Seldom have I met a person I connected with as quickly as I did with Frank "Buddy" Seeling. Maybe it was because he played football at Tulane and I coached college football 21 years. That gave us an initial common ground for communication. Those early conversations only opened the door to much deeper and meaningful sharing of thoughts and beliefs.
Early on I joked with Buddy about how he out-punted his coverage when he married Angele. Tragically we lost Buddy yesterday in a motorcycle accident in New Mexico. Buddy and Angele were pushed into a guard rail by a semi-truck while vacationing with friends. Angele had surgery yesterday and hopefully will be returning to New Orleans Monday. They were such a special couple! Our prayers are constantly being lifted up for Angele and the four children, Buster, Michael, Catherine, and Christopher.
What are the traits of a great man? If it is to be a man of faith, Buddy was a great man. If it is to be a great husband, I certainly believe he was that. If being a wonderful and loving Father, my conversations with Buddy indicated the depth of love he had for his children.
Sometimes the world judges people in a different way. He was a great man in that way as well. He loved New Orleans! He graduated from Archbishop Rummel High School. Buddy then stayed home and went to Tulane on a football scholarship. He has had a successful business there. He became very civic minded.
When I met Buddy it was at the home of Billy McGriff in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Billy was hosting a party at The Player's Championship. He was president of the company that I negotiated Ben Crane's Zurich contract with. Buddy was there as Chairman of the Fore!Kids Foundation which is the backbone of the @Zurich_Classic of New Orleans. My good friend, Dick Kearns of Zurich introduced us. We had more fun laughing and talking.
One of the highlights of going to the Zurich Classic since then has been spending time with Buddy and Angele. The Fore!Kids Foundation continued to be a big part of Buddy and Angele's life even though he was no longer Chairman of the Board. We saw them at all of the functions and sneaked in quality time.
One important mention of the Fore!Kids Foundation. It has raised over $23 million providing healthcare, education, and hope for over 200,000 kids each year. It is 100% for kids!
Several years ago Buddy headed a search committee charged with finding the person to run the Zurich Classic of NewOrleans. He hit a home run for the city of New Orleans. He persuaded one the most gifted and experience people in this country to come home to Ne Orleans. Steve Worthy was not only a native but went to LSU. He swallowed his Tulane pride and hired the best man. Steve had been running the highly successful AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am after doing the same thing at Jack Nicklaus Memorial Tournament. Steve had also had great success with the USGA and deeply involved with the U.S. Open and most ventures sponsored by the USGA.
Buddy's smile was contagious, his warmth and genuineness were obvious, his love of family, city and country was proven. You will be missed Buddy!
When Frank, "Buddy" arrived at the gates of heaven yesterday I believe he was greeted with, "Well done, good and faithful servant!"