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It is with great sadness that I must report the passing of my father, Van Seymore. He passed away at Grand Blanc's Genesys Hospital on Saturday, November 12, 2005 due to complications from a heart attack and subsequent stroke. He was 70 years old.

Dad was born in 1935 in a small town in the "boot heel" of Southeast Missouri. His mother died when he was 6 years old, after which he was raised by his grandparents until moving to Michigan in 1953. He hired into the Chevrolet Flint V8 plant in 1955 before getting a die maker's apprenticeship at the Chevrolet Flint Manufacturing Plant. He was a diemaker for approximately 26 years, making fuel tanks, radiator grills, oil pans and other components for GM passenger cars and light trucks. He also made many experimental parts, including special rocker arms and air cleaners for Zora Arkus Duntov's use as well as many components for the original Mark II "Mystery Engine", which was to be developed into today's Chevrolet "big block" engine.

Dad finished his GM career in the salaried ranks by joining the Chevrolet-Pontiac-Cadillac "Advanced Manufacturing" group. Some of the advancements he championed while working in this group were the use of laminated steel, the adhesive bonding of aluminum components and "space frame" construction frames for experimental Corvettes and Fieros. Along with two other associates he is one of the GM patentholders for the now famous "hydroform" process, where steel tubing is formed by injecting high pressure oil into the die. He retired in 1988 after 35 years.

Perhaps Dad's most famous endeavors were his racing activities. He started drag racing in approximately 1956, racing his family car on the weekends. He progressed through a series of street cars, mostly Ford models, until entering a relationship with Pontiac Motor Division and Ace Wilson's Royal Pontiac in 1963. He rotated through a string of interesting "one off" vehicles, including an aluminum package '63 Catalina, a '64 GTO mule vehicle, a '66 Tempest OHC Sprint and a '68 GTO hardtop. The queen of the fleet, however, was his lightweight '65 GTO, which was in his ownership at the time of his passing and which will remain in the family. He was a lifetime member of the Widetrackers Chapter of the Pontiac Oakland Club International and the Royal Pontiac Club of America.

Dad also served in the Michigan National Guard from the time he moved to Michigan until September of 1964. He was a graduate of the first "Officer's Candidate" school and was Honorably Discharged at the rank of Second Lieutenant - Infantry.

He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Pat; my sister Jenny as well as myself and 8 grandchildren.

Arrangements will be handled by Allen Funeral Home in Davison, Michigan.
 

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Wow Keith I'm sorry for your loss but I envy who your father was to you...... (and we know you will see him again) What a role model you had to grow up with!!!...I know your heart hurts now.......but remember your Father will live on in you forever.......he will be with you in every pass you make.....You were truely blessed with him........I will uplift you in Prayer to help you thru the next days :cry:
 

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Your father experienced a very full life, Kieth. As the world in you mourns his passing, remember he is at the ultimate race track where all racers win.

God Bless you all with the Grace of Strength to get through the hard time.
 

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I'm back -

Thanks everyone. Your thoughts and prayers were (are) an encouragement to me during this time.

Special thanks to Mike Tritle and Mark Walter for making the long trip for the funeral, and to Scott Williams for being there for me.


K
 

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You're welcome, Kieth. I would like to say that Van's was the most touching and inspiring service I've ever experienced. He and your family are truly blessed folks!

Oh, and then there was food! (I think some of your humor rubbed off)

God Bless,
Mike
 

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Mike Tritle said:
...Oh, and then there was food! (I think some of your humor rubbed off)

God Bless,
Mike
Ha!

"...other than that, how did you like the play, Mrs Lincoln?". :D
 

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Mike Tritle said:
You're welcome, Kieth. I would like to say that Van's was the most touching and inspiring service I've ever experienced. He and your family are truly blessed folks!
Mike
Thank you. I agree.

K
 

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Wow sorry to hear about your loss Kieth. I was fortunate enough to meet your dad a while back and was very glad that I did, he was a very nice man. I wish I could have attended the funeral but was out of town.

We'll keep you and your family in our prayers Keith.

Chris
 

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Keith, very sorry to hear about your loss.


John Sears
 
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