L-R back row: Eric and Tiffanie (Seaver) Ahern, Cortney Seaver, Rob and Carter Seaver, Chuck and Sherry Seaver, Grace Seaver, Holly (Seaver) Adams, Bobbi Seaver-Holmes L-R front row: Alayna Ahern, Brook Seaver, Heather and Baylor Seaver

Article by Tracy Smoak, 

Chuck Seaver sits in the catbird seat. There’s no doubt he occupies opportunity from many angles. He is a fifth-generation resident of Clermont. Seaver also connects to the heartbeat of the community with many volunteer activities in South Lake County.

Chuck Seaver holds the photo of his great-grandfather, R. Percy Seaver, cutting the hair of past city manager, Albert Johnson. Percy opened the barber shop on 769 Montrose in downtown Clermont in 1913. Mike Hoskinson purchased the business in 1982, so the barber shop has been in continuous operation more than 108 years.  (Photo credit: Tracy L. Smoak)

His great-grandfather, R. Percy Seaver, opened the barber shop at 769 Montrose Street in 1913. Seaver is pictured holding a photograph of his great-grandfather cutting the hair of a former city manager, Albert Johnson. Other old photos of the city and trophy fish line the walls. Clermont’s heritage is treasured also by Mike Hoskinson, who renamed the business Village Hair Centre after he bought it in 1982. With more than 108 years of steady traffic, patrons still visit for a crew cut and shop talk.

As Seaver walks downtown, he travels paths his family helped map. “Folklore has it that Juniata Street is named for the girlfriend of one of my relatives on the Hooks side of the family,” Seaver said. “The lady’s name was “Juanita,” but somehow the spelling got switched when they plotted the map of streets to convert dirt roads.”

Four Generations L-R Oakley Seaver (grandfather), Chuck Seaver, Percy Seaver (great-grandfather), Charley Seaver (father)

Other major roads intersect with his family. Max Hooks and Hook Streets honor his great-grandmother Winnie’s side. Her dad, Robert O. Hooks, was a pioneer of Lake County who operated a dairy farm on what is now Green Valley Country Club. He lived to be 103 years old, and died in 1996.

This is a sketch of Percy and Winnie (nee Hooks) Seaver’s residence at 865 W. Montrose Street. The residence was the first house built in Clermont in 1874. (Photo courtesy of the Seaver Family.)

Percy and Winnie (nee Hooks) Seaver raised their son, Robert “Oakley” Seaver, in the first house built in Clermont in 1874. Oakley served as Clermont’s postmaster for 32 years and had 59 years of perfect attendance at Kiwanis. These relatives, as well as his parents, Charley and Bobbi, provided a strong position for Seaver growing up.

Chuck Seaver attended the First United Methodist Church preschool on Seventh Street where his great-grandfather and grandfather belonged. Seaver recalls walking from the church preschool a block or so to his grandparents’ ornamental nursery. “I would watch all the comings and goings of the police station which was then on Desoto Street. I was mesmerized.”

Chuck notes, “Tommy Carlisle, Prentice Tyndal and Mitchell Rogers were three officers that truly inspired my career in law enforcement.

During high school, at age 16 years old, Seaver worked in the Clermont police communications center as a dispatcher.  He recalls “Tommy actually prevented my probable death one night when I was dispatching for Clermont police department by stopping a would be assailant who later admitted that he was coming to the police station to shoot the on-duty dispatcher. The subject was armed with a 30.06 caliber rifle and heading to the front door of the police station. Tommy stopped him at gunpoint on the lawn of the police station”.  

After graduation from Clermont High, which was the East Avenue campus now being reconstructed as the Aurelia Cole Academy, Chuck went on to serve in law enforcement at the City of Ocoee.

For him, leadership is being front and center. As a road sergeant supervisor, he responded directly to calls to reduce wait time when his patrol teams were overwhelmed. “Respect is never given,” he said. “It’s earned. I never want to lose sight of the person in need. We’re a team.”

He met Sherry, his wife of 34 years, during a call for a suspected robbery. “I responded to Long John Silvers with a report of a suspect casing the restaurant. Sherry worked there and we spoke briefly, but we didn’t really connect until six months later when I saw her in the Ocoee comm center as a new dispatcher.”

Chuck wants to ensure Clermont retains its charm for their five children and four grandchildren. “My grandfather was the epitome of a Southern gentleman,” Seaver said. “He never said anything bad about anyone. He modeled serving the community as the most important goal.”

Kiwanis Club and Key Club Members arrive at Oak Hill Cemetery to begin the placement of flags on veterans’ graves in 2021.

Chuck walks in this grandfather’s footsteps. He describes the history of the flag program at the Clermont Oakhill Cemetery. “It started approximately 40 years ago, when my grandfather Oakley Seaver and his sister, Nelle Seaver, began walking the cemetery and placing flags on the resting places of veterans. Alone, they created the original map used for locating veterans for the flag placements”.

As the program grew, Oakley, a longtime Clermont Kiwanian, asked the club to take the program over. Since that time, the club has placed flags on the veterans’ final resting place annually on Veterans Day and Memorial Day. The flags are left in place for a period of one week. “I took the program over in 2018 and since then we have included first responders into the program as they are such an important part of keeping our community safe”, explained Seaver. “Many of the first responders recognized were actually volunteer positions for the city’s fire department back when the entire department was made up of volunteers”.

Nearing the end of his two-year commitment to the Clermont Planning and Zoning Committee, Seaver expresses some frustration about the challenges of growth and how to fund needed infrastructure, particularly roadways. During his youth, the population of Clermont hovered close to 6,000. The 2021 United States Census Bureau Statistics estimated 44,530.

Fifth and Sixth Generation:
L-R: Chuck, Carter Seaver (first and only grandson so far), Rob Seaver (my first and only son)

He cherishes the natural beauty of Clermont’s chain of lakes and rolling hills. “What makes Clermont most precious though is the history of lives shared,” he said.

Content in retirement and public service, Seaver rests in a good spot in his life. “I put my trust in God and choose not to worry,” Seaver said. “I am in a place of peace.”  He enjoys night drives and viewing the area’s velvet landscape with sparkling gems of light. The intersection of past and future provides contentment.

Chuck may be retired but hasn’t slowed down. He serves on the board of Building Blocks Ministries and the Clermont Historical Society. Through his efforts at the Historic Village, he labors to preserve fascinating stories. “I don’t want the history to be lost.” 

“A lot of great people came together here to establish Clermont and made a great town” he added.

Chuck is part of the South Lake Tablet team spreading the word of past, present, and future happenings in South Lake County (our part of the world)


***About the Writer:  Tracy is an accomplished author and photographer. She grew up in Clermont, a place known for its natural beauty and where her love of water views evolved.   Her book “Living Water to Refresh Your Soul” contains thirty photographs of inspiring water scenes in Lake County and bible verses, prayers, and faith steps to calm and comfort the reader. Tracy has a devotional blog, “Finding Hope” for those seeking a respite from the noise and chaos and to comfort and challenge her readers. She says her passion is connecting people with God, particularly when they face challenging times.


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