Paul A.H. Sealy 1933-2013

Paul A.H. Sealy 1933-2013

In Loving Memory of Paul A.H. Sealy

November 13, 1933 ~ January 24, 2013

Suddenly at Kingsmere, Alliston on Thursday January 24, 2013. Paul Sealy at the age of 79 years. Beloved husband of Diana. Loving father of Jocelyn and Mark, and Jennifer and Dan. Remembered with love by his grandchildren Kristin and Jakob. Dear brother of David and the late Joan Sealy. Dear Uncle of Beth, Michele, and Craig.

Jennifer wrote these anecdotes of her father for his funeral:

Many words describe our dad: determined, independent, generous, practical, frugal. He believed in hard work and saving for a rainy day.

Our father taught us to be good savers and he modeled this in his own life. For the past several decades he rode his stationary bike daily in an attempt to keep fit. He described his daily regime like this: “I ride 3 km every day, but I do it like this. I actually ride 6 km and bank the extra in case I ever have to miss a day." When he told this story, he was 20 days in the black.

Our father disliked waste and watched his pennies. He took us shopping in the mall one day when we were children. There was a penny on the ground and instead of bending down to pick it up, one of us kicked it with our toe and sent it skittering off under a bench. Dad was dismayed by our lack of respect for money and I’m sure we got an earful that day.

I remember an incident when I was a small child. My father was about to hand over my 25 cent allowance. He held it in his hand and said, “I’ll make you a deal. We’ll toss a coin and if you win, I’ll give you 2 quarters. If I win I’ll keep the quarter.” I eagerly agreed. He flipped. He won. I still remember the crushing disappointment and my dismay at the thought of losing my precious quarter. I said nothing but I’m sure the pain was evident on my face. He let me suffer for a few seconds and then handed over the coin with a little lesson about gambling included.

Our dad could definitely be described as determined. He had strong opinions and didn’t like to be proven wrong. My mother and father had differing opinions about whether it was better to travel the one stop from St. Clair West subway to their condo in Toronto by streetcar or by walking. One day, Dad offered a challenge. He would walk the distance and Mom would ride the streetcar and they would see who arrived first. Not long into his trek, Dad saw the streetcar about to overtake him. Not wishing to be proven wrong, he began to run. Unfortunately it was an icy night and Dad slipped in the intersection. When he righted himself, he saw that his baby finger on one hand was sticking out at an unusual angle. Being a little squeamish he did not even remove the glove to take a look. They were on the road again, this time by taxi to emerg with a dislocated finger.

Many people will remember my dad as a serious man, but he actually had quite a sense of humour. A somewhat dry sense of humour, but humour none the less. Though his recent hospital stay was very difficult for him, many of the nurses will remember his funny comments as he tried to charm them. In fact he was much more cooperative with them then he was with us. He also appeared to have remembered some French from his youth in Montreal and liked to try it out on the nurses at the hospital and at Kingsmere.

Finally, my dad loved being a grandfather. His grandchildren, Kristin and Jakob, could always count on a good game with grandpa when they went to visit. And these weren’t sedate little card games. They were games like “One eyed monster” which involved Grandpa hiding in a dark basement while the Grandkids tried to slowly sneak into the room without triggering the “eye” on the wall, which was part of the motion sensing security system. When the eye blinked on, the monster (actually grandpa) would come roaring after them, chasing them up the stairs. There was always lots of screaming and thumping hearts.

He also took Kristin and Jakob on many outings. They had many excursions to the Metro Zoo, to Puck’s Farm, to the ROM as well as a very special long weekend at Disney World.


A photo gallery from Paul and Diana's wedding, through 56 years:

Album 1

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Album 2

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Album 3

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My story of Paul's wedding gift for his daughter and new son-in-law:

When Jennifer and I were planning our marriage, Jennifer got this crazy idea to get married in Casa Loma. Crazy, and perfect! A real castle, in downtown Toronto, where we could get married in the conservatory, have the reception in the great hall, and dinner and dancing in the library. Of a castle.

However, Paul was doubtful of this plan. Especially since he had kindly offered to pay for the wedding before this castle thing was ever mentioned. Jennifer didn't push the idea, but a few days later her father told her to get quotes from three hotels and then we could compare the costs and presumably rule out the castle as an option. So we did, and guess what? Casa Loma was less expensive than the hotels. Paul agreed and we began planning our wedding in Casa Loma.

Here's the thing, though... the three quotes we got were for the Royal York, the Park Plaza, and the Four Seasons. The most expensive hotels in downtown Toronto. But, I swear it wasn't a devious plan on our part. What did we know about hotels? We didn't stay in them, and those were the ones that stood out in the area we lived in. We were young and naive. (And wanted to get married in a castle.) But thinking back, I am sure Paul knew exactly what the deal was. He really knew what Jennifer wanted, and he gave us that wonderful gift.

During a meeting with the wedding coordinator at the castle the question of champagne was raised. Apparently champagne was yet another expense that had not been accounted for. A big expense. The coordinator made a suggestion that champagne could be served to the head table only. Or, no champagne at all.

It was Paul who resolved this question: no champagne. His reason was a good one. He felt it was not right to serve champagne to just the head table while the rest of the guests had regular wine. We agreed, and forgot about the champagne.

When the reception was getting under way, and we were sitting at the head table, they began pouring champagne. And not just the head table. There were champagne carts being wheeled out for everyone. What happened? Jennifer said her dad must have decided he wanted champagne for everybody and made the change as a surprise for us. Little did we know that Paul was sitting there thinking it was his daughter who decided it was her wedding, and by golly she was doing to have champagne!

It wasn't until the next day that Paul received a frantic call from Casa Loma trying to figure out what had happened to all the champagne for that day's wedding. Oops. Seems the Friday evening wedding (us) had consumed the champagne that was chilling for the Saturday wedding. But even though it was not our fault (they served it to us) and we had a good excuse for drinking it (who knew?), Paul offered to pay for replacement champagne. He did not have to do it, but he felt it was the correct moral choice and for me that will always be a reflection of his strong, honest character.


 

J. Daniel Clements | Photographs

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