Fort Hood victim, Marquette alumnus honored

Flags in Wisconsin stood at half staff Monday to honor the death of Capt. Russell Seager, one of the victims of the Nov. 25 shooting at Fort Hood, Texas and a Marquette alumnus.SeagerMug

The funeral services with full Military Honors were held Monday in Wonewoc, Wis., 150 miles northwest of Milwaukee.

Seager, 51, received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing from Marquette, and devoted his life to sharing his knowledge with others. He was a counselor and worked with adults with mental and emotional challenges. He also taught nursing at several institutions.

At the time of the shooting, Seager was working as a counselor at Fort Hood and was scheduled to deploy to Iraq. He worked with Combat Stress Control, helping soldiers deal with combat-related stress.

Seager’s decision to join the Army Reserve four years ago while in his late 40s aligned with his dedication to helping others achieve success, according to Lori Stutte, who taught with him at Cardinal Stritch University.

“He had a passion for helping people so that they could be successful,” Stutte said.

Mary Ann Lough, assistant professor in the College of Nursing, was Seager’s academic adviser at Marquette. She later hired him as a part-time instructor.

“He gave his life for others and he was wanting to go to the military and do what he does best in terms of counseling, because that’s his expertise,” Lough said.

Seager joined the reserve as a counselor in continuance of his enthusiasm for nursing.

“He was very passionate about nursing, passionate about teaching and really passionate about learning,” Lough said.

Christine Shaw, a clinical associate professor in the College of Nursing, taught Seager in some of his undergraduate and graduate classes. She said Shaw was “one of the kindest people I’ve ever met.”

“He would do anything for you. He always went up and beyond whatever you asked him to do.”

Sarah Wilson, who co-taught a nursing class with Seager at Marquette, said he showed great care for his students and concern for the clients he worked with in his professional field.

“He took seriously his responsibilities, and as a teacher he was always very well prepared for class,” Wilson said. “He was always able to give students examples from practice.”

While he was teaching, Seager also worked as a nurse at Rogers Memorial Hospital in Oconomowoc, serving patients with emotional and mental health problems.

Many people who worked with or taught Seager also described him as a passionate learner.

“He was always interested in learning, it was something that was very important to him,” Wilson said. “I think he was a very special person. It was a privilege for me to know him and work with him.”

Peter Pavone, who taught with Seager at Bryant & Stratton College‘s downtown Milwaukee campus, said he is trying to focus on the Seager’s life rather than his tragic death.

Seager began teaching at Bryant & Stratton College in May 2005.

“I’m trying to watch the positive side of it,” Pavone told Channel 12 News last Thursday at a memorial service the college held for Seager. “If we could all be like (Seager), what a better world, right?”