News From Terre Haute, Indiana

November 16, 2012

Pastor Emeritus Robert Lee Seaward


TERRE HAUTE — On Dec. 15, 1942, John Seaward and Elvina Ervin Seaward were blessed with the birth of a son, Robert Lee Seaward. Robert or “Pie or R. L.” received his education in the schools of Berkeley County and graduated from Russellville High School, St. Stephens, S.C., in 1962. Robert will always be remembered as “Pie” the quarterback with the sneak.

Robert (R. L.) was united in holy wedlock to Mary Beth McClennon Dec. 30, 1966. This union was blessed with one son, Robert Lee Jr.

Robert heroically and honorably served his country as a member of the United States Army. 1967—1969. As a member in the 25th Infantry Division and he served in Vietnam in 1967—1968. Robert is a recipient of the Bronze star, an award for heroism and the Purple Heart, an award for having been wounded while serving in Vietnam.

Robert’s Christian pilgrimage began in Calvary Reformed Episcopal Church, in St. Stephen. In the fall of 1969, he became a member of St. John Missionary Baptist Church, in Terre Haute. Robert answered the call to the ministry in May of 1977. He was licensed as a gospel minister in July of 1977 and ordained July of 1978. The Rev. Seaward served as Assistant Pastor of St. John Missionary Baptist church from August of 1978 until August of 1992, after which he went on to become the pastor of Prince of Peace Missionary Baptist Church August 1992 and served until 2009 when he retired due to physical health disorders. He touched many lives especially the youth he encountered and he is well known for saying, “bring me my flowers while I am yet living.”

Robert was an industrious worker and he never let grass grow under his feet. R. L. began working at an early age and held several jobs before going into the service. Post-service he worked at Hammonds Automotive, was a skilled semi-truck driver, and worked at J. I. Case for quite a few years until the company closed. In 2005, R. L. retired from the United States Post Office after working there for 15 or more years. As an entrepreneur, Robert owned and operated Freeway Car Washfor several years. He also developed and maintained his own lawn care business employing various teens throughout the community.

Pastor Emeritus Robert Lee Seaward went home to be with the Lord on Nov. 12, 2012. He was preceded in death by his parents, John Seaward and Elvina Ervin Seaward; two brothers, Henry and Frank Seaward; one sister, Onetha Brown; and granddaughter, Alexis Seaward.

To honor his memory he leaves behind his loving wife and companion of 51 years Mary Beth; son, Robert Lee Jr. (Tamicka); sisters Luttie Bell Hamm, Oneida Smalls, Dorothy Ladson, Ora Lee Dingle, and Lydia Sumpter; brothers, Joseph (Georgiana), Rembert (Geneva), Danzie (Mary), Jack (Delores), and Willie (Beatrice); grandchildren, Shimira, Christopher, Brianna, Amya, Tierra, Terohnfather and mother-in-law, Pastor Melvin and Mother Mary McClennon; sisters-in-law, Barbara Ann (Pastor ) Catherine (Harvey) Smith, and Julia Wright; brother-in-laws, Melvin Jr., the Rev. Sterling (Eartha) Preston and Diarria; and a host of nieces, nephew, cousins, and friends.

R.L was a selfless son of God who was chosen to lead many back to the arms of protection in Christ. Owning up to and being a defined exemplary role model, definition of a devoted son, brother, husband, father, friend, and leader. He never ran across a stranger, yet was proud to have been appointed an adopted Spiritual Father to many sons and daughters in return he tremendously enjoyed his gained grandchildren and great-grandchildren through them.

God appointed an angelic man of Christ Cedric Jones to serve Robert in many more ways than just a personal assistant. During Robert’s critical time of illness, Cedric was a passionate caretaker who relentlessly took care of every need, he sincerely demonstrated he was a devoted adopted son and loving friend.

Services are 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012, at Prince of Peace Missionary Baptist Church, 2415 8th Ave., with viewing from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Russell Funeral Home assisted with arrangements.