AshbyAl

Passing

Seth W Pease, 1975 -2023

I hear the ancient footsteps like the motion of the sea
Sometimes I turn, there’s someone there, other times it’s only me
I am hanging in the balance of the reality of man
Like every sparrow falling, like every grain of sand

Bob Dylan

June 8, 1975 – January 20, 2023 Too Short a Time

Seth was born in Fitchburg and grew up in Ashby, MA. He went to Ashby Elementary School and North Middlesex Regional School. He worked at various jobs with a focus on blacksmithing and woodworking and a hobby of rock climbing. During this time he travelled extensively with his family and his friend Robin Newing from the UK. He enrolled at Wachusett Community College and graduated with an associates degree with honors in environmental science.

Throughout his life Seth struggled with addiction. Despite repeated periods of sobriety he continued to return to alcohol

In 2016 he moved to Attleboro and met his partner and spouse Derrick Costa. Derrick brought stability to his life. In 2020 they moved to his mother’s home in Arizona.

Throughout his life Seth enjoyed the outdoors and nature as well as making things with his hands.

He is survived by his husband Derrick Costa, his brother Levi, his mother Dondi Larue, his father Alan, his son Jory Crowe, his step mother Lorraine and step brother David Durling.

Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.

Dr. Seuss

Tributes

Cindy (Dan’s Mom)

Dear Alan, Loraine, and Dondi.  I am writing to give you just a few thoughts of mine about Seth. Dan called me 2 nights ago to tell me that you called him to let him know of his physical decline. I cannot convey in words how sad I am. Over the years, I was always hoping for a miraculous recovery for him as I am sure you all were also. Dan, Derek and Seth !! The friendships of the boys and the parents whether together or apart seemed so alike! And yet!  Since kindergarten, they were together a lot. Mischievous, fun, and loving with each other and us. Such friendships, can only add to their lives and add the richness of life they have left to live. It is my hope that Seth will rest in peace knowing he has helped such dear friends through his love. I will always remember Seth with the soft spoken, kind heart !
Cindy (Dan’s Mom)

Robin Newing

Friends. This is addressed to Alan but is sent to all of you grieving in Arizona and Massachusetts, and around the world.
 (The Bob Dylan quotes are from ‘Every grain of sand’, off the Christian based album, ‘Shot of Love’, Seth grew to love his Dylan. He always had good taste, well perhaps not initially with the heavy metal, but I missed that phase.)

                                                THE GOOD SETH.
                                 (Before and in between the darkness.)

   When I first met Seth he was eighteen months old, 1976, the Bicentennial Year.
I do not intend to dwell on any mistakes he may have made or how his life might have been, such is useless, literally a post Mortem.

‘In the time of my confession
In the hour of my deepest need
When the pool of tears beneath my feet
Flood every new born seed.’

  Instead, there is so much light, kindness, compassion, ability, humour, strength and beauty to highlight, except that his multifarious gifts and talents highlight themselves, bright against the night and decay.
  When we met he was a babe in arms, years pass and he is away to the beach with Barbara and Howard in the old Winnebago. He grew into a practical professional, working with Ken Murray as an engineer servicing auto repair shops all over New England, woodworking at the shop, employing his hands and keen intelligence. He was never bound for retail or an office. Away from occupations, his other talents; climbing, yachting, kayaking, marvellous backwoodsman abilities, his enjoyment of music, guitar, and literature and composition.

‘Don’t have the inclination
To look back on any mistake
Like Cain I now behold this chain
Of events that I must break.’

 We grew to be friends during the six transcontinental trips we took, 1996-2004. Together with Alan and Lorraine we became the ‘Funpigs’. Later, more adventure as he and Kenny would join the Brits in sailing amongst the Greek islands. Such a willing and proficient member, excelling in an emergency, navigation and sail setting. Always welcomed back, both Americans so popular with the British contingent, as their sorrow at Kenny’s recent death demonstrated.

‘Oh the flowers of indulgence
And the weeds of yesteryear,
Like criminals they have choked the breath
Of conscience and good cheer.’

