Patrick Joseph Seil
Patrick Joseph Seil, 57, of Grayville, died Oct. 17, 2017, at Deaconess Hospital in Evansville, Ind.
He was born on Oct. 27, 1959, in Evansville, Ind., the son of William Schrontz Seil and Mary Ann Mungovan Seil, of Grayville.
He was a 1977 graduate of Grayville High School and graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois School of Journalism in 1981. During his college years, he worked at the Champaign News Gazette, where his father and his uncle Manning also worked.
After college, he went to work with his father at the Mercury Independent, where he received many awards for his reporting and photography. The Mercury-Independent under his leadership was named the best small weekly newspaper in the State of Illinois. He worked at the Wayne County Press from 1990 to 1995.
In 1995 he started his own paper in Grayville, The Navigator. Within a year, he purchased the family paper and merged the Mercury Independent with The Navigator. In 1998 he purchased the Albion Journal Register and The Prairie Post. The Albion Journal Register became part of the Navigator and The Prairie Post continues to stand alone as a free distribution shopper serving five counties. In November of 2016 he started the new Carmi Chronicle. The Navigator, The Prairie Post and The Carmi Chronicle are owned with his partner Jerry Reppert in S&R Media LLC.
The company also published three books, including “Good Ole Grayville,” by Hershell Groff, “Once Upon a River, A Pictorial History” and “Edwards County Pictures from the Past.”
Patrick Seil had a long record of service to his community. He was a former member of the Grayville Lions Club and past president of the Grayville Jaycees. He was an Illinois Jaycee senator. He was a former director of the Grayville Chamber of Commerce. He was instrumental in the formation of the Little Wabash Fire Protection District, its first president, and current board member. He was named Grayville Citizen of the Year in 1986. He was a member, a recipient of the Fellowship Degree of Honor, past governor and a member of the 25 club of Grayville Moose Lodge 1960. He was a member of the Elks Lodge. He was a past president of the Southern Illinois Editorial Association which named him a Master Editor in 2007.
Raised in the newspaper business, he was the fourth generation of his family to own a newspaper in Grayville. His great-grandfather William J. Seil was the owner of the Grayville Independent newspaper. William Seil merged the Independent with the Grayville Mercury into the Mercury Independent. His grandfather Nolen Blair Seil continued the family business until his son William (Bill) Seil took over the family newspaper. Patrick took over as publisher of the Mercury Independent with his sister Donna Seil after their father died.
Patrick married JoEllen Gaither Seil on Dec. 20, 1985, in Grayville. They have one daughter, Jessica.
He is survived by his wife, daughter, brother John William Seil (Anne), sister Donna Marie Seil, nieces Elizabeth Summers (John), Amanda Kakac (Kyle) and Kara Smith (Tyson) and nephews Ryan Seil, John Wells (Natalie) and Alex Wells (Dawn).
A memorial service was held at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 22, at Cook Funeral Chapel in Grayville. Memorials can be made to the Little Wabash Fire Protection District.