May 222013

Verne Daniel Seidel, Jr., 88, passed away on Wednesday, May 15, 2013. A memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, May 24, at the Church at Litchfield Park, 300 N. Old Litchfield Road, Litchfield Park.
He was born in Phoenix to Verne D. and Helen E. Seidel on May 15, 1925.
In the early 1930s, his family moved to Holbrook. At Holbrook High School, he was actively involved in several sports, was the drum major of the marching band and performed in the school’s theater productions.
In 1943, while still in high school, Verne enlisted in the U.S. Navy immediately after turning 17. He served four years in the Pacific in the Naval Air Corps, and was decorated multiple times, including the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross.
After the war, he attended the University of Arizona, receiving a degree in Business Administration in 1950. While there, he met his future bride, Lila F. Hopper, whom he married in 1949.
After graduation, they moved to Flagstaff, where Verne started and operated several successful small businesses, culminating in a chain of tire and automotive parts stores and warehouses serving much of northern Arizona. After selling this business, he became a real estate broker and was one of the founders of the Bank of Northern Arizona.
Over his entire life, Verne was always committed to public service, beginning with his early enlistment in the Navy. In the early 1950s, he was a member of the committee which wrote the charter that incorporated the city of Flagstaff. He later served on the Flagstaff United School District Governing Board, was elected to the Coconino County Board of Supervisors and the Arizona House of Representatives, and served on the Arizona Public Service Co. Board of Directors and the Arizona State Transportation Board. He was also on the board of directors of Flagstaff Hospital, which became a regional medical center (Flagstaff Medical Center) during his term as chairman. More recently, he served on the Litchfield Greens Homeowners’ Association board, and was heavily involved in the Garden of Memories at the Church at Litchfield Park.
Verne had many hobbies and interests. He loved the outdoors, and his family and friends have fond memories of numerous picnics, fishing and hunting trips, and cowboyin’ on his friends’ ranches. He was an avid dancer, loved playing golf and became an accomplished artist.
He was devoted to his family and loyal to his many friends. He was always ready to volunteer his help with his children’s activities ranging from Scouting outings to Little League coaching, which he somehow fit in between the many long hours required to build and maintain a successful business.
Survivors include his wife of 64 years, Lila; son David and his wife Toni, of Albuquerque, N.M., daughter Janis Schutte and her husband Mike, of Lakeside, and son Kenny and his wife Connie of Litchfield Park; eight grandchildren; and, at latest count, nine great-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Hospice of the Valley or the Church at Litchfield Park.
Thompson Funeral Chapel in Goodyear was in charge of the arrangements.