FUNPIG VIGNETTES.
  One time, out on the road, we were going south to brother Douglas in New Orleans. Stopped to camp by a lake, not a site that Lorraine and I relished, the office burned down with a smashed open safe outside. The first pitch was filled with good ‘ole boys, into their beer, a banner above the rusted caravan proclaiming, ‘The South will rise again’. Around the corner, a pretty lady with an ice bucket and a bottle of champagne requesting we join her for a glass. We demurred, found a spot some distance away besides the lake . Insouciantly, Alan and Seth repaired the smashed site furniture, (in time for dinner), as an alligator glided by. We enjoyed a peaceful night, the denizens gone to their dreams. Seth got out his guitar. Next morning, (the South had not risen), onto New Orleans and Doug’s favourite restaurant, the one with the $1000 dollar hamburger.
  Another,
 Later, same trip, out to the flatlands of the Mississippi Delta; hot, humid, desolate but for the flat infinite fields of white cotton. Seth on the back seat, reading Lomax’s book, ‘The land where the blues began’. He quotes to us Lomax interviewing Robert Johnson’s mother, knowing not to enter her cabin, but inadvertently putting his foot on the step. The Sheriff, trailing him, later pulls him over. As the dust settles, the man leans in, telling Lomax, ‘You know you shouldn’t have done that, putting your foot on a N…..s’ stoop’. Seth is angry at the recounting.. How close did we get to the crossroads where Robert Johnson sold his soul to the Devil?

‘I gaze into the doorway
Of temptations angry flame
And every time I pass that way
I always here my name.’

  Some might say that his life could have been more profitable, ( ‘For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?), but surely it is in travail that one sees and feels most deeply. If that is the case then at bottom Seth became a wise man.

‘I am hanging in the balance
Of the realty of man
Like every sparrow falling,
Like every brain of sand.’

  Seth used this Dylan song ,‘ Every grain of sand’, at Jim’s funeral, a fellow in misfortune whom he, Seth, befriended and gave a home.

‘In the fury of the moment
I can see the Master’s hand,
In every leaf that trembles,
In every grain of sand.’

  Something different;

‘Now cracks a noble heart.
Goodnight sweet Prince.
And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.’

Hamlet

  With Seth so ill, this quote was apposite, ‘Goodnight sweet Prince.’
Then Derrick found Seth’s copy of ‘Hamlet’, with his, Seth’s, annotations.

  Another quote, Luke chapter 23, verse 42.

‘Jesus remember me, when you come into your kingdom’.
The Lord replied,
‘Today you will be with me in Paradise.’

The thief had no time left for redemption, he was not about to climb down from his bloody cross and found an orphanage, yet he was redeemed.
 All the great good in Seth’s life far redeems the failings.

 We all fail, and even we of long years will suffer ill-health and perish. But for a little while, our acts of kindness and courage will still shine, unforgotten. Seth’s will.

Richard Pickford

 I am sending you and Seth my thoughts and wishes – even though I only met Seth for 3 weeks of my life he holds (like all of you from the trip) a special place in my heart! Much love and thoughts,
Richard & Family xxxx

Dan Harju

Finding the right words at times like this…impossible. Befriending Seth at the beginning of our “formative” years will leave an indelible mark on me that I will carry until my end, of that I am certain. Looking back on it all , as one tends to do in these situations, 99% of it was good times. So many good times 🙂 I remember going ice climbing with my father and Dennis B. Up on the backside of Temple Mountain ,NH. Out behind Tom Krapfs place. We met up with some people there that turned out to be Dondi, Jimmy and Seth. Now Seth and I knew “of” each other but, didn’t really start “hanging out” until that day. Soon we found we had a lot of common interests: climbing, hiking, exploring, musical interest and movies lined up and then we had our mutual friend Derek 🙂

Now once there’s three teenage boys involved in any plan…things can escalate (lol) The zip-lines, obstacle courses , exploration of anywhere we could go on foot or by bike, gave way to bigger adventures as we came of driving age. (Those poor cars) I remember the first time we were gearing up to go climbing without “adults” , oh man, Jimmy was a wreck as we “borrowed” his stuff. While our little social circle grew here in town, Seth and I continued to go to the mountains, sometimes bringing buddies along, often just us though as the others didn’t quite see what we did in being out there. That little group we had in Ashby, we worked, played and often lived together for a decade (+). We were a brotherhood. There are too many stories to tell and some we’ll only share in that certain company. Certainly these were some of the best times of our lives. I’m thankful he was there , he was a great friend.

