Gordon H. Seil


Gordon H. Seil passed away peacefully on Monday, July 9, 2018 at the age of 93.

Born in 1925, Gordon was a lifelong resident of Plainfield Township.  Early in his childhood, along with his older sister, he became a part of the operation of the Seils' livestock and grain farm on Caton Farm Road.  He attended the one-room schoolhouse, Foss School, St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran School, and Joliet Township High School where he played with their award-winning golf team.  At the age of 12, Gordon began his first off-farm job as a caddy at the Crystal Lawns Golf Course, located across from the family farm, where he developed his talent for what would become a lifelong passion for the game.

Gordon’s talents as a musician also revealed themselves in his early years, and he became proficient on the guitar, mandolin, violin, harmonica and accordion, or “squeezebox”.  He often accompanied himself on his guitar with vocal renditions of his favorite cowboy tunes.  He and friends would occasionally play for Saturday night dances at the local Grange Hall and he would continue throughout his life to entertain family and friends with impromptu performances.   His harmonica and squeezebox-playing continued until only a few days prior to his death.

Gordon met Betty Gehrke, the love of his life and wife of 64 years, when she worked as a car hop at the Silver Fross Drive-In in Joliet.  They courted for many years and married in 1949.  

Gordon was a lifelong member of St. Peter Evangelical Lutheran Church in Joliet.  He served there as an Usher and Elder for more than 50 years and was often heard reading the Epistle or Gospel on the church’s radio broadcast during those years.  He also enjoyed his participation as a long-time member of the Joliet Noon Lions Club.  Gordon was nearly a daily visitor to the Donut Den in Joliet where he downed cups of coffee and consumed more than a few donuts.  More importantly, he made and valued many good friends there, the group of which at one time became known as the "cronies".

In the early 1980s Gordon retired from farming, and he and Betty began to travel with trips to Disney World, Europe, and dozens of trips to Las Vegas.  Gordon was always ready for new experiences, and the trips to Las Vegas gave him the opportunity to enjoy the company of a variety of friends and new acquaintances.  When home in Joliet, he followed with great interest the expansion of development along the Essington Road corridor.  Home landscaping and the elimination of any and all invading weeds were passions.  Neighbors at each of his homes would attest to his perfectly manicured lawns and shrubs.  

Gordon will be deeply missed by loved ones who survive him.  He was a beloved dad to David Seil and Darla Seil Tilton, a dear father-in-law to Karen Eller Seil and R. David Tilton, and a proud grandfather to Shawn, Justin, and Kaitlin Seil and Mary Tilton.  He was a fond brother-in-law to Gail and Leroy Papesh, William Andree, and Nancy J. Pohlman, and “Uncle Cy” to numerous nieces and nephews.  

Welcoming Gordon to eternal life with his Lord are loved ones who preceded him in death: his wife, Betty; his parents, Herman and Agnes Sievert Seil; his dear sister, Eleanor Seil Coyne; several brothers and sisters-in-law; two nephews and one niece; and a host of dear friends, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Gordon was the last surviving grandchild of German emigrants, John and Doris Seil, whose original family farm stood in Troy Township on what is now Seil Road.

Visitation for Gordon Seil will be held on Saturday, July 14, 2018, beginning at 8:30 a.m., at the Fred C. Dames Funeral Home, 3200 Black at Essington Rds., Joliet.  The funeral service will begin at 10:30 a.m. and interment will follow at Woodlawn Memorial Park, Joliet.

In lieu of flowers, Gordon’s family knows that he would be honored by memorials to St. Peter Evangelical Lutheran Church Radio Fund, to the Joliet Area Community Hospice, and to the Alzheimer’s Association of Joliet.

For more information, please call 815-741-5500 or visit his Memorial Tribute at www.fredcdames.com