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Dalzell, SC… James Morris Seals, age 84, beloved husband of 64 years to Alma Billy Seals, died on Monday, July 24, 2023, at Prisma Health Richland.
James Morris Seals was a remarkable man—a dedicated husband, devoted father and beloved grandfather, uncle and more. He was the epitome of a “family man” and the personification of hard work and commitment. James was deeply devoted to his wife of 64 years and his three children.
James Seals was born on December 4, 1938 to Helen Seals and Moses Dingle, and lovingly raised by Rebecca Seals and Rev. Washington Seals, his maternal grandparents. He grew up in Clarendon County, South Carolina during the height of segregation and among a spirit of advocacy and strength—an experience that deeply shaped his life trajectory. Because of these experiences, and his life being raised by a local civil rights advocate for desegregation, James has been featured in two museum exhibits including one at the renowned Schomburg Cultural Center in Harlem, New York. In June, he was the Grand Marshall for the Briggs vs. Elliott annual parade in Summerton.
James graduated from the historic Scotts Branch High School in Summerton in 1956 and moved to New York City soon thereafter. His friend introduced him to his sister-in-law, a true lady, named Alma Billy. James always said he knew at first sight that he would marry her. They fell in love and married in Brooklyn in 1959, later purchasing a home in Queens, NY.
In 1968, James and Alma expanded their family with the birth of their eldest child, Katrina Richelle, followed by Kimberly Lanise, and Jeffrey James. In 1968, he also started working at Pfister Chemical in Ridgefield, NJ and worked there for 34 years becoming the chief warehouseman.
Together, James and Alma built a loving home that was always open to cousins, nieces and nephews, and became a popular place for anniversary parties, graduation dinners, and all family celebrations. Though not a Jehovah Witness at the time, he opened his home to host the congregation book study there for 23 years and always supported meals for their traveling overseers. James was a loving father, known for family baseball games, cooking Sunday breakfasts of grits and salmon, and he always enjoyed long drives and road trips. I-95 was his friend.
He retired in 2002 with a great desire to return to his childhood neighborhood in South Carolina, purchasing a home in Dalzell in 2006. On February 24, 2018, he dedicated his life and was baptized as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses and enjoyed the fellowship of the Sumter North congregation, where he found true friends.
James enjoyed fishing, and loved sports, particularly baseball but was happiest spending time with his family, especially his children and grandchildren. He was a giant among men, a role model for all, and will be deeply and truly missed.
He is survived by his wife Alma (Billy), sister, Margretta Reid Fairweather, sister Mozell Stafford, sister, Omega Hilton, uncle Lewis Seals, sister-in-law Reatha Burgess, brother-in-law, James Billy, three children, five grandchildren (Autumn, Bria, Kayla, Jonathan, Michael Jaden) and a host of cousins, nieces, and nephews whom he loved dearly. James was preceded in death by his parents, brother, Joseph Dingle, brother, Howard Dingle, sister Mary Lee Martin and his brother-in-law and dear friend, Calvin Burgess.
A funeral service will be held at 1:00pm, Sunday July 30th, 2023 at the Bullock Funeral Home Chapel. Burial will follow at Evergreen Memorial Park Cemetery.
The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service, from 12-1:00pm, Sunday, July 30th, 2023 at Bullock Funeral Home.
You may go to www.bullockfuneralhome.com and sign the family’s guest book.
The family has chosen Bullock Funeral Home for the arrangements.