SEEL, Kurt Eugen
September 25, 1929 – Hamburg, Germany
March 23, 2017 – Calgary, Alberta
The passionate heart of a lifelong advocate for the wilderness and Parks Canada, came to rest peacefully on Thursday, March 23, 2017 at the age of 87 years.
Emigrating from Hamburg, Germany in 1951, Kurt joined the Seel family enterprises in logging and mining in the Invermere, BC region. Marrying Margaret (nee Ure) in 1959, the couple started out in a small but comfortable trailer. In 1961, Kurt started his 35-year career with Parks Canada by becoming a warden and then a seasonal naturalist in Kootenay National Park; the same year that he built a home for the family in Radium. In 1965, Kurt was the first permanent Park Naturalist in Kootenay National Park and moved to assume the same role in Waterton Lakes National Park shortly afterwards. During this time, Kurt and Margaret had 3 children: Keith Eugene (1961), Kelly-Jean Natalie (1964), and Kevin Charles (1968). In 1971, he moved his family to Calgary where he became part of the interpretive planning team for Parks Canada. The conservation approach that the team took was a ground-breaking departure from the traditional natural resources model and Kurt reveled in the work, spending weeks at a time in the backcountry of all the National Parks in Western Canada. An avid birder, photographer, painter, Cyclist and hiker, Kurt and Margaret continued to enjoy the outdoors into retirement. With Margaret’s passing in 2005, Kurt continued hiking with the family and with a local hiking group where he met his dear friend Vitalia and developed a close relationship made rich through hours of outdoor activity. Kurt was predeceased by his brother Jurgen in 2014. He is survived by his three children Keith Seel, Kelly (Greg) Skeavington, Kevin (Amanda) Seel and four grandchildren, Connor, Julian, Rowan and Jordan. We will all miss his passion for the outdoors, his yodeling and his indelible spirit. A Celebration of Kurt’s Life will be held at McINNIS & HOLLOWAY (Crowfoot, 82 Crowfoot Circle N.W.), on Friday, April 21, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. Condolences may be forwarded through www.mcinnisandholloway.com. Our deepest thanks go out to the caring and compassionate staff at the Millrise Seniors Village – Extended Care Facility. If friends so desire, memorial tributes may be made directly to the Parkinson Alberta, #102, 5636 Burbank Crescent S.E., Calgary, AB T2H 1Z6 Telephone: (403) 243-9901, www.parkinsonalberta.ca. In living memory of Kurt Seel, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park.
“The mountains are calling and I must go.”
– John Muir