19 October 2011

Obituary: Ian Seager, Musician, 1942-2011

As we approach the Mersea Session’s second birthday, it is sad to report the death of one of our few founder members, Ian Seager.

It was a near-empty Coast Inn that hosted our first session in October 2009, when Ian drove all the way from Chelmsford to attend, with Fred Field from Tollesbury. We had a pretty sparse evening until the doors burst open and in walked the Ragged String Band, and the party started.

Ian spent much of the winter months in Malta - he didn’t ‘do’ cold - but when he was at home, he was a regular at Fred’s United Brethren Tuesday evening session in Chelmsford. Before he retired, Ian ran a successful office cleaning business in Chelmsford, employing over 50 people at one point.

Ian said some very kind things to me about my playing and about our session. He declared one particular session, about a year ago as the best session he had ever been to, and I’m not aware that accolade was topped during his last year. He was very kind to Juliet and me in facilitating a short break in Malta last spring, where we stayed with his great friend Joe Grimshaw, but we were to be Joe's last visitors, as he died a short month later, which greatly saddened Ian.

Ian really loved his music-making and played his Polkawerk melodeon with great drive and enthusiasm. Although an infrequent visitor to the Coast session, he is greatly missed at the United Brethren, and it is the mark of the man that the fund that his friend Fred Field has set up in memoriam, which will go the stroke unit at Broomfield Hospital (which looked after Ian so well during his last hours), has topped £270 at last count. I have put in a contribution from his friends at the Coast Inn.




Anonymous said...

I only found your obituary to Ian when lighting a Christmas candle for him on the memoriam site and I felt I would like to add my strange story of becoming a great on-line friend of this delightful character!

It all started with an errant e-mail destined for a girlfriend of mine, but because she is computer illiterate, it ended on Ian's doorstep as the originator of a joke sent to her brother and then on to her and then of course on to me….

Ian duly sent a "who the hell are you" response, and the end result was that a huge friendship built up between us, involving much laughter, the occasional row, and one night we were emailing each other backwards and forwards over about an hour or so, the pair of us just shaking with laughter, tears running down our faces and this particular night cemented our friendship for ever, although we were never destined to actually speak nor meet, as this would probably have ruined everything.

The strangest thing was to come later, as my beloved cat Charlie Brown had to be put down on the 16th August (yes the same day that Ian died), and I emailed him as always with the sad news, and when I heard nothing for several days I knew something was seriously wrong as he had suffered an angina attack in the days prior to all this, and having no phone contact for him which was most unusual on a daily basis, I eventually found his obituary on-line.

My 17 year old cat had been having distance reiki treatment from a friend of mine in the UK for his chronic kidney disease, and she was awakened in the early hours of the 17th August by dear Charlie Brown, accompanied as she said by "a man" - well this almost kicked my faith in the reiki to hell and back as it made no sense until of course I found the obituary on the Friday, then both our riddles were solved, these two died on the very same day!

My friend then described the garden where these two "friends" were when Charlie made contact, which again I failed to recognize despite desperately racking my brain…

I then recalled that Ian had forwarded me a photograph of his daughter's cat Fat Boy who was also very ill, and I had sent a message and photo of Charlie Brown who was then upbeat and recovering from surgery hoping it would give the family hope for Fat Boy, so I tracked back to the email and found his daughter's email address, so now hang on to your hats:

At first Tracey and Claire couldn't recognize the description either, but a couple of days later they emailed me back to say that it was their old family home before Ian and his wife were divorced!

You just cannot imagine the comfort that this knowledge brought to us all, that Charlie Brown and Ian were together and had managed to make contact. Sadly Tracey and Claire also lost their Fat Boy shortly after, but the lovely thing was that they were certain that all would be well as he would surely meet up with Ian and Charlie Brown…

Isn't that a happy story??

If someone reads this and would like to post the address of the hospital where Ian spent his last hours I would also like to make a contribution to the fund in memory of a very dear friend.

David Mosley said...

Ian died in Broomfield Hospital, a very sadly missed cousin of mine,but he wanted to make 75 ,but
that s life...Cousin Dave Mosley

Anonymous said...

Hi Cousin Dave,

Thank you for the info which I have only just picked up, but fortunately Greg Dunn kindly put me in touch with Fred Field who was a very close friend of Ian´s and who had organized a hospital memorial fund so happily I was able to contribute in good time.

Still miss the silly old bugger!

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