Hugh Seppa

Hugh Seppa

Anita Banta lives in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, but in 1953, she and Hugh Seppa were coastal classmates.

She recalls running into him at an Astoria High School reunion.

He died when a tractor rolled on top of him in the Westlake area of Clatsop Plains; he was 75.

“It was a major shock to hear of the passing of one of my old high school classmates through an unfortunate accident,” Banta said. “I last saw Hugh at our class reunion, and had a nice visit with him. He was a very gentle man. His family and the community should be proud to have known him.”

Seppa’s career at the Seppa Dairy lasted from 1958 to his retirement in 1996. He and his cousin Mike, who joined him in 1965, processed and sold milk to local stores and later the Tillamook County Creamery Association.

He was active in land-use politics, the Elks and Astoria Clowns, and cheered loudly for Oregon State University, from which he graduated in 1957.

Those offering tributes used the same word as Banta – except they rolled the words gentle and man together.

Hugh Seppa was a gentleman.

In March, when a reporter called Hal Snow, Jon Englund and fellow dairyman Richard Lee for comments, all three had lots to say about humility, focus, genuineness and devotion to family. He and Carol were married 53 years.

“He wasn’t flamboyant, he was steady,” said Lee. “He was just a great guy; there’s nothing else to say.”

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