John Sebald

John Francis Sebald

Thursday, September 21st, 1944 - Wednesday, November 18th, 2020
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John Francis Sebald, age 76, passed away on Wednesday, November 18, 2020 at UPMC Hamot, after bravely struggling through his illness’s final months. He was born in Erie, Pennsylvania on September 21, 1944, a son of the late Vincent C. and Marie H. Hasenhuettl Sebald.
John graduated from Technical Memorial High School in 1962, apprenticed in the sheet metal trade, then worked as a sheet metal journeyman for thirty years. He operated a dairy farm with his family for twenty years. Retiring from Sheet Metal Workers Local 12 at the age of 59, he moved onto an active retirement.
As a retiree John volunteered as a driver for the American Cancer Society, making sure cancer patients made it to their out of town appointments. He so enjoyed spending time with his five grandchildren, and toured around the country in all but a few states, even traveling to Europe to meet and get to know his wife Velia’s Italian family, the Trutallis. He was keenly interested in his maternal and paternal family histories, and spent many hours researching and sharing details with his cousins, building the family tree.
John was predeceased by his parents Vincent and Marie Sebald, and his brother Anthony Sebald.
He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Velia Grazioli Sebald, sons Stephen (Jeanine) and Thomas (Denise), and daughter
Catherine Sebald Vandermer (Stephen); grandchildren Maxwell Sebald, Benjamin Sebald, Mitchell Vandermer, Nickolas Vandermer, and Lily Maria Sebald.
He is also survived by his sisters Mary Sebald Fifer (Patrick), Barbara Sebald Redlecki (Gerry), and Evelyn Sebald Karney (Dennis); his brother Thomas Sebald (Joy); and his foster sister Carol Reynolds. John will be missed by his many nieces and nephews who he cherished and loved.

We want to thank the wonderful, caring team at UPMC Hamot and UPMC Home Health for providing outstanding care.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, funeral services and burial will be private for the family. Funeral arrangements were made by the Russell C. Schmidt & Son Funeral Home, Inc., 5000 Wattsburg Rd., Erie, 16504.

Memorials may be made to the Erie City Mission, 1017 French St., Erie, 16501 or the Emmaus Soup Kitchen, 218 E. 11th St., Erie, 16503.
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Mike Sebald

Posted at 02:07pm
Uncle John was a force of nature. Through the high peaks and deep valleys, and everything in between, he charged through with gusto and a love of life. I love his contrasts: instigating and argumentative, yet so gracious and giving and caring. If you needed something, he was there. He had the tools, the skills, and the generosity to share them. But what we will miss most is his ability to connect people, to him and to each other through him. The parties, the visits.... how many of us only interacted because of an event that he held? This will be our biggest challenge going forward... to stay connected without his gravity.

Heidi Emmenegger

Posted at 03:46pm
Uncle John was like a third grandpa and I enjoyed every single lesson he taught me (lessons like where to get the best hot dog or doughnut in Erie). Among my cousins, Uncle John was known as the coolest greatuncle (mostly for letting us ride motorcycles at the age of 12) and he sure knew how to make a joke! I strive to be as funny and as kind and as good as he was and I hope my grandnieces and grandnephews look forward to my visits as much as we looked forward to his. I will continue to make Kuken in his honor and I promise to never make it with whole wheat flour.

Colleen Emmenegger

Posted at 02:02pm
Uncle John was very special to me (like he was to most of you I'm sure). I think we bonded when I was young (through activities I will share in a memory below) and memories of those times with him have stayed with me throughout my life.

We used to have long family visits on the farm when we traveled from Illinois or California. While there, I would join Uncle John on his various daily farm chores, and he was always happy to include me. I joined him in the silo where the smell from the alphalpha would fill my nose and the heat and steam from the decomposition would fascinate me. Sometimes I would ride on his tractor while he was spreading manure on the fields, or help him get the cows into their proper stalls after a day outside and then feed them. I was so surprised how each cow had their own diet (amount of food and mixture). One of my fondest memories was playing cards with Uncle John while he milked the cows. I turned over two buckets in the middle of the barn - one seat for me and one acted as a table for whatever game of cards we were playing. He would walk over and play his hand while waiting for the milking machine to finish with a cow, walk back over and move the machine and then play another hand. Was really fun!

I loved Uncle John very much and will miss him deeply.

Matthew Sebald

Posted at 10:13am
It is so difficult to put into words the feelings inspired by the life of someone who has impacted my life so much. Our whole family is saddened but feels such gratitude at having such a kind, funny, mischievous, loving person in our lives. Few people are blessed with the ability to make people feel so special and loved. He was always willing to “teach” a new skill. When he taught me how to use the accelerator on Toms motorcycle, but not the break and i ran the cycle right into the barn. I can hear him laughing now. When i drove the manure spreader and he almost feel into it and all he said was “boy you almost lost me there”. When he accused my 5 year old daughter of cheating with a glint in his eye and when my other daughter drove the tractor right into his bbq. His smile and laugh will persist. He was such a gift to us all and brought such loving kindness and humor. We will celebrate his life with a Sangwich and some Kuchen. We send so much love to Aunt Vi, Steve, Tom, and Katie and their families. Thank you for sharing him and for all those trips and adventure. Hugs all around and one “you got a spot on your shirt” finger to chin flick for Uncle John.

Darlene Jackson Redlecki

Posted at 09:16pm
Our family is very saddened by the loss of Uncle John, yet we are greatly blessed to have so many beautiful, happy, loving memories of him. Our kids just loved visits with Uncle John and Aunt Vi- their present of being present at birthday parties and celebrations, playing cards, trips to the cabin, and Sebald Sundays. Every moment together was special. The love Uncle John showered on our family was sincere, and we are forever thankful. We’ll miss John around the table, his laugh, his sharing of stories from growing up, and insight on life. The love of John and Vi certainly will serve as an example. Rest in peace dear John; we shall be together again. Until then, you’ll be with us and we’ll think of you often- every S Sunday, birthday party, every time we make deviled eggs and lasagna, and each day as our boys drive around on their lawn mowers. Thank you for all the times we spent together and lovely memories. You will be missed dearly.

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