Douglas R. Seymour Sr. (1940 - 2014)

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Florida native, Douglas R. Seymour Sr., unexpectedly joined the heavenly choir Feb. 5, 2014. Doug was born June 30, 1940, and raised in DeFuniak Springs, Fla. A graduate of Walton High School, Doug married his high school sweetheart, Phyllis, on Sept. 1, 1958, before joining the military. He served eight years in the United States Air Force as a cryptologist during the Vietnam era, cementing his love for his country thereby imparting a deep patriotism to his children and grandchildren.
After military service, Doug graduated Jones Business College (Orlando, Fla.) and successfully worked in the retail management and insurance fields for many years, but found his true mission in life by answering the call to ministry at age 30. He set off with his large family on pure faith to follow this call, taking him through Candler School of Theology and Emory University to prepare him to serve in many churches all over Georgia, North West Florida and Alabama.
He served 30 years as a Methodist Minister; a true shepherd for his congregation, sharing a Christ-like love and empathy with each member from the youngest to the oldest. A gifted Bible teacher, Doug shared a deep understanding of the Bible, with a gift for scripture recall, helping many grow deeper in their own understanding of God's plan. His children often referred to him as a "walking concordance;" frequently called by his grandchildren to help with homework in Bible classes and even settle a few disputes. He instilled scripture and music in his children and grandchildren at a very young age by singing scripture songs on long car trips, usually in three or four part harmonies.
Doug also had a passion for the arts; singing and painting were life-long hobbies. Influenced greatly by his aunt and well-known organist, Emily Dannelly (DeFuniak Springs, Fla.) Doug loved singing in his full Irish style, including old gospel songs or better yet, the annual Christmas Cantata. Seashells or Sand Dollars frequently became a blank canvas resulting in meticulously detailed and colorful artwork. A sports enthusiast, Doug coached his boys through Little League baseball and then chose the Florida Gators as his favorite college team.
Doug enjoyed the classic movies of John Wayne as well old war movies, all of which appealed to his patriotic side. He loved spending time with life-long friends, whether reminiscing about stories of their crazy pranks and adventures or just sharing the latest news on their grandchildren. He also enjoyed a competitive game of cards, be it Pinochle, Canasta, Hearts, Spades, as singles or pairs…he was a master! Doug lived a joyful life, loving his family, his friends, his country and his Lord the best he knew how.
Pre-deceased by his grandparents, J. Ross and Ida Helms, Grandma Spires; parents, Walter Ethan Seymour, Bill and Jeanne C. (Helms) Lanham; and siblings, Donald S. Seymour and June Lanham Rudes.
Survived by his devoted wife of 54 years, Phyllis Elaine Turner Seymour (Santa Rosa Beach, Fla.); mother-in-law, Bertha Beardsley (Fort Walton Beach, Fla.) his brothers, the Rev. John D. Lanham and wife, Carlene Lanham (Clarksville, Tenn.), and Legare and Betty Spires (DeFuniak Springs, Fla.); his children, Douglas R. Seymour, Jr., (San Antonio, Texas) Simone Archer Vance (Fort Walton Beach, Fla.) Robert E. Seymour (San Antonio, Texas), and Valerie (Boggs)Beardsley and husband, Tom Beardsley Jr. (Middletown, Del.); his grandchildren, Amber Archer Day, Jason Day, Mia Vance, Spencer Vance, Robert B. Seymour, Brianna Seymour, Tom P. Beardsley, Christopher Beardsley, Chloe Boggs, Evan Boggs Jr., Savannah Boggs, and Kylie Boggs; his great-grandchildren, Harper Day and Turner Day; and his nieces and nephews, John D. Lanham Jr. (Clarksville, Tenn.), Zack and Jennie M. Lanham Wishard (Clarksville, Tenn.), Julie Rudes (South Carolina), Grover and Marie Spires Purnell (Daphne, Ala.), Ralph Spires (DeFuniak Springs, Fla.), John Spires (DeFuniak Springs, Fla.), and Phillip Spires (DeFuniak Springs, Fla.).
A Funeral Service will be held at Good News United Methodist Church, Santa Rosa Beach, Fla., on Saturday, Feb. 15, at 1 p.m., officiated by the Rev. Chris Perry and the Rev. Douglas Newton with a life celebration to follow. No tears aloud. Private graveside services with full military honors will be held Monday at Barrancas National Cemetery in Pensacola, Fla., officiated by the Rev. Kenneth Straughn. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Wounded Warriors Project at
To share memories and express condolences, please visit
Funeral Home
Emerald Coast Funeral Home
161 Racetrack Rd NW
Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547
(850) 864-3361
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Published Online in Northwest Florida Daily News on Feb. 11, 2014
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