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Obituary Stories

Adventurous traveler was sassy, spunky

Jeff Himler
| Thursday, May 31, 2018, 10:21 p.m.

A youthful spirit and a sense of adventure drove Betty Jo Seaman from Westmoreland County to points as far away as Toronto.

When she was in her 40s, she took a seat behind her late husband, Howard, for regular motorcycle excursions on the open road.

“They put thousands of miles on it in a year,” Linda Hanlin said of the cycle that became the favorite mode of transportation for her parents. “If it was nice weather, they were on the bike. They hit all the states on the eastern seaboard, up through New York and New Hampshire.

“They'd throw a suitcase on the back rack, pick a direction and off they'd go for a week.”

Mrs. Seaman “was never out of the state before she was married,” her daughter said. “Everything was an adventure. She loved everything about it.”

Standing only about 5 feet tall, Mrs. Seaman was content to leave the driving to her husband. “Her feet wouldn't hit the ground,” her daughter said. “She was safer as a passenger.”

Betty Jo Seaman, 90, of Latrobe died Tuesday, May 29, 2018, in Excela Latrobe Hospital. Born March 1, 1928, in Blairsville, she was a daughter of the late Roy and Zala Dixon.

“She was sassy and spunky,” her daughter said. “She told us, ‘Stand up for yourself. Don't let anybody push you around.' ”

While her siblings attended business school, Mrs. Seaman decided “she wasn't going to be stuck in an office,” Hanlin said. After stints waitressing and working at a local drug store, Mrs. Seaman worked for about 25 years at Menasha Corp. plants in Greensburg and Yukon that produced corrugated boxes. “Sometimes, the boxes were bigger than she was,” her daughter noted.

Mrs. Seaman enjoyed growing flowers, feeding squirrels and rabbits and watching birds at her backyard feeders, but her favorite pastime was playing bingo and casino slots.

Bingo attracted her to regular games in Mt. Pleasant, Trauger, McKeesport and New Kensington. “She used to go six or seven nights a week, and twice on Sunday,” her daughter said. “It was in her blood.”

Wearing charms and angel pins for good luck, she often came home with extra money. Her secret, according to her daughter: “You've got to be at the right place at the right time.”

Mrs. Seaman is survived by three daughters, Linda Hanlin, Kimberly Kutzer and Paula Dickerson, all of Latrobe; six grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and two step-granddaughters.

Private inurnment will be in Unity Cemetery. John J. Lopatich Funeral Home of Latrobe is in charge of arrangements.

Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-836-6622, or via Twitter @jhimler_news.

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