Coaches, athletes, athletic directors, members of the press and generally anyone who knew Don offered their fond memories of a "good guy."

 Don hanging out at the Boys Lacrosse All-Star game at Pottsgrove High School the night before he died.

- Steve Leinert, Delco Times

 "I'm on the wrestling beat and before going to regionals or states this year, (guys from the Delco sports department) told me it was my first year and I'd have to buy Don dinner.

I'm not some new kid out of college. I said, 'There's no way. This guy is getting a happy meal.'

I met him, we were joking back and forth and I said, I heard I had to buy dinner.

He said, 'I only did that that to (Delco Times reporter) Matt Chandik last year.'

He was just the nicest guy to me all year. He treated me great and I was looking forward to a lot more years working beside him."

- Eric and Mary Kay Koetteritz

"What a loss. 

Raising five athletic children through the Pottsgrove school, we looked forward daily to Don’s columns – his wit and insight.  

He always made time to converse whether on the job or off.  He will be missed.   

We have kept up with the Mercury on-line even though we moved 5 years ago – and yes, to read Don’s columns.  May we all be inspired to be better people, make time for others, and seek to do good and inspire others like Don has.

- John Lee, Royersford

"I graduated with Don from Spring-Ford High in 1968.  However, I was a classmate of Don’s all the way back to 1st grade at Upper Providence Consolidated school.  A particular memory of Don came to me almost immediately after I heard of his passing today.

I believe we were in 5th grade and one day our regular teacher was out sick and to our surprise Mrs. Seeley was our substitute teacher.  Don was normally the class comedian but with his mother as the substitute teacher he took his comedy into hyper mode.  Finally Mrs. Seeley had enough and just lost it and began yelling at him.  Undeterred, Don just kept telling jokes and making us laugh.  Finally his mother got so frustrated that her ranting at him turned into laughter and she said she gave up.  The whole class burst  into hysterical laughing.  Yes this is the same Don Seeley who became our class president and went on in life to achieved a lot of success!

Don will be missed."

- Bob Bush, nephew

"Don was my uncle...  he was Uncle Donnie to us kids back in the day.  The first 14 years of my life (1960-1974) were in Pottstown and Warminster, we got to see a lot of Uncle Donnie back then.  He was always funny and goofy around us kids.  But my biggest memory of Uncle Donnie was when he was a baseball player.  I was just a little leaguer, but a very avid baseball fan.  It might have been American Legion ball, I don't recall.  But he was a big, tall southpaw and apparently very highly touted back then.  I remember sitting on the bench at some of his games and hearing the other team cat-calling him "Hollywood" when he was on the mound.  I had also heard back then that he had once had a tryout with both the Phillies and the Mets.  I was so proud of my uncle!

Sadly, it has been a number of years since I'd last seen him.  I regret not being able to give him one last BIG hug."
 - Mike Leister

"I heard the news today about Don's passing and like everyone who knew him I'm shocked and saddened.  I met and knew Don through high school wrestling.  I created and run the website (and its other incarnations over the years) as well has help out with Boyertown wrestling.  For the past several years I sat alongside Don at many of the post-season wrestling tournaments as I was updating results online...I can say that going to tournaments will just never be the same.  Just a few weeks ago I met with Don and another friend in wrestling about gathering results from old tournaments as well as helping Don gather info for a wrestling book he was thinking about writing.

This past February, I helped run the first ever PAC-10 Wrestling Championships tournament that Boyertown hosted.  Before the finals took place, the PAC-10 coaches presented Don with a plaque for his passion and support of PAC-10 wrestling over the many years he covered the sport.  I was able to get Don and the coaches to pose for a quick photo.  I can't remember if anyone from the Mercury got a photo or if one was published in the Mercury.  If you want a copy of the photo I took, I can email it to you."

- Bob and Lisa Dries

"In June of 1975 my wife Lisa and I were moving into our first home on Char-Mar Lane in Royersford. We were so excited to be in this brand new neighborhood. Apparently our Irish Setter "Casey" was as well. As we unloaded the moving van Casey ran over to the neighbors yard and took a steak that was cooking on a grill. You guessed it, that's how Lisa and I met Don. He was not upset at all but said, "What a way to meet neighbors." 

Don will be missed by many from all walks of life. As the years went on and someone talked about Don writng an article, speaking at a benefit or encouraging a young athlete, Lisa and I can proudly say we knew him. 
[ We did replace the steak ]." 

- Denny Kellon, former coach and current chairman of Division I wrestling

"It has been quite an honor to know Don and count him as a friend. He always downplayed his knowledge of the sport but knew it very well. He appreciated all athletes but the wrestlers gained a special place in his writings. The success of wrestling in the Pottstown area in part has been because of his coverage of the sport. The wrestling coaches are proud to have served as a wingman for Don. We were blessed by his friendship and coverage and will miss him dearly. Our thoughts and prayers are with him, his family and friends."

- Al Gnoza, ABC 27, Harrisburg

"I ran into Don frequently at local sporting events when I did stuff for PCTV. Also ran into him at Wawa very frequently for some reason. He just seemed like the perfect guy to be covering our local sports. He loved sports, he cared about the kids, and it was never about him. He did not seem to be in it for the attention. And he was just a lot of fun. Just a great down to earthy guy. It always seemed to add more significance to the game when I saw Don Seeley there.  The fans and athletes of this area are extremely lucky to have had him cover local sports for any length of time, let alone for as long as he did."

- James Wagner, athletic director, Ursinus College

"All of Ursinus is saddened at the loss of Don. During his time as sports editor, he did a great job covering our student-athletes.

I guess a few memories of Don that I had were his emails all in CAPS on Monday asking for head shots, his weekly college columns that us as SIDs enjoy and his wrestling columns. He also traveled to Salem when our men's basketball team made the NCAA semifinals. The sports department is carrying on his legacy by great coverage of high school and college student athletes. They don't make newspapermen like him anymore."

- Theresa Hinaman

"Don, it was a pleasure to have the chance to work with you at the Mercury, and be entertained by your crazy antics at many of school sport functions, you will be missed by eveyone. You had a heart of gold, and a soft side you tried to hide...what a guy!"


- Rod Frisco, former wrestling writer with the Harrisburg Patriot-News

"Over the last two decades, Don Seeley became the go-to guy for District 1 wrestling coverage for many reasons, but one in particular:  He was, at once, both relentless and passionate in his coverage of the sport.  Don's coverage of Mercury-area schools and District 1 was top-notch, and I am convinced that there is a correlation to the recent improvement in Mercury-area wrestling programs because of Don's intense and thorough coverage.

In short, he made wrestling and wrestlers feel important in an area where other sports had long won the public attention.  He did so with a personal reporting style that was an interesting mix of the contrarian and the compassionate.  He was well aware that he was reporting news about teenagers and showed the proper respect to both.

We in the wrestling community are completely saddened by Don's sudden passing, but will remember his gruff charm and commitment to his craft.  But mostly, we will remember him as a friend."
- Brad Wilson, Easton Express-Times
"I am the wrestling writer for The (Easton) Express-Times and have covered scholastic events with Don for 20-plus years.

Don was a generous and warm-hearted friend who had the best sense of humor of anybody I ever knew. He was devoted to the sport of wrestling and loved telling kids' stories in an uplifting and positive manner. He hated unfairness and miscarriages of justice and always wanted things done the right way.

His battle against cancer inspired everyone he met; somehow he kept smiling  during what had to be considerable pain and agony.

