Drew Seaman, 1951-2017

A Celebration of Life was held Aug. 12 at Starks & Menchinger Family Funeral Home in St Joseph, MI, for Paton-Churdan graduate Drew Seaman, 66, of Benton Harbor, MI.

Drew Fredric Seaman passed away suddenly at his home Aug. 8, 2017. The cause of death was an apparent heart attack.

Drew was born in Jefferson on March 26, 1951, to Richard and Edna (Schmid) Seaman. The family moved to Churdan in September 1954 when his parents purchased Reading Hardware and began Seaman’s Hardware and Furniture. Drew grew up in the store and was quite handy. He played every sport available – baseball, basketball, track and football. He played first base on the 1968 Paton-Churdan baseball team that went to the state tournament.

Drew graduated from Paton-Churdan High School in 1969. He graduated from Iowa State University in 1973 with a bachelor’s degree in architecture. He then attended law school at Washington University in St. Louis, MO, and graduated in 1976.

He began working at a law firm in St Joseph and was admitted to the bar in November 1976. In 1984, he and two colleagues began their own law firm, Straub Seaman and Allen PC. Drew’s specialty was construction litigation and design professional law. In the fall of 2009, he was named a Michigan Super-Lawyer in the area of construction litigation. Drew officially retired on June 30, 2017, although he was still finishing up a few cases. He told his sister Diane that he was ready for the next chapter of his life.

Drew and his wife Diana met on a blind date in 1985 and the rest is history. They were married November 2, 1985. They enjoyed scuba diving and taking trips all over the world, especially the Caribbean, which Drew really loved. The most joyful times of their lives were when their children were born and raising them to be caring, strong and independent young women.

Drew had many loves. From hunting with good friends, boating with his brother-in-law, repairing his ’54 Chevy pickup truck and truly enjoying life with his daughters and wife. It was important to Drew to instill in his daughters the Midwest values that he was raised with. His family consistently went back to his hometown every Fourth of July to celebrate with his childhood friends. He has been sincerely touched by his sons-in-law Sam, Travis and Jeff, as he knows they will carry on his legacy and watch over his daughters. His two grandchildren, Ava and Drew, will always remember their Papa sneaking them treats just like his father (Dick) did before him. His sister Diane was important in his life and he enjoyed debating any intellectual topic with her.

He was a real class act. He treated everyone the same and made an impact on everyone’s life he touched. Drew had a gift of gab – inherited from his father. They were two men who never met a stranger.

He is survived by his wife Diana of Benton Harbor; daughters Daire Benteldjoune (Sam) of Lyon, France, Danielle Seaman (fiance Jeff Mathews) of Chicago, IL, and Devyn (Travis) Hanko of Coloma, MI; step-daughter Heidi Lauer of Florida; grandchildren Ava and Drew Hanko; twin sister Diane Seaman of Farmington Hills, MI; and brother-in-law Barry (Lynda) Hofer of Ohio. His hunting dogs Derby and Leyla will also miss him.

Drew was preceded in death by his father Dick (2001) and mother Edna (1987), a sister Mary Joana (who died at birth in 1949) and his childhood best friend Pete Parks.

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