James “Red” Seay

November 19, 1942 - November 16, 2023

11/19/1942 - 11/16/2023

Past Services

Sunday November 26, 2023
2:00 pm
Forest Lawn Funeral Home Chapel
538 Tracy Grove Road
Hendersonville, NC 28792

James Clarence “Red” Seay was born the youngest of eleven on November 19, 1942, in Macon County, NC to Arvey and Mary Williams Seay. 


In his childhood he was surrounded by family and animals. He spent his days working on the family farm and playing multiple sports with his siblings and friends. As a boy, he was an avid marble shooter and participated on many sports teams at Franklin High School. He continued his educational and athletic careers at Western Carolina College as a member and co-captain of the football team. He graduated in 1965 and moved to Hendersonville, where he began his thirty-year career as a PE teacher for Henderson County Public Schools. During this time, he met his wife of 57 years, Mrs. Judy Robinson Seay. As a member of the football coaching staff at Henderson high School, he was a part of two state championships in 1968 and 1969. Throughout his adult life, he spent his time with his horses, cattle, multiple dogs, in the hay field, and with his lovely family. 


A man of many talents, “Coach” Seay served as a mentor for many of the athletes he coached, students he taught, and colleagues he worked with throughout his lifetime. It is not uncommon to hear how much they loved and respected him. 


He was the happiest with his animals and family. Whether he was training Tennessee Walking Horses, pleasure riding in Dupont with friends and family or giving carriage rides throughout Henderson County and Brevard, he always had a smile on his face and a story to share.


As a man of faith, his heavenly father was at the center of life, and he served in multiple roles in the church throughout his life. A lifelong Baptist, he lived his life with a sense of right and wrong and a focus for working hard for those he loved. 


He is preceded in death by his brothers, Lewis, John, Howard, Norman and Roger; sisters, Margie Stiwinter, Doris Evitt, Ella Mae Ledford and infant sister, Mary Burdell. 


He leaves behind his loving family, wife, Judy Robinson Seay; daughters, Ashley Toler and Emily Inman and her husband, Chad; grandchildren, Noah Toler, Eli Toler, Griffin Inman, and Lucy Inman; sister, Frances Teague; many cousins, nieces, nephews and countless friends. Especially dear to his heart was his nephew, Roger Lee Seay, Jr. and longtime friend, Cecil Ingle. 


A memorial service to celebrate his life will be held at 2:00 PM on Sunday, November 26th at Forest Lawn Funeral Home with his special friend, Reverend Bill Carpenter & Pastor Clint McKnight officiating.


In lieu of flowers please consider donations to the Four Seasons Foundation, 211 Main Street, Hendersonville, NC 28792 or to Free Rein Special Needs Equine Therapy Riding Facility P.O. Box 1325, Brevard, NC 28712.

Special thanks for the excellent care provided by Dr. Samuel Grey Tilden, nurse, Julie and Dr. Brittany Matney.


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Elizabeth Todd
7 days ago

I thought I had left my condolences but I did not see it. I was so surprised by the news of Coach Seay passing. I am so glad I had the opportunity to see him a few weeks weeks ago. I was calculating how old he was when I first met him and had to do those dreaded squat thrusts. LOL. He was only 25 years old – just a kid himself although when you are 9 years old he seemed old. LOL. He had just gotten married the year before to the beautiful Mrs Seay (our music teacher). I was so honored that he chose me as his eye doctor later on in life. It was a pleasure to get to know the entire family – one of the sweetest families I know of. My children got to know him after he retired and he was so sweet to them. I a going to miss him. I am sure he is getting everyone in shape in Heaven!!! Until we meet again – but please don’t make me do those squat thrusts !

Stephen Walker
10 days ago

Coach Seay was always one of my heros. I became a PE Teacher and coach because of the amazing examples from coach Seay, Jim Laughter , and Lemuel Jones. Thank you coach for be such an amazing Leader, teacher, father and roll model. All of your students were so blessed to learn from you.

Dewayne Rhinehart
12 days ago

I hated hearing about Reds passing I always enjoyed talking cattle with him and sure enjoyed our trips to our mountain to look at bulls . You all are in our thoughts and prayers

Anne Russell
13 days ago

Judy and girls I’m sorry to hear about Red passing. It has been a long time but I can remember him riding his horse when he came home from work.. I love you all.

David and Pat Harris
14 days ago

We were so sorry to hear of Red’s passing. We have fond memories of Red coming into Community Mill. He always brought a smile to us.

Vicci Owens
14 days ago

Uncle Red was so special to my Mom- they were the two youngest of ten siblings. They had a very special bond and he was always so sweet to her.
He was a very good man and was loved and respected by all who had the pleasure of knowing him.
His wonderful legacy will live on through his precious family…

Chris Jones
14 days ago

What a great coach and a great person. He coached Pat and me on the left side of the Bearcat defense in 72,73 and 74. He was always full of encouragement and motivation. He was such a great influence on my life. See you on the field in the next life coach. Chris and Pat Jones

Jerry Mullinax
15 days ago

Coach Seay was a great person. A friend to many. His influence will be felt through those who knew him. God bless Judy and the family.

Teresa Litzenberger
15 days ago

Judy and family we are so sorry for the loss of your patriarch. Red was a fine wonderful man and will be missed by all who knew him. I could never thank the two of you enough for the love you have shown Chad. It didn’t go unnoticed. I will be forever grateful for the wonderful family my son has found. Instead of flowers we will be making a donation to one of the company listed on your request. God bless each of you

Tom Powers
15 days ago

So sorry to hear about Coach Seay. What a great fit he was on those Bearcat state championship football teams. He was the only coach I was ever around that I never heard a negative word about from any player. Pretty remarkable. Red was just a good guy. Always felt like you had a friend with Coach Seay. My prayers for the family during this difficult time and hope you take a little comfort in knowing Red will be remembered with great fondness.