It breaks my heart that I have laughed at one of Don's jokes for the last time. He was a great friend and a fine man. The Mercury's and the community's loss is overwhelming. and you all have my deepest sympathy. Goodbye to a unique and memorable man."
- Edward Kracz, Eagles beat writer,
"We met when I was a high school wrestler and football player for Phoenixville in the late 1970s.  I wrestled for Lonny Moore who is a good friend of Don's to this day.
Don interviewed me a few times after competitions, but wrote a feature story about me in my junior year of wrestling which would have been 1979.
I can remember being nervous, but Don put me at ease right away with a few jokes - none of which I can remember, except they were clean.
It wasn't until later that I got to know Don better when I heard the not so clean jokes. He was a character and a mentor. When I started out at what was then the Evening Phoenix taking results over the phone and stringing games I got to know Don better. I would see him on the high school trail, mostly at wrestling matches, but football, too.
When I had an opportunity to become a full time freelancer at the Philadelphia Inquirer Neighors section in the late 1980s, I asked Don what he thought of being a sportswriter.
He said, 'I'll never be rich, but I'll never dread going to work either. Every day is different, and that's what makes it great.'
Similar words I've imparted to many and have heard from others since. I took his advice and have been in the sportswriting game full time since 1986.
Every winter for the past 10 years or so I have trekked to Hershey and would see him there at the state wrestling meet. I had worked for a couple of out of town newspapers and was away for nearly 10 years when I saw Don again in the early 2000s, and it was like nothing had changed.
He has a way of putting you at ease. Always did. He was a loyal friend.
My son had a very good wrestling campaign last year as a sophomore heavyweight at Pennridge High School, and Don sent me an email with some kind words about my son.
I'll miss him. I'll miss his one-of-a-kind personality."
- Robert N. Cloud, Spring-Ford classmate
"I remember him as a bright student and into the school's athletic sports programs, and I never saw him pick or bully on others.

After high school, he sold me my second and third cars while he was a car salesman at the Keyser Miller Ford Dealer located in Collegeville.
He was a good person with a better soul. May he rest in peace in some golf realm."
- Dennis Deitch, Delco Times Phillies beat writer

"Sad to hear about the passing of Don Seeley, a terrific local writer at Pottstown, particularly wrestling. Just way, way too young." (Via Twitter.)

- Kevin Cooney, Phillies beat writer,
"Don Seeley was a giant for those of us who covered high school sports in PA and one of the best gentlemen I've met." (Via Twitter.)

- Phil Heron, Delco Times editor-in-chief
"Here's to raising a glass to one-of-a-kind, old-school, ex-Pottstown Mercury Sprts editor Don Seeley...just a classic newspaperman." (Via Twitter.)

-Jim Vaughn, WFMZ

"Read him all the time growing up in Upper Perk. A true pro. He will be missed." (Via Twitter.)

- Andrew Scanlan, Spring-Ford grad, Northwestern University wide reciever

"Thank you for all you've done for not only me but the entire Spring-Ford community. Such a genuine guy." (Via Twitter.)

Bob Weiser, Delco Times news editor
"Don was a legend who loved what he did. Most people get into sports writing with aspirations of covering professional sports. Maybe Don did, too, at one point, but you could tell he loved covering sports in the Pottstown area and wouldn't have traded it for anything in the world. He loved high school sports and the athletes, from football to wrestling, to American Legion baseball and everything in between. He was a true professional and gave his all no matter the assignment. We should all be so lucky as to be as professional as Don Seeley."


1 comment:

  1. My name is Ross Smith and I met Don back in 1984. I just talked to him on Sunday about some football stuff he was working on. We went all over the country together. He taught me how to keep football stats. There was our tour of the state of Oregon and out in Oklahoma when Bob Ellis and i would bang on his door no matter what time. Or the times he was getting dangerously close to Deadline and I would take every last chance to remind him. I will miss our Friday morning phonecalls when he and I would talk about whatever game he was going to and him asking me about the Bears. I have lost a friend today. His Wife and children have lost a great husband and father. His grandson has lost a great grandfather. We never started any discussion on the telephone without him telling me how Dane did in his baseball game or how well he was doing in school. He was so proud of him. The best friends you make are on a sporting filed and I am a better person for having Don for a friend.