Lois's Story

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Lois Ann (Guettinger) Seale passed away peacefully in Cupertino, California, on January 7. Lois is survived by her loving husband of more than 60 years, Thomas (Tom) Arthur Seale (Lt. Col., U.S.A., Ret.). Lois was born in Reardon, Washington, and was raised in Oakland, California, where she graduated from Holy Names College. She played the violin and piano in her younger years. Lois met Tom when both worked at the Oakland Tribune while in college. After college, Lois was employed by the Central Intelligence Agency from 1954 to 1956. Lois and Tom married in 1956. She then taught school in Fort Smith, Arkansas, and in Monterey, California, where Tom was stationed with the United States Army, and later worked at the Honolulu Air Academy.

Lois and Tom travelled the world with their family, living in many different states, as well as Regensburg and Heidelberg, Germany. They lived for more than 25 years in Bangkok, Thailand. In their first six years there, during which Tom served as a diplomatically accredited military attaché with the U.S. Embassy, Lois helped to orient many families new to their own postings in an exciting and demanding city. She also led volunteers at the American Women's Association Thrift Shop, served as a docent at the National Museum, and gave many lectures on Thai ceramics and textiles. During Tom's twenty years with the American Chamber of Commerce in Bangkok after his retirement from the Army, Lois accompanied Tom on annual around-the-world business trips. Together they also traveled to more than 45 countries, including visits to the Great Wall of China and Angkor Wat, as well as the Taj Mahal with their four children.

Tom and Lois lived on Oahu and for some months each year among family and friends in Norman, Oklahoma. Lois was an adventurous, creative spirit. She learned to sail in Pearl Harbor while in her 50s, competing with the Wet Hens, a women's ocean sailing club, when she and Tom lived on Fort Kamehameha at Hickam Air Force Base on Oahu. She delighted in hiking, usually outpacing her companions. She was a master seamstress, having learned to sew at age seven from her grandmother Nancy Adeline (Addie) Cobb Greenway, a first cousin of baseball Hall of Famer Ty Cobb. When her children were young, Lois sewed all of their clothes and sewed tiny clothes for her daughters' Barbie dolls. She later became an expert quilter, making quilts for each of her grandchildren and her great-granddaughter, as well as many art quilts. Lois belonged to several quilting groups in Norman and on Oahu. In addition, she was an enthusiastic member of Norman's Embroidery Guild and of a lei-making group in Honolulu. Her wide-ranging interests and sharp intellect were reflected in her love of reading, art (her favorite painter was Mark Rothko), music (her favorite opera was Carmen and her favorite country-western singer was Johnny Cash), and crossword puzzles. During their years spent in Hawaii, Lois led tours at the University of Hawaii's Lyon Arboretum. She had a life-long love of gardening and of art, which she has passed on to her children.

Lois will be greatly missed by Tom, their four children, and their children's families: Lisa Ann Seale (Norman, Oklahoma), Karen Marie Seale Fung (Cupertino, California), Eric Christopher Seale (Santa Barbara, California), and Claire Marie (Seale) Amspacher (Norman, Oklahoma). Lois loved spending time with her eight grandchildren and her great-granddaughter. Lois was the devoted daughter of two schoolteachers, the late Pauline (Polly) Greenway Guettinger and Oscar John (Jack) Guettinger. She was the eldest of five children and is survived by her two brothers and two sisters, and their families.

As a friend wrote recently, "She was her own person, had her own opinions and expressed them eloquently." Services will be held at St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Norman, Oklahoma, and in Honolulu, Hawaii, at a future date.
Published on January 15, 2017
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