Daniel C. Seemann, a professor emeritus of counselor education at the University of Toledo who served as its first full-time director of student activities, died Sept. 3 at home in Sylvania Township. He was 88.
He developed a brain bleed after a fall, his son Jeff said. Mr. Seemann was a star athlete in high school and college and played basketball until a few weeks ago.
Mr. Seemann, who had a doctorate in educational psychology, retired in 1989, but continued to teach part time for about two decades afterward.
“I love it, and I love the students,” Mr. Seemann, formerly of Maumee, told The Blade in September, 2008, at the start of his 48th year of teaching.
His son, a retired Sylvania teacher, said, “He had a knack for understanding people and seeing they could do a little more than they thought.”
Mr. Seemann was director of student activities from 1967-76. He was a former chairman of the athletic board of control, and said in 2008 that the building of Centennial Hall — what is now Savage Arena — was “one of the most significant things that I did” in that role.
“Dan was a big influence on my life,” said Greg Nissl, who as a sophomore in 1968 sat on the student activities board, but became a friend of Mr. Seemann and his wife, Rose. “Every time I talked about, ‘I don’t think school’s for me,’ I could always go to Dan. He was like a second father to me.”
Mr. Seemann pursued research in psychology, but also into chiropractic, an interest he developed after his back problems were treated successfully.
During his active duty Marine Corps service, Mr. Seemann was sent to Korea and monitored air traffic over the western Pacific. He remained active in the Marine Corps Reserve, retiring as a colonel. He received the Navy Commendation Medal in 1965 for swimming through heavy surf and strong undertow to save a 19-year-old off Atlantic Beach, N.C.
He was active in suicide intervention efforts in Toledo and one-on-one helped buoy service members he knew were dealing with the aftermath of trauma. His approach, his son said, was “Why not help people?”
He taught himself to play the bass and was the leader of a jazz quintet that played for events on and off campus.
He was born April 29, 1930, in Walbridge to Bess and Daniel Seemann. He grew up in East Toledo and at Waite High School took part in football and track, but he excelled in basketball. He later played for Columbia University, contributing to a 21-0 record his junior year that landed the team an NCAA Tournament berth.
He was an inductee of Waite, City League, and Columbia halls of fame.
“If I hadn’t had that opportunity or the ability, I don’t know where I’d be today,” he told The Blade in 2008.
He had master’s and doctoral degrees from UT.
He and his wife, the former Rosemary Lynch, married April 26, 1952. She died Sept. 13, 2011.
Surviving are his sons, Jeff, Greg, and Mitch; daughter, Anne Hammersmith; brother, John; sister, Joan Gannon; 12 grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.
Memorial services will be at 4 p.m. Sunday at Reeb Funeral Home, Sylvania, where visitation will begin at noon.
The family suggests tributes to veteransmatter.org.
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