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.