First Responders 04

Allen R. Seedorff

October 16, 1944 ~ April 19, 2020 (age 75)

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Allen Royce “Big Al” Seedorff, of Newton Township, Ceresco, passed away on Sunday morning, April 19, 2020 at Bronson Battle Creek after a long battle with cancer.

Al was born on October 16, 1944 in Marshall to Charles P. and Reda L. (Bird) Seedorff.  He grew up attending Marshall schools, and was a graduate of Marshall High School in 1963.  After that he enrolled in MSU’s Agriculture Program for Farm Equipment Sales and Service.  He graduated from Michigan State University in 1965. 

He wore 12 different badges during his lifetime.  Al was a dedicated member of the fire service, serving his communities nearly all of his adult life.  In 1967 he became a member of the Newton Township Fire Department as a paid-on call firefighter.  Right then Al started taking any training course he could attend, all while working at the former Co-Operative Fuel Company in Battle Creek as the last coal delivery man to homes.   In July of 1975, he was asked to be a career member of the Marshall Fire Department. During his tenure there he served as a shift Lieutenant from 1973 to 1994, when he was promoted to Deputy Chief in charge of the department from 1994-1996.   Deputy Chief Seedorff retired from Marshall Fire Department the last week of June 1996. 

Al rejoined the Newton Fire Township Fire Department in 1993 and served with them until illness forced him to become inactive in 2018.

Over the years Al took many classes in firefighting, hazardous material training, vehicle extrication, farm equipment extrication, and Fire Officer I and II.  He was a Michigan Firefighter Training Council certified training instructor and helped teach many Fire Academies.  He served as the Marshall Fire Department Training Instructor for many years as well as for Fredonia Fire and Marengo Fire.  Al served on The Marengo Fire Department for 8 years.    Al rejoined Newton Fire when he moved back to the township and served until 2018 when his ill health forced his retirement.  He was well respected by his peers and an accomplished member of the fire service.  He was a Michigan Licensed Basic EMT and later a Michigan Licensed Specialist EMT.  He was an active (with Janet of course) founding member of what is now the Marshall Firefighters Ambulance Authority in 1980.  He volunteered extra time along with Janet to staff the ambulance at the Marshall Fire Department. 

In April 1993 Al became a Special Deputy with the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Department, serving in their Mounted Unit, and Reserve Unit.  He worked in the Marine Division over the summer months.  Al retired from that duty in 2007. 

As many career firefighters, Al worked a second job throughout his career.  He worked part time driving truck at TrimBuilt and Sohigro both in Marshall and at Marshall RV.  After his retirement he worked as a truck driver for Estes Freight for a time. 

Al met Janet L. Root at a local Grange function in 1966.  Since Al was the shy guy that he was Janet asked him to take her to a friend’s St. Patrick Day party.  Two months later they had fallen in love and decided to be married the next year!  On June 3, 1967 they were united in marriage at Sonoma United Methodist Church.    They were fruitful and loving partners during their 42 years of marriage until Janet’s death on November 8, 2009. 

After their marriage Al settled with Janet in Newton Township until moving to Marshall in the mid 1970’s.  In August of 1990 they moved back to Janet’s childhood home where Al still lived till this day.

Al was a member of Newton United Methodist Church where he helped with many swiss steak church suppers.  He and Janet belonged to Rainbow Chasers Michigan #256 Coachman Camping Club and liked to camp at Tri Lake Trails on a seasonal basis.  He loved to work with draft horses and was a member of the Calhoun County Agricultural and Industrial Society.  He liked to work with “Minnie Whinnie” miniature horses later in life.  He was a member of the Calhoun County Horse Breeders Club and Michigan Draft Horse Club. 

Al, with Janet, was an active member of Home Grange #129, Calhoun County Pomona Grange, the State and National Grange organizations.  He was a familiar sight at the annual Calhoun County Fair with the fire departments and the 4-H groups.  He had served as the Superintendent of the Minnie Whinnies Barn.    After Janet’s death Al enjoyed many activities with his life partner Marcia Wilson, who shared so many of the same interests. 

Surviving are his daughters Kathryn I. (Tom Cummins) Seedorff of Ceresco and Patricia A. (David) Bergstresser of Marshall; his granddaughter Amanda  Zapata (Grayson) Kurth and grandson Austin Tyler Zapata and great-grandson Devon Zapata-Shutz.  ; his life partner of the last 10 years Marcia Wilson of Battle Creek; and nieces and nephews.

Besides his wife Janet, Allen was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Norman Seedorff,  Calvin Seedorff, Charles L. Seedorff and Francis Seedorff;  and sisters Lola Belle Seedorff and Helen Flanders.

Please gather with the family for a Remembrance Gathering for Al at the Kempf Family and Funeral Cremation Services Reception Hall, 723 US HWY 27 N, Marshall on Saturday, October 16 from 2PM to 5PM.  Please dress casually (overalls would be very appropriate!) and bring a picture and a story of Al along.  Light refreshments will be served.

The family suggests you remember Al with memorial contributions to either the Calhoun County Horse Breeders Association or the Minnie Whinnie 4-H Club.  

Please visit to leave a message for the family and a favorite picture and memory. 

To send flowers to Allen's family, please visit our floral store.


Celebration of Life
October 16, 2021

2:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Kempf Family Funeral (US)

Please note
Dress casually! Bring a picture of Al and a story to share !@


Calhoun County Horse Breeder Association
c/o Kempf Family Funeral & Cremation Services, P.O. Box 519, Marshall MI 49068
Tel: 1-269-781-9858

Mini Whinnies 4-H Horse Club
c/o Kempf Family Funeral & Cremation Services, P.O. Box 519, Marshall MI 49068
Tel: 1-269-781-9858

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