Robert J. Seitz

NO. 17811  •  17 Oct 1928 - 25 Feb 2005

Died in Topeka, KS. Inurned in St. David's Episcopal Church, Topeka, KS


Robert Jordan Seitz was born to Robert and Margaret Seitz in Des Moines, IA. In 1946, at the age of 17, he graduated cum laude from Shattuck School, Fairbault, MN. During his senior year, Jordan took the entrance tests for the Military Academy after obtaining an appointment at the urging of his father and grandfather. One of his favorite stories about taking the tests was arriving to find his friends were taking the short test, and he was scheduled to take the long one. He said he told the officer that he, too, would take the short one because he had a date he did not want to break. Luckily, the officer gave him the short test. Jordan entered the Military Academy that summer, and later he frequently talked about receiving a few demerits and having to walk them off. He was in Company F-1 and a sergeant his First Class year. He served as an acolyte for two years, on the Debate Council, and sang in the Catholic Choir for four years. Jordan also was part of a group that sang at the White House for President Harry Truman.

Jordan later expressed his thoughts on graduation in 1950, saying, "I mark completion and graduation as an accomplishment because it was a rigorous program and not natural for me, both militarily and academically. I did not have a strong desire for a military career, but in that, I do not think I was different from most. One had to adapt to the system to succeed; I felt I would succeed because to do otherwise was to fail."

Three weeks after Jordan's graduation, North Korea invaded South Korea. He was assigned to Ft. Lewis, WA, training reserves recalled to active duty. The training was done in groups of 200 in 21 day cycles. Jordan's next assignment was in Salzburg, Austria, where, he wrote, he "enjoyed life immensely, socially, (single), skiing, and troop duty."

In 1954, while stationed at Ft. Carson, CO, Jordan left the Army. He spent a few months as a ski bum and working for a building contractor. In September, he left to teach Spanish and mathematics at Shattuck School. In December 1955, he married Arlie Gilmore in Colorado Springs, CO.

In 1956, Jordan became a student at Georgetown Foreign Service School, and, a year later, he re entered the Army and was sent to the Air Defense School at Ft. Bliss, TX. Afterwards, he served as battery commander of an Air Defense Missile battery on Telegraph Hill, NJ.

In April 1961, Jordan attended the Communication School at Ft. Still, OK, and then went to Germany as a battery commander in the 3rd Armored Division, Hanau. In 1963, he served as a budget analyst and controller at HQ U.S. Army, Europe in Heidelberg. Afterward, he returned to Ft. Bliss, TX before joining the 52nd Brigade, Air Defense, in Sandy Hook, NJ, as assistant operations officer. From September 1966 until October 1967, he was stationed at HQ US. Army, Korea, in Seoul. There he completed his work for a masters degree from Rutgers University He was also deeply involved with the Pearl Buck Foundation, working with fatherless Amerasian children.

From 1967 to 1970, Jordan was a logistics staff officer at HQ 1st Region, U.S. Army Air Defense Command, Newburgh, NY. Subsequently, he was stationed in Panama, where he worked with supplies to Latin American countries Quarry Heights; controller, Ft. Amador.

In 1973, Jordan retired as a lieutenant colonel in Topeka, KS, and completed work for a Master of Business Administration at the University of Kansas. He worked as a program performance analyst and auditor for the State of Kansas and later was the chief of the Bureau of Right Away, Department of Transportation. From December 1979 until October 1993, when he retired, he reviewed operations as a management analyst in the Office of the Inspector General.

In 1998 Jordan married Judy Spiker Whitney They enjoyed seven years together.

Jordan was dedicated to the Episcopal Church and was active at St. David's. He was also very supportive of people in need. He took piano lessons and regularly entertained the residents of a nursing home. He also tutored elementary students and prison inmates. Although he had a number of health problems in the later part of his life, his death was unexpected.

Jordan's children remember their father as one who looked at all experiences as learning opportunities. He encouraged them to swim, sail, snow and water ski, ice skate, play tennis, and surf. He liked to take them to history and art museums, plays, band concerts, and musicals. His children appreciate these experiences and Jordan's financial support, which allowed them to graduate from college without college loans.

Jordan's memorial service was conducted 5 Mar 2005 at St. David's Episcopal Church in Topeka. He was interred at St. David's with military honors provided by the 568th Engineer Company, Ft. Riley, KS.

Jordan is survived by his second wife Judy and his four children: Annette, Susan, Jeannie, and John. He is also survived by eight grandchildren: Jenna, Katie, Sarah, Pierce, Mason, Britt, Jackson, and Sam.