November 4, 1948 - June 18, 2020
Chris was born November 4, 1948, in Washington, D.C to Edward and Marian (Angel) Dittmer. The family then moved to England, her father’s next Air Force assignment, for three years. They then were sent to Holloman Air Base in Alamogordo, NM in 1956, where she remained until leaving for college. In 1971 she and two other nurses decided to enlist in the US Army for a one year tour to Viet Nam, where they were assigned to 24th Evacuation Hospital outside of Saigon. She worked in the Neurointensive Care Unit and cared for soldiers with brain and spinal injuries. While in Viet Nam she went into the ER in September, 1971, looking for help with a case of bronchitis. Pete, the doctor on call, was on duty and saw her gorgeous brown eyes, and despite her being so ill, he immediately asked her out that evening. They have been connected at the hip ever since. She and Pete came back to the states and set up their family life in Seattle, Washington. First came Ingrid Alexandra Seyl, October 25, 1974. Then came Hanna Elizabeth Seyl, January 18, 1978. In 1977, Chris decided to use her well-earned GI Bill to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in nursing followed by a Master’s Degree as a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. She had a rich career, working at UW Psychiatric Ward, then as Director of Seattle School District’s Health Program and Nurses. She finished her career at Harborview Hospital caring for patients with very difficult psychiatric problems. She cared for every person with great sensitivity and kindness. In retirement she and Pete built their dream house in Corona, New Mexico. They immersed themselves in the vibrant Native American, Hispanic and Cowboy cultures. They made numerous trips to Viet Nam, Guatemala and Peru working in medical outreach. They also fell in love with our neighbor, Mexico, travelling there numerous times. Then the grandkids started popping up first in Portland, then Seattle and Bellingham. These little ones lured her and Pete back to the Northwest, and ultimately Bellingham. In their cozy little Sunnyland home they reveled in their grandchildren and their gorgeous gardens. Chris made us all, family, friends, neighbors, her patients and strangers feel loved, listened to and cared for. She was a mother to all. She was the baby whisperer, the toddler playmate, and the ear and shoulder for her teenage grandchildren too. She loved and admired Pete, listening to his long, intricate stories (most of the time). They had a life full of adventure together, making friends wherever they were in the world. She was an amazing, supportive and kind mom, who gave some of the best life and parenting advice. She was an avid book reader and loved riding her bicycle. She was an activist on many levels and would give anyone the shirt off her back if they needed it. The night before her untimely death, she and Pete expressed their love for each other and their wonder over the full life that they had had together. They ended their romance while on a beautiful bike ride, awed by the raspberry fields and stunning views of Mt. Baker. Chris passed away on June 18, 2020, near Ferndale, WA. She is survived by Ingrid Martens, with Greg, Freya and Eli, and by Hanna Seyl, with Jeremy, Gus and Gretchen. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to The Major Taylor Project, a charity that exemplifies many of the things Chris cherished; bike riding, kids and equality. The link to the GoFundMe page for donations is: https://www.gofundme.com/f/chris-seyl-memorial-fund An account for the Chris Seyl Memorial Fund can be found at WECU in Bellingham, and checks can be sent to Peter Seyl at 500 East Maryland Street, Bellingham, WA 98225. Checks must be made payable to "In Memory of Chris Seyl", and all proceeds will go to the Major Taylor Project. The Major Taylor Project is a year-round, youth leadership cycling program focused on introducing young adults from underserved communities to the recreation of cycling and creating an inclusive culture of bicycling that will continue to future generations. Please share with us any memories you have of Chris at www.westfordfuneralhome.com.
Chris was born November 4, 1948, in Washington, D.C to Edward and Marian (Angel) Dittmer. The family then moved to England, her father’s next Air Force assignment, for three years. They then were sent to Holloman Air Base in Alamogordo,... View Obituary & Service Information
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