Cover photo for John  Anthony  Seyda 's Obituary
John  Anthony  Seyda  Profile Photo
1931 John 2022

John Anthony Seyda

January 8, 1931 — July 29, 2022

John A. Seyda age 91 of Durham, NC passed away peacefully at  Croasdaile Village Pavilion on July 29, 2022 of prostate cancer.  John was born January 8, 1931 in Hammond, Indiana, delivered at 9 a.m. by a Polish midwife.  He was the son of Polish immigrants Mary (Kosakowska) and Anthony Seyda, grandson of Rosalja (Gorczyca) and Jan Kosakowski; and Marianna (Kozicka) and Alexander Sejda.  He was married for 62 years to his beloved wife Alice (Kowalik) Seyda (d. 2017).

In grade school, John was an altar boy at St. Mary’s church, a mushroom picker and noted vaudeville fan.  On Sunday afternoons he rode the bus with Frankie Stoming carrying a pork chop sandwich to 35th and Shields in Chicago to watch White Sox double headers.  At Bishop Noll High School he played Varsity football, basketball and ran track, setting a state record. He graduated in 1949.


He left with one suitcase for Holy Cross College in Worcester, MA on a football scholarship. A half-back in the starting line-up, he went up against Ivy League competition including Yale and Harvard.  After graduating in 1953 with a B.S. in marketing and business administration, he was stationed in Germany for 2 years as a corporal in the U.S. Army.  In Europe he went to jazz clubs, skied in St. Moritz, saw Josephine Baker at the Moulin Rouge, gazed at the Sistine Chapel in Rome and saw the Folies Bergère cabaret in Paris.  

On July 30, 1955 he married Alice Kowalik.  They  met on the steps of St. Casimir’s church during Easter week through his friends John and Delores Angus.  The first week they met they saw ‘Bedtime for Bonzo,’ jitterbugged at Madura Danceland in Whiting and hit the 501 Club, a polka joint in Hegewisch.  After a wedding in sweltering heat, they had cake and coffee at Mary Kowalik’s home, Alice’s mother, on Johnson Street.  

In 1957, he landed an inside sales position with Federated Metal, re-locating five years later to Detroit as a district sales manager.  In 1971 John moved the family to Franklin, WI near Milwaukee where he oversaw tin and lead alloys, zinc, copper and aluminum products.  He established 200 new accounts and over $5 million in sales.  From 1995-2006 he worked for Gardiner and Victory White Metals.  In 1990 John and Alice moved to Las Vegas, NV where they eventually retired.  After his wife’s death, he relocated to Croasdaile Village Retirement Community in Durham, NC to be near his two daughters.  

An avid golfer, fisherman, theater and music lover, he saw Guy Lombardo at the Roosevelt Hotel in NYC, Louis Prima at the Sahara, had cocktails at the Bellagio piano bar, played 18 holes at Pebble Beach, took his family on fishing expeditions to Red Lake, Canada and Alaska.  He liked Scott Joplin, Fats Waller and Tuba Skinny.  His favorite Broadway musical was ‘My Fair Lady’.  He and Alice loved the track and owned several racehorses.  Fearless adventurers, they took their kids to China, Greece, Poland, Hungary, Canada, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Austria, Italy and Costa Rica.

John had a great love of food.  He liked a double cheeseburger and fries from In-N-Out Burger, lobster in black bean sauce from HK Star, sauerbraten and apple strudel from Karl Ratzsch’s, pan-fried lake perch from Phil Smidt’s, sausage pizza from John’s in Calumet City, eggs St. Charles with crispy fried gulf fish, creamed spinach and hollandaise sauce at Brennan’s in New Orleans, mushroom pierogi in Warsaw, smoked salmon with fried onions and scrambled eggs at Barney Greengrass in NYC, flash-fried flounder at Salt Box in Durham, and the infamous gyros before Badger football games at the Parthenon.

He was a dedicated coach for St. Joan of Arc, Pee Wee baseball, Little League, CYO (Catholic Youth Organization) basketball and a part-time referee.  John will be remembered forever by the Avalon gang in St. Clair Shores where he packed rowdy kids like sardines into a black Plymouth station wagon for Detroit Tiger baseball games.

John was a devoted husband, father and grandfather and will be greatly missed.  He is survived by six children: Mary Jean Seyda (Maggie McGlynn) of Chapel Hill, NC, Barbara Seyda of Tucson, AZ, Beth Seyda (Mark Tachman) of Chapel Hill, NC, Timothy Seyda of Amelia Island, FL, , John Michael Seyda (Shannon Arnold Seyda) of Stirling, NJ and James Seyda (Michael Carignan) of Portland, OR.  He is survived by his sisters Irene (late Bill) Solivais (Crown Point, IN) and Helen (late James) Hughes (Highland, IN); sister-in-law Teresa Kowalik (Dyer, IN); cousin Bob Owczarzak (Las Vegas, NV) and many nieces and nephews (Wozniaks, Meiers, Hughes and Diehls).  His grandchildren are Karly Seyda Davis (Cameron Davis), Dylan Seyda Tachman (d. 1997), Tyler Seyda Tachman, John Michael Seyda Jr., Jake Seyda and Nicholas Seyda.  John will be missed by friends, Tom (late Jan) Daly, Virginia (late Bill) Olson, Bernie and Toni Weinstock and Hugh Day Jr.

The family would like to thank the Croasdaile Village staff and the Transitions LifeCare hospice team for their support and compassionate care.

John’s vibrant spirit will be honored at private family gatherings in the future. 

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to: CASA, a local non-profit John supported for their affordable apartments for veterans, or Transitions LifeCare 

The Seyda family is under the care of Hall-Wynne Funeral Service. Online condolences: – select obituaries.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of John Anthony Seyda , please visit our flower store.


This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree