Magdalene Seaman, active in The Colorado Coalition for the Prevention of War, left this life March 28, 2020. She and her husband Ken served on our Board from the beginning of the Nuclear Freeze Movement until last year when she could no longer drive to the meetings. She was an active organizer and participant in the Raging Grannies in Colorado since its inception. Mag’s first life was spent in the Sisters of Loretto, a Catholic Religious order and taught Spanish and French in Denver at St Mary’s Academy. . In the 1970’s she left the order and then married Ken Seaman. They later moved to Mexico for several years and then back to the US active in protests against Nuclear Weapons in New Mexico. She was arrested several times at the Nevada Test Site. Mag organized many events in Denver including commemorations of the US Atomic bombing of Hiroshima and public events featuring talks by prominent anti-Nuclear activists such as Sam Day of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, and Matthew Rothschild of the Progressive Magazine. Ken and Mag served in the late 1990s as election monitors in Bosnia for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and Mag helped in Ken’s 2002 campaign for Congress as a member of the Green Party. Presente!
Obituary submitted to the Denver Post by Kathleen Graham
Magdalen Herman Seaman, was born Joy Herman, March 7th, 1926, in St. Louis, Missouri, and died on March 28th, 2020, in Littleton, Colorado.
Mag received the Bachelor of Arts in French/Spanish from Webster University in St. Louis and the Master of Arts degree in French from the University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana. Additional studies were pursued at Laval University, Quebec, Canada; St. Louis University, St. Louis; and the University of Montpellier, Montpellier, France.
As a Sister of Loretto, she taught for 25 years at St. Mary’s Academy, at Webster University, and Loretto Heights College. She taught English, French, and Spanish. She also instructed in speech, drama and journalism and produced dramas and musicals. Mag worked for civil rights and human rights supporting Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers in the late ’60s. She worked for the National Assessment for Educational Progress (a national student testing program) in Denver, and later as a volunteer conversation partner for English as a Second Language students at the English Language Center at the University of Denver.
With her partner, Ken Seaman, she conducted seminars on environmental topics in the Denver area. She also worked with Ken to educate young and dedicated activists in the principles of nonviolence as practiced by Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mohandas Gandhi. Between 1997 and 2002, she and Ken traveled to Eastern Europe several times to be election monitors in Bosnia-Herzegovina with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. They were both involved with the statewide Colorado Coalition Against War with Iraq in the early 2000’s.
Mag founded the Denver Raging Grannies in 2002, a singing group that protested war, injustice and discrimination. She and Ken were also involved in the Colorado Coalition for the Prevention of Nuclear War and The Nuclear Resister, a Tucson-based organization dedicated to anti-nuclear and anti-war resistance.
In 2007, Mag received The Loretto Service Award by Webster University. This award is presented annually to an alumna or alumnus who has given significantly of herself or himself in service to humanity and social justice. The Award is intended to continue the recognition of the community service and social justice values of the Sisters of Loretto who founded Webster College in 1915. [quoting web site]
She is survived by stepchildren Mary Love, Denver, CO, Barbara and Geoff Stauffer, Lansing, MI; Joyce and Thomas Seaman, Oxford, England; Katie and Robert Seaman, Tucson, AZ; seven step-grandchildren, and several step-great-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Human Rights Institute of the College of Arts & Sciences at Webster University; PO Box 191105; St. Louis, MO 63119-3194.
Another posted remembrance from Felice Joppa-Cohen
I just heard the very sad news that my dear friend Mag died. Peace, justice & anti-nuclear activist, Raging Granny, former Sister of Loretto (before meeting and marrying her beloved Ken). Jack and I had been trying to phone her for several days to see how she was doing, and the line was always busy. We finally made some calls and found out that she died on March 26.
Starting in 1982, Jack and I (and our first baby) were part of an anti-nuclear affinity group in Phoenix with wonderful people. We could never decide on a name, so were fine to call ourselves “the affinity group”. That is when we met Mag and Ken. They were in their 50s then, nearing 60, which as I recall seemed old to us back then! The affinity group did a lot together, including protesting uranium mining, nuclear power and nuclear weapons at the Palo Verde nuclear power plant, Honeywell and elsewhere. We went to a Sundance at Big Mountain and to actions at the Nevada Test Site. We marched, made leaflets, carried banners, had potlucks and nonviolence trainings, and we went to court with one another after civil resistance actions. Many of us stayed in touch over the years. Ken and Mag moved to Denver, and Jack and I (with our kids, when they were with us) always visited them when we were there to see family. Ken died in 2016 at age 92. Mag missed him terribly. And we will miss them both and remember them with love, grateful that they were part of our lives and part of our anti-nuclear family.