Seale remembered as friend, community servant

The late Bill Seale shows off a catch in April 2005

By JAN GRIFFEY/Editor

COLUMBIANA — As a child, Patricia Strother Arledge said she came to enjoy the visits by Bill Seale to her parent’s Standard Oil service station in Westover.

“We knew Mr. Bill as a friend,” Arledge said.

She said she and her sister, Darthy Strother of Columbiana, have fond memories of the times Seale, who owned a Standard Oil distributorship, delivered gasoline to her parents’ business, Strother’s Trading Post, which was located on Old Highway 280 at the corner of Shelby County 55.

“Mr. Bill and my daddy were good friends,” Arledge said. “My mother always respected him and commented on how honest a man he was. He was always good to sit down and talk. We had a bench at the station where people sat and visited and I remember him always taking time to sit and visit with us.”

George William “Bill” Seale, 86, of Columbiana, passed away on Saturday.

A memorial service is planned for 11 a.m. on Tuesday at Columbiana United Methodist Church. Visitation is from 9:30 to 11 a.m. at the church before the service.

Seale was a lifelong resident of Shelby County, graduating in 1944 from Shelby County High School.

He was a longtime member of Columbiana United Methodist Church, and served as a Columbiana city councilmember for 22 years.

Caroline Johnson, who lives in the Summer Hill area of Shelby County, met the Seales through Columbiana United Methodist Church.

“I met them because we sat next to them at church,” Johnson said.

Johnson and Seale’s wife, Carol, became fast friends.

“We came out here in 1997. She didn’t have a sister and my sister lives in Iowa, so we became sisters,” Johnson said.

“Bill was a very personable man. He liked to fish, liked to garden. He had a garden every year and fed everyone in town from his garden,” she said. “And he was very loyal to his church. He went to church until he could no longer sit.”

Johnson said one of the highlights of Seale’s day for years was going to breakfast at “the drug store,” meaning Davis Drugs in Columbiana.

“The first thing he did every day was go to the drug store for breakfast and get all the news. He did that until he absolutely could not drive anymore, then he got someone to take him,” she said.

Jimmy Davis was among those who enjoyed breakfast daily with Seale.

“He was a fine man. A good friend,” Davis said. “Bill loved to crappie fish and he was always tickled to death” with the fellowship at breakfast at Davis Drugs.

“He was always cheerful. He seemed to get a good charge out of life. He just liked living,” Davis said.

Seale is survived by his wife of 57 years, Carol; sons, Tom Seale of Columbiana, Ken Seale of Mouton and Jeff Seale of Huntsville; six grandchildren; and a brother, John Michael Seale of Tuscaloosa.

Bolton Funeral Home of Columbiana is in charge of arrangements.