BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Joe Seidule died this week at the age of 93 and was laid to rest Tuesday at the National Cemetery. Born and raised in Biloxi, he joined the Navy during World War II and has left behind a legacy of service and love for our country.
Joe Seidule was always busy right until the end. Singing in the choir at St. Mary, an empty chair now serves as a reminder of his contributions both in peace and war. Joe Seidule IV is his grandson.
“He was 17 years old... issued his mom an ultimatum... decided he wanted to go fight the war. He was very patriotic, loved the Olympics. He kept an American flag flying at his house,” his grandson Joe Seidule IV said.
During the service, there were tears of sorrow and smiles of joy remembering a life well-lived. That was the message from Monsignor Dominick Fullam.
“He was proud of his military service, and rightfully so... grateful to be a participant in one of the honor flights that took World War II veterans to Washington D.C,” Fullam said.
Now, there is a big hole that cannot be filled for his son Michael Seidule.
“He loved his country. He loved his family, and he loved living life. He really did, and I think that’s why he lived so long,” he said.
And during that long life, Joe Seidule never wavered in his devotion to America. That’s the word from his other son, Joe Seidule III.
“He loved everything about his country all the way until the end. I never heard him say any bad words about his country. He knew that this country is great, and it would take care of itself,” he said.
McKenzie Irish got to know Joe through the church. She took on the task of telling his life story on paper.
“I believe that his legacy deserved to live on forever. So, I met with him, and he ended up telling me his entire life story. And he not only became my best friend, but my hero too,” Irish said.
And like so many heroes, Joe Seidule’s time has come to an end now. But his impact on his family and this country will live on forever.
To put the importance of this story in perspective, you need to know this. There are less than half a million World War II veterans left in the United States, and they are dying at the rate of more than 350 every day. That’s why telling their stories is so critical.