|Birth: ||Sep. 8, 1931|
|Death: ||Aug. 25, 2002|
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Retired Col. Jean Conrad "Conny" Seagroves of Brandon, Fla., died Aug. 25. He was 70.
Seagroves attended St. George High School in Evanston, Ill., and St. Mary's College in Minnesota before entering the Naval Academy in 1950. After graduation, he earned Air Force navigator wings and flew for 11 years in Strategic Air Command, receiving two spot promotions. He first flew as a navigator-bombardier on B-47s and B-52s. In 1966, he became one of the first operational flight testers and systems reconnaissance officers on the SR-71 Blackbird strategic reconnaissance aircraft.
While attending Air Command and Staff School at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., Seagroves received a master's degree from George Washington University. During the Vietnam War, he was a forward air controller and then a planner at 7th Air Force headquarters in Saigon.
His younger brother, 1st Lt. Michael Seagroves, an Air Force pilot flying missions in Vietnam, was shot down in 1969. Declared missing in action, his remains were recovered and returned in 1974.
Seagroves went to Washington for a special assignment and then worked at Air Force headquarters in research and development. He took command of the 1st Mobile Communications Group at Clark Air Base, Philippines, and then served as deputy for plans and programs at 13th Air Force headquarters, also at Clark. He next commanded a NATO base in the Netherlands.
Seagroves' awards include the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross and Bronze Star. He retired in 1982 after 32 years of service.
His younger brother Rev. Dr. Richard Seagraves presided over the Memorial Mass.
Burial with full military honors was in the national cemetery in Florida
This is what I read at my Dad's eulogy:
My whole life I heard my Dad speak volumes without saying a word.
My Dad was a whistler.
He had all different whistles that expressed his emotions. I don't know how to make the same sounds, but everyone who knew my Dad, knows how they sounded.
It is a style of whistling that is from the older generation. My generation would probably call it "old school" whistling.
There was the commanding whistle of warning that we heard as kids that could stop you in your tracks. This was the type of whistle that could stop a kid from darting into traffic. If we thought that we could stomp away from dad while muttering under our breath, being a snotty kid and you heard that whistle of authority call you back, you knew that you had pushed things a little too far.
If we needed to be rounded up in the evening, there was the two finger whistle that you could hear from a few blocks away, that we knew was our Dad (other families had their own sound).
There was the exasperated whistle of trying to keep things in check.
There was the whistle of exclamation.
I know that even sometimes his whistle could be annoying to some (wink to my stepmom)
One of the favorites that us kids always have a bit of fun with had been the whistle that he did to relax if he was feeling stressed while navigating his car. My husband can impersonate this one perfectly (I can only sing it: who who whooo)
My Dad could hold his hand out of the car window and get the wind to blow just right on his USNA54 class ring and even make the ring whistle.
But what I heard the most often was when my Dad was feeling content or upbeat. He would whistle the most beautiful vibrato melodies. I always heard these when we held hands and walked.
This is what I really miss already and makes me cry, holding hands with Dad and hearing him whistle. Those times will always be my most treasured memories. That is where I always connected with the special comfort that only can come from a loving father.
Sometimes I hear that same beautiful style of whistling. It's usually about two rows over in a grocery store. I know that when I go to look, it is coming from an older gentleman with silver hair like my Dad's. I love to comment on their nice whistling, because then they step it up a notch.
Marion Earl Seagroves (1906 - 1977)
Virginia Nelle Davis Seagroves (1907 - 1989)
Kevin Michael Seagroves (1958 - 2007)*
Jean Conrad Seagroves (1931 - 2002)
Michael Anthony Seagroves (1945 - 1969)*
Florida National Cemetery
Plot: Section 407 Site 353
Created by: Jen
Record added: Sep 29, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 59387739