We recently caught up with class secretary and reunion volunteer Ken Seyffer ’39, who lives in South Hadley, Massachusetts with his 15-year-old cat, Max. The former VP of Shawmut Bank was married to his wife, Lolita, for 72 years before she passed away in 2016. Seyffer has four daughters and is a great-grandfather.
At 98 years old, Seyffer is one of Peddie’s oldest living alumni. But age hasn’t stopped him from being active in his community (he sits on a few committees and boards). Or giving up his dream of joining the Yankees.
Q: What motivated you to serve as a reunion volunteer and class secretary?
A: Simple — I wanted to be a part of the action. I am the class secretary for Colgate University’s Class of ’43. There are 12 of us left out of 224. So I thought I would test Peddie. There are only two of us left (that we know of) out of the entire class: Duyane Hoffman and me. (Sadly, Duyane Hoffman passed away on 10/30/19.)
Q: What do you remember about your time at Peddie?
A: Larry Kelly ’33 (the first Heisman Trophy winner) was my floor supervisor. I remember trying to analyze the poem “Daffodils” by William Wordsworth. I had great trouble.
Q: What’s it like living with your cat, Max?
A: Max is my best friend. For years I have been trying to teach him to speak. He is fed, has his litterbox, sleeps on his bed in the guest room … why should he learn to talk when he gets all of this for nothing?
Q: You are an avid reader of biographies. What have you read recently?
A: I am currently reading “Patton: A Genius for War” by Carlo D’Este. I was in the 76th Infantry Division in his Third Army. We never met.
Q: You want to be on the Yankees?
A: I believe I have the speed on the base paths with my walker. But Max disagrees, and I have yet to hear from them. I guess they don’t want to meet my large salary request.