Daryl K 'Doc' Seaman, the Calgary Flames inspirational co-owner who passed away on Sunday, touched many lives during his 86 years as a lover of sports, a philanthropist, an oilman and a rancher.
"Doc was more than just a doer, he was a connector," said Garnette Sutherland, a University of Calgary neurosurgeon, told the Calgary Herald. "He would bring together all the people needed to make things happen and he'd give his time, energy, commitment to the things he believed in."
Sutherland is one of many throughout Calgary, Alberta and Canada who praised Seaman's community-oriented work which stretched from medical research to the building of outdoor rinks.
Seaman died Sunday of complications from prostate cancer.
Seaman was instrumental in bringing the Flames NHL franchise to the city in 1980 and remained one of the Flames original owners until his passing. He was very involved in amateur sports, a decorated war veteran and had received the Order of Canada and the Alberta Order of Excellence.
Tonight, prior to the Flames game against St. Louis, the team will hold a pre-game tribute ceremony to Seaman.
Former Flame Jim Peplinski told the Calgary Herald Seaman was much more than just a past employer, he became to be a lifelong friend and mentor.
Peplinski remembered meeting Doc for the first time when Seaman and fellow team owners Harley Hotchkiss and brother B. J. Seaman visited the locker-room after a game.
"They would drop by, win or lose. Doc was my first experience with someone who was so even-keeled, no matter if things were going good or going badly," said Peplinski, who was at the hospital Sunday with Seaman and his family.
Seaman is survived by his four adult children, Robert, Kenneth, Gary and Diane, seven grandchildren and one great grandchild.
Funeral services for Seaman, will be held at First Alliance Church (12345 – 40 Street S.E.) on Friday, January 16, 2009 at 2:30 P.M.
Forward condolences through www.mcinnisandholloway.com.
In lieu of flowers, memorial tributes may be directed to:
The Seaman Family Septic Shock Research Fund
The Calgary Foundation
999 – 8 Street S,W.
Or online at The Calgary Foundation
Below please find some of the many kind thoughts and words about Seaman and links to the complete stories in the local media.
From the Calgary Sun
Even though his passion remained more of an internal fire, the players got a sense of what he was about from stories passed down from others in the ownership group and former coaches.
"It is nice, as players, to have that contact, to see the ownership group and see that they are passionate about hockey," said current captain Jarome Iginla. "As a young group of guys, he's definitely someone you looked up to. He was a great example for us."
The bad news was stunning to Iginla, who last saw Seaman around the holidays.
"He was active, looked strong and in a good mood. Happy with the way the team was going," said Iginla.
"It was surprising news for us as players."
The team's first coach, Al McNeil, made the move from Atlanta and immediately discovered the joy of the new ownership.
"There was an accountability all the time, but never was he hard to handle or hard to be with," said McNeil, who has remained a part of the team even after Bob Johnson took over head coaching duties in 1982.
"He was a great owner in the sense he let the guys he hired do their jobs."
Read the complete story
From the Calgary Herald
"He was a very impressive fellow, he had huge energy, huge drive. He embodied the innovation and risk-taking spirit that we've tried to instil at the university,"said University of Calgary president Harvey Weingarten,"and it all came in a very humble package."
Seaman made many donations to the school, including $2 million, along with his brothers, B.J. and Don, to establish the Seaman Family MR Research Centre in 2001. Last year he donated $500,000 to the U of C to fund scholarships for student athletes.
Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach called Seaman "a great Albertan and a great Canadian" and noted that Season had entered into an agreement with the province to have 40 square kilometres leased by his OH Ranch set aside as protected heritage land. "He was a generous man who respected our shared history and heritage, and believed in the good stewardship of our resources."
Read the complete story
From the Flames family
“I’ve lost a dear friend of 55 years and I have lost the best partner a man could have," said fellow Flames owner, lifetime friend and business associate Harley Hotchkiss
"People should know that the Flames were Doc’s initiative and Doc’s idea. There would have been no Flames in Calgary were it not for Doc. Those who care about our team and the game owe him a debt of gratitude.”
“If anyone is looking for inspiration or a hero; they can stop looking, Doc Seaman should be the choice," said Ken King, President & CEO of the Flames.
“Doc was a great visionary about the game and everything that applies to sport and life. He knew and appreciated the Canadian value of hockey, the tradition of the game and what’s important. He was always our rock," noted Calgary Flames general manager Darryl Sutter.
"Doc Seaman lived a life of devotion to his family, to his community and to hockey -- not only through the initiative that brought the Flames to Calgary but also through his commitment to youth hockey," said NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. "The National Hockey League will dearly miss his friendship, his wisdom and his support. We send heartfelt condolences to his loved ones and his friends."