Capt. ROY ALLEN SETH, USN (Ret)
Capt. Roy Allen Seth, USN (Ret), age 65, longtime Oak Harbor resident, entered his Heavenly home on Tuesday, September 14, 2010, following a lengthy battle with cancer.
Capt. Seth was born May 6, 1945, in Bertha, MN, to Leland and Gladys (West) Seth. He lived in Alexandria, MN, until he was fourteen and moved to Fall City, WA, to live with his Uncle Roger and Aunt Bernice West. Roy graduated from Mt. Si High School in Snoqualmie, WA in 1963. Shortly after graduating, he moved to California and went to work for Western Electric in San Francisco. On a weekend trip to Santa Cruz, CA, he met the love of his life, Carol Owens, at a dance at the Cocoanut Grove on The Boardwalk. They were married February 14, 1965, and established their first home in Napa, CA, later moving to Gualala, CA, on the coast. Roy had told Carol, when they first met, that he was going to be an airline pilot, but only had been on a $5 introductory flight. He then learned to fly on a small mountain airstrip surrounded by trees at the crest of a hill near Gualala.
Wanting to have more opportunities for his family, Roy went back to college in Fresno, CA (Carol’s hometown). He attended Fresno City College for two years and transferred to California State University at Fresno, where he graduated with a B.S. in 1970. During their stay in Fresno, he worked at Sears Tire Department while continuing his flight training. Roy earned all the necessary flight ratings to become an instructor pilot by the time he began CSUF. He thoroughly enjoyed teaching flying. Between his sophomore and junior years, he was contacted by a Navy Recruiter about the Aviation Reserve Officer Candidate program for flight training and decided to enlist. Upon graduating from college, he was commissioned in the United States Naval Reserve.
In 1970, the Seth family moved to Pensacola, FL, where Roy began flight training. They also lived in Meridian, MS, for basic jet training and on to Kingsville, TX, for advanced jet training. Roy received his Wings of Gold in November 1972. After some survival training in San Diego, the family moved to Whidbey Island, where Roy learned to fly the A-6 Intruder. His first assignment was with the Green Lizards (VA-95) and he made two WESTPAC deployments during the Vietnam War. He participated in the Mayaguez incident and Operation Linebacker II. His second assignment was with the Golden Intruders (VA-128) as an A-6 and TC4C Flight Instructor.
After seven years active duty, Roy transferred to the Navy Reserves flying, the C-131 and C-9 transport aircraft. After ten years in VR-55 and VR-61, he became Commanding Officer of VR-61 in 1989. He became an airline pilot, upon transfer to the Naval reserves, working for World Airways before being hired by United Airlines in 1979. Roy flew all over the world, but loved to fly “west of I-5” to the Orient. He retired in 2003 as a Captain on the Boeing 777. In between his work as an airline pilot and Naval Reserve Officer, he received a Master’s Degree in Human Resources Management from Pepperdine University. Roy also obtained his Real Estate License and worked throughout Oak Harbor.
Roy and Carol loved traveling the United States in their RV to visit friends and family. He especially loved the south, where it was warm, Tucson, AZ and Key West, FL being favorites.
Roy committed his life to Christ in 1977 and started his eternal life. He was active in men’s ministry in many local churches, and had served as Island Director for Promise Keepers. Roy was a Charter Member and former President of the Rotary Club of North Whidbey Island Sunrise. He also enjoyed basketball, fishing, latte art, traveling by plane, cruise ship and motor coach, gardening (especially producing red, ripe tomatoes out of his greenhouse). One thing Roy did well was sharing and teaching his knowledge with others. Roy was a family man, and thoroughly enjoyed his wife, children and grandchildren. Indeed, he loved life.
Roy is survived by his wife, Carol, at home; son, Curt Seth and wife Debbie Seth of Virginia Beach, VA; daughter Robyn Wynn of Coupeville; grandchildren, Brent Seth, Katelynn Wynn, Mary Allison Seth, Samuel Wynn, Micah Seth, Megan Seth and Gabriel Wynn; mother, Gladys Rodvold of Alexandria, MN; brother, Gary Seth, of Alexandria, MN; sisters and brothers, Carol Sweet of Stockton, CA, Cindy Dameron. Donna Norton, Laurie Pope, Terry Seth, and Lee Seth (all of Rapid City, S.D.) and Dawn Nye of Merritt Island, FL. He was preceded in death by his father, Leland Seth.
A Celebration of Life will take place on Saturday, September 18, 2010, at 10:00 a.m. at First Reformed Church, 250 SW 3rd Ave., Oak Harbor, Pastor Jon Brown officiating. Childcare will be available. Private committal service will be at Maple Leaf Cemetery, with Military Honors. Memorials are suggested to caringbridge.com/royseth and Rotary Club of North Whidbey Island Sunrise Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 577, Oak Harbor, WA 98277. Family and friends are encouraged to sign the online guest register at www.whidbeymemorial.com.