmira, New York. Walt’s father passed on July 13, 1948, and although he was just 12 years old, Walt went to manage The City Market until its closing in 1967, except for the time he served his country. He graduated high school from Elmira Free Academy in 1955 and began his carpentry apprenticeship, becoming a master cabinet maker. He worked his way up to Assistant Director of Maintenance, Buildings and Grounds of St. Joseph’s Hospital in Elmira, New York, completing a total of 35 years followed by a position as a carpenter at Corning Community College in Corning, New York for 10 years before his retirement in 2000.
Walt was drafted and proudly served in the United States Fifth Army as SP4 E-4 from 1960 – 1962 (active duty) and 1962 – 1966 (Reserves). During his service, he was stationed at Fort Dix, Fort Leonard Wood, Korea, and West Point. He was awarded Marksman Rifleman’s Badge, Expert Rifleman’s Badge, Driver Badge w w/Bar and Good Conduct Medal. He married his sweetheart, Judy Williams, on October 27, 1962, and the two began building their home in Big Flats, New York. They proudly welcomed their daughters, Debra, who arrived in 1963, followed by Barbara, born a year to the date later. The family was blessed with a son, Walter, in 1971.
Growing up, Walt took on major responsibilities as the man of the house; therefore, he had little leisure time, and relished it when it arrived. He made sure his children enjoyed their childhood. He spent many summers driving back and forth to the ballparks to watch his three children playing ball, even when they were on 3 different ball fields. Walt loved going to Keuka Lake and Lamoka Lake to waterski, fish, boat, and picnic. His carpentry skills allowed him to design and build a home for his family, as well as a boat, skis, and discs for the many lake ski trips. He loved to ski slalom and could take off while standing on the end of the dock. Walt and Judy took their family on multiple vacations up and down the East Coast and to various beaches, amusement parks, and historical places – driving to all locations, often stopping at picnic roadside stops, and sometimes with overheated radiators and car repairs along the way. Walt enjoyed deer hunting, which helped supply the family with a year of meat, and was often mistaken as beef steak due to his expert butchering skills. In the winter, his garage transformed into a butcher shop, which allowed other hunters to go to him to butcher their deer. The activity Walt enjoyed more than hunting or going to the lake was “going for a ride,” which was code for going to an ice cream stand. He knew all the best and biggest ice cream shops in town. He would share his 16 oz glass bottle of Pepsi with the kids for a “swig,” but it was well known to all the beloved children – including nieces, nephews, and grandchildren – “no backwash” in his Pepsi. His most enjoyable activity was spending time with his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. He had the most pride in his family and without a doubt would and did anything possible to assist and love them.
Walter was service oriented. He was a proud member of the Golden Glow Volunteer Fire Department and Big Flats Volunteer Fire Department. He was a member of the American Legion in Lakeland, FL and participated in the CAP – Citizen’s Assisted Patrol at Highland Fairways in Lakeland, FL. He was always available to offer a helping hand with his skills to those in need.
Walt excelled at woodworking, skiing, fishing, hunting, gardening, and just about anything he set his mind to do. He never gave up on any task he attempted. He would go the extra mile to “figure it out” or take classes and learn how to complete those tasks. He passed that passion onto his children. His children relied on his advice and knowledge to help fix, build, and repair many different projects. He seemed to know how to do anything and everything from training pets, growing plants/vegetables/fruits, immaculate landscaping, managing financial situations for his family, to playing ball, among other things. In his children’s eyes, he could and did fix everything – his young son was convinced he could even fix the moon. Walt excelled at being a dependable, caring, and loving husband and father.
He was preceded in death by his father, Henry C. Seyter; his mother, Laura C. (Bierweiler) Seyter; his sister, Alice M. (Seyter) Dubois; and his nephew, Daryl W. Dubois. He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Judith V. (Williams) Seyter; three children, daughter Debra (Stephen) Seager of Blacksburg, Virginia, daughter Barbara (Joseph) Divincenzo of DeLand, Florida, and son Walter (Barbara Kehoe) Seyter of Huntersville, North Carolina; six grandchildren, Stephanie (William) Lemp, née Divincenzo of St. Louis, Missouri, Timothy Seager of Cornelia, Georgia, Nicole (David) Cooney of Ladson, South Carolina, Katelynne (Jason) Sims of Hillsville, Virginia, Mathew Divincenzo of DeLand, Florida, and Ava Seyter of Huntersville, North Carolina; two great grandchildren, Kennedy Lemp of St. Louis, Missouri, and Wesson Sims of Hillsville, Virginia; many beloved sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, nieces and nephews.
The service honoring the life of Walter H. Seyter will be held on Friday, January 14, 2022, at 10:00 am at St. Peter Catholic Church, 359 West New York Ave., DeLand, Florida 32720 followed by a reception at Sanborn Center, 815 South Alabama Ave., DeLand, Florida 32724. On Monday, January 17, 2022, he will receive a Military honor burial at Cape Canaveral National Cemetery, 5525 US 1, Mims, Florida 32754 at 10:00am.
In lieu of flowers please make donations in Walt’s honor to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital: