By Mike Cohen
I used to joke around with Seymour David that he truly must have either been cloned or a triplet, for it seemed ever corner I crossed, there he was.
Head into the library, there was Seymour!
Walk down the aisle of a grocery store, there was Seymour!
Go to City Hall, there was Seymour!
Attend a community event, there was Seymour!
Go to work at the School Board, there was Seymour, in his role as a childcare worker!
Seymour was also my constituent. For the past dozen years he resided on Rembrandt Avenue, taking care of his elderly father. His move was precipitated by a divorce, but he always told me how close he was with his two children and his ex-wife.
I was very saddened to learn of Seymour’s passing. He had spent the past several months in intensive care at the Jewish General Hospital due to non-alcoholic sclerosis of the liver. While he told everyone who would listen how optimistic he was that he would survive this horrible ordeal, that was not to be. Now his friends and family are left to mourn.
Seymour was adored by the students he assisted daily in the EMSB Alternative School network. He loved living in Côte Saint-Luc and was particularly proud of his presence with the local Dramatic Society.
There is one memory I have of Seymour which illustrates the many nice things people are saying about him. About a year before I first ran for city council, around 2004, I attended a Borough Council meeting in Hampstead. At a certain point I decided to leave. Seymour was there (of course he was) and followed me out. I did not realize it at the time, but I had actually walked in through one entrance and out from another. As I frantically looked for my car, Seymour stuck by me. I was convinced it was stolen. Seymour actually walked the block with me. We even checked side streets, hoping someone might have just taken a joyride. I called the police. Thirty minutes later, they still had not shown up. I told Seymour to go home, that I was fine. But he insisted on staying. My mother in law and father in law soon arrived as a rescue mission. I jumped in the back seat, thanked Seymour, and as we turned the corner there was the car. Yep, near the door I had entered. Whenever I saw Seymour after that I remembered his patience and empathy.
Like me, Seymour ran for city council in 2005. He did not win, but enjoyed the experience. When the newspaper reported the final result, they called him David Seymour instead of Seymour David. We all had a good laugh.
Our mayor, Mitchell Brownstein, was a very close friend of Seymour`s. He is crushed by his passing. “Seymour was a dear friend since our early adult years,” said Mitchell. “His son Priam, aged 22, performed in our Dramatic Society shows with his dad and is studying music. His daughter Evara, aged 26, worked as a lifeguard, volunteers at EMS and works at dispatch. She is in her final year of law school at U of M and missed this semester’s exams due to the situation with her dad. He was an incredible dad, a devoted son and a loyal friend.”
Shiva is in Chalet #1 at Pierre Elliott Trudeau Park on Mackle Road until Thursday, January 19. Rest in Peace Seymour. You left us way too early!