Raymond K. Seip made his final flight on December 25, 2020 at his home in Fort Walton Beach, Florida following a battle with brain cancer. He was born in Lincoln, Nebraska on November 18, 1935. He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Patricia, his 3 children, Debbie, Becky, and Greg, 6 grandchildren, 5 great grandchildren, and his brother Robert. He was preceded in death by his parents Orville and Bertha Seip and sister Dorothy.
After graduating from Lincoln High School, Ray joined the Marine Corp Reserves as an aircraft mechanic on the Corsair F4F and F9F planes. He joined the airforce in 1955 and graduated as a navigator. His next assignment was to the 307th Air Refueling Squadron at Lincoln AFB, Nebraska as a navigator in K 97’s. He met and married the love of his life, Pat Mahan, in 1959 in the First Baptist Church where they met.
In 1960 the Squadron moved to Selfridge AFB, Michigan. One year later he went to pilot training at Williams AFB, Arizona. After graduating he was sent to Vance AFB, Oklahoma as an instructor pilot in T37’s. He received orders to go to Vietnam and went to Luke AFB, Arizona to train in F100’s. In Vietnam he was FAC in 01s and 02s. After returning home he was stationed at Holly Field, Florida as an 01 and 02 instructor.
In 1971 he received orders to go to Wheeler AFB, Hawaii where he was an instructor of 01s and 02s. He also became DASC director and went TDY to Vietnam. His last 2 years in Hawaii were in PACAF Headquarters.
In 1975 he retired at Eglin AFB, Florida. After retiring in Fort Walton Beach, Ray and Pat bought a boat and Ray joined the Eglin Yacht Club. They enjoyed fishing with their children and cruising and spending time with their Yacht Club friends. When they were in their 70’s they took their boat on a 3 month cruise to the Bahamas. They loved to take the boat out whenever possible. It was a hobby they enjoyed throughout their married life. They also took many vacations on cruise ships with their family and friends. Ray loved to get up early and sit down with a table full of strangers and make new friend. He was never afraid to walk up to anyone and talk to them.
After he retired he worked on boats and opened Ray’s Small Engine Repair. When he finally retired from that he bought a Piper Cherokee. He took his Grandson’s boy scout troop up in the plane and gave them all Young Eagle certificates. He never gave up his love for flying. He spent one of his family vacations back to Hawaii getting his Glider Pilot’s license and surprised his family by taking them up in the glider. He then bought a Piper Apache and spent many hours rebuilding it. He later bought a Challenger 2 experimental plane. When he could no longer fly he built remote control model airplanes. He also belonged to the Experimental Aircraft Association, Aircraft Owners and Pilot’s Association.
He tried to make the world a better place by fighting for the little guy. They say you can’t fight city hall but he proved them wrong. He loved a good argument and would spend hours looking up codes and laws and then would go to city meetings and did fight city hall and made a lot of changes to the way things were done and showed us that one person can make a difference.
He was a generous man with a good heart and was always helping a friend with a boat, plane, or car. A memorial service and celebration of life will be held at a later date to be announced. Ray will be dearly missed by his family and friends. Fly High Ray! Soar like an eagle!