'Really lovely and easy to talk to' - Tributes to passionate beekeeper Alan
- Credit: Wendy Paget
A keen beekeeper with a passion for learning has been remembered for his easy going nature and lovely smile.
Tributes for Ipswich-born Alan Seager recall his dedication to work with new beekeepers, a hobby he had wished to pursue all his life.
The 66-year-old Baylham resident was well known in the village for his annual firework parties and roles within several organisations including the Neighbourhood Watch.
Towering over friends and family from a young age, the former Sprite Lane Primary School pupil grew to 6ft 4in, but loved ones said his presence was always calming.
In 1996, he met his second wife Wendy Paget, after their daughters acted as "matchmakers" in middle school.
Ms Paget said: "If you didn't know him, he could come across as intimidating because of his size, but Alan was really lovely and easy to talk to and had a really lovely smile.
"Whatever I say about him cannot do him justice."
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Mr Seager grew up in Ipswich with his parents Pam and Arthur and sister Pauline, living in Dormey Road and Curlew Road.
As a boy, Mr Seager regularly attended speedway events with his dad collecting programmes, including some from the first meetings of Ipswich Witches.
He qualified as a civil engineer from the University of Liverpool and his profession took him to live abroad in Saudi Arabia and Hong Kong.
A father-of-three to Frances, Alexander and Chris, through his marriage to Hilary Green, Mr Seager took on hobbies that “floated his boat”.
While closer to home, Mr Seager worked on different local projects including the construction of the Orwell Bridge.
Upon reuniting with this Suffolk roots, Mr Seager moved to Baylham with his wife first wife Hilary where he lived for more than three decades.
The grandfather of six, became interested in buildings, trains, clocks, and war time memorabilia. Mr Seager also enjoyed throwing events including summer and firework parties for friends and family.
Ms Paget, who married Mr Seager in Cley, Norfolk, in 2017, said; "He was a great collector, how many of us still have the receipt for the first car that we bought? Alan has.”
Alongside civil engineering, he taught temporary traffic management for more than 30 years.
He became an advanced motorist, at a young age and later was on the committee for the Ipswich branch of the Institute of Advanced Motorists. He was also an active member of the local First Responders group.
One of his later passions in life was beekeeping, looking after seven hives in the couple's garden and further apiaries in a field locally.
Ms Paget said: "His beekeeping suit was his favourite attire in summer. You would see him sitting in his bee keeping suit with a cup of coffee in his hand.
“He always wanted to be a beekeeper. He did his research and he knew he needed more time than he could give them when he was working and he started when he was semi retired.”
Mr Seager was chairman of the Suffolk Beekeepers Association and ran a WhatsApp group to support new beekeepers.
Jeremy Quinlan, president of the Suffolk Beekeepers Association, said: “For nearly all the time I knew him, he was in another of the six local beekeeping associations that come under the Suffolk BKA banner. It was in committee meetings that I got to know him.
“He was elected and re-elected chairman several times and impressed with his grasp of committee procedures and charmed a disparate group of from the other associations into doing what he thought necessary for the good of local beekeeping.
“When things needed following up, he did that. In particular, he championed the beekeepers' displays at our annual public shop window, the Suffolk Show. He will be greatly missed.
“I understand he had kept bees for only twelve years but impressively quickly was running his own courses for beginners.”
Mr Seager was diagnosed with cancer and had a bone marrow transplant in 2019. He kept his diagnosis private as he did not want to be defined by it.
A celebration of his life was held at Baylham Church on November 25.