Seth Wathen Presby Jr. known as Dad, Grandpa, Seth or Junior by all who knew him was born in Lisbon, NH on Sept. 6th, 1931, to Seth Wathen Presby Sr. and Dorothy (Sylvester) Presby passed away on Wed. August 24 at his home on Dodge Pond in Lyman. He was the eldest of three children.
He didn’t graduate from high school but learned a lot by everyday experiences. He enlisted in the Korean War in 1951 and was honorably discharged in 1953 with the rank of Corporal. During his military stint as an airborne he said he had to jump out of a perfectly good plane the first time he had ever been on a plane. He returned years later with his airborne friends to Fort Drum and practiced jumping out of the towers. He said they showed off for the new recruits as old men sometimes do. He never spoke of his time in Korea until many years later when he became very involved with the 187 Th Airborne Division New England Chapter. He would have gatherings at his home in Lyman and for several years he recruited all his Airborne buddies to march with him in the Lisbon Lilac time parades. He married Rita Caswell on June 12th, 1952, and they made their home on Lincoln Ave. in Lisbon, later moving to Dodge Pond in Lyman in the early 1970’s with their son Brett. When he was in his 80’s for a Father’s Day gift, he, Brett, Jennifer and Scott all decided they needed a little adventure, so they went to Lincoln and did the Zip line. They said they had an awesome time and did a lot of laughing the entire time.
Upon returning from the military, he went to work for REA, later known as NH Electric Co-op for nearly 30 years as a lineman. While working as a lineman for the electric company when there were outages he was always looking for deer dropped antlers which he would bring home and place on his garage. He has an awesome collection. He was a boy scout leader for several years and has still remained friends with several of these young men. He was a founding member of the Lisbon Stump Jumpers snow machine club and many nights, while out snow machining with friends he would call up Denny Fekay, who had a restaurant on Rte.302 and ask him to open up and make them Oyster Stew. Which Denny always complied no matter how late in the evening. Seth always said nobody made oyster stew better than Denny. He also served on the Lyman Planning Board for a few years.
As Brett was growing up he said he went pretty much everywhere Seth went and they did everything together. Brett would go to school and tell everyone about his adventures with his dad. They thought he was making up stories and his Mom would say Oh no, it’s the truth. Seth was an avid deer hunter usually accompanied either with Brett or his buddy, Warren. For over 50 years he has made trips to New Foundland moose hunting and on separate occasions he took Brett, his nephew Paul and Woody. He was so looking forward to going this year with Brett and his wife, Celine in October.
Brett was an only child so he thought he should have an only child as well, Jennifer. Jennifer didn’t like to go hunting so she would stay with her Grammie and her mom and they would go “treadin” to the stores. Living just up the bank from her grandparents Jennifer was pretty much a fixture in their home. She was extremely close with her grandparents. They were the love of her life! Well, then Jennifer married Scott Moyer and she decided she also would have an only child, Oliver. Oliver used to visit with his great-grandpa every time he came to Dodge Pond and they would chat about his day or what was going on.
I don’t think there was anyone in Lyman who didn’t know Seth. You never knew when he’d show up, he’d just be out riding around town, and he’d swing into your driveway if he saw you outside and just catch up your family news. Everyone looked forward to his driveway visits. As he got older, he’d come home in the evening and tell us he saw Scott today and we’d have to really pay attention to what he’d say they talked about because their name might be Todd and not Scott. When we’d correct him on it he’d just smile that little smirk of his and say “well I call him Scott.”
Seth is predeceased by parents, His wife of 42 years, Rita on December 1st of 1994, his younger brother Peter on August 26th of 1991 and recently his sister, Eleanor Rayburn-Presby on August 16th. He is survived by his son Brett and his wife Celine, His granddaughter Jennifer and her husband Scott and his great grandson Oliver. As well as several cousins, nephews and nieces I can’t begin to list the hundreds and hundreds of people he knew and called his friends, but I know a few that really touched his heart were Slappy, WW and Bert. Seth was the type of person that would do anything for you and never asked for anything in return–he left his mark on everyone. So now I ask that you please cherish your stories and maybe someday when Brett and I are riding around the back roads and stop in for a driveway visit you can share them with us and we will share ours with you.
There will be a military funeral at the Lyman Center Cemetery on Saturday, September 16th at 11:00am with the Rev. Lyn Winter officiating. There will be a gathering at the Lyman Town Hall following the service. In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to the Lisbon Life Squad or the Lisbon Historical Society.