Many years removed from all that now, it’s easier to see the arc of how we grew and then grew apart. I’m sad for how it ended, truly I hoped one day to be old and gray recounting and laughing about it all again, together. Whatever adventure is in the next life for him, may he pack light and leave troubles behind. Perhaps our paths will cross again…

Vanessa Hosford

 I was very sorry to hear that Seth is so ill, a great sadness. I only met Seth a couple of times on sailing holidays but he is a lovely chap and very good looking too!
We never know what life will bring, good and bad times but the constant is the love of family which he has during this difficult time. I’m sure these days are very hard on all of you but as we know, it’s a journey we all make, some sooner than others as my doctor once said……
Vanessa

Jackie Pickford

I was very sad to hear Seth that you are very ill , I remember many happy times we had together with all the family here in UK and the USA .
The first memory of Seth was one of the first nights we were in Ashby over 20 years ago we went to watch you play street hockey , Roger really enjoyed it and he kept one of the orange balls which sat on a book case in our bedroom for years .
I also remember taking Seth around London and then coming back to Colchester to stay with us . Then of course there was my Mums 90th birthday party at Bexhill , Kenny was there as well I think you were going sailing with the ‘crew’  or had just come back .

Leigh enjoyed two trips with you all , and I remember little bits that Robin and Leigh  have told me about what you did on those trips . I do remember especially Robin telling me that Seth walked down and camped in the Grand Canyon , and they picked him up on the other side .

I’ll be thinking of you Seth and will say a little prayer for you , Love to you and all the family Jackie xxxx

Leigh Pickford

Robin has kept me abreast of the news on Seth and I know that you all spoke this morning.  I want you to know that you’re all in my thoughts.  There hasn’t been a day since the weekend when I first heard that I haven’t spent a part of the day thinking about you all, picturing what you’re going through.  It must be the hardest of times but I’m sure you’re pleased to be there.  Please pass my love to Seth and let him know how fondly I remember him and our times together.  Times in Massachusetts, times in the motorhome, times up in Canada, times in London and Colchester.  It may be twenty years since I last saw him but I remember him as clearly as if he was standing in front of me now.  I can easily see his shy but radiant smile. 

Life is tough.  I find that more and more the older I get.  Many days are challenging as we confront realities we’d rather not.  It is important not to think too much at this time however… Important for you all to be in the moment and take in every minute you have left together.  Its hard to know what to say but that you will all continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.
Much love
Leigh, Shannon, Tully and Eisa

Richard & Heather Newing

I can’t tell you how devastated both Heather and l are to hear the terrible news about Seth  – it’s such a waste of a young life. We know Seth had his problems over the years but we never expected such a tragic outcome for him. We all remember our great sailing holidays together and what a happy time it was for him as it was for all of us on those great trips.
We always found him such a delightful young man  – our thoughts are with you all and of course Seth .
Our very best wishes to you all –
Richard & Heather

Derrick A Costa

Derrick Costa

I was at North Cottage in recovery. We were hanging out in the court yard behind the building and the door opened this guy walked out. I’d never seen him before. He walks out, through the courtyard and goes over to a tree and start examining a leaf on the tree.

I asked my buddy, “Who’s that?”

He said, “Him? He just got here. He’s been here before. I think his name is Seth.”

He was in a different building so wasn’t likely to run into him in the hall or anything. So I sent him a note to see if he wanted to meet. And a couple days went by and and I didn’t hear nothing. I kind of said ‘Oh well.’

Then I got a message to meet in the courtyard. We met and we walked down by the lake. And I hugged him and he hugged me back. That’s how it started. And we just got closer over the next few weeks.

The owner of North Cottage was into LBGTQ issues and he had this voluntary meeting every week that was unspoken mandatory to attend. And he and I would go and sit next to each other.

After a month or two I guess he began to notice. Seth and I got a call into his office. He wanted to know what was going on. So I told him and then he turned to Seth and he told him too. It wasn’t a hookup … It wasn’t a fling … It was love. We never got hassled after that.

Let us go for a walk by the lake and fish. Look for birds and identify trees. 

Let us take a walk in the snow and see how different everything looks.

He tucked me in every night in our sleeping bags, and call me his Cape Verdean taco. 

He quoted Bob Dylan. He said, “I am going to take a walk now into the woods. I might be gone for sometime.”

Time

Time moves and our time is so short we often ignore the fact that the calendar only speaks to us a year at a time. Yet the world moves in centuries, millennia, epochs. That which we see as permanent will evolve, crumble or disappear and be replaced with something we can’t imagine let alone understand.

The foreground is the physical remains of Tuzigoot, a pueblo built by the ancient people who lived in this valley for 800 years. Children were born. Old folks died. People loved, laughed, worked and sang. And then they left. They walked away with what they could carry to a new place. A new land.

The background is the physical evidence of the new people in the valley. They rode into the valley with what they could carry 500 years after the ancient people had departed. They built a town where children are born and old folks die. They love, laugh, work and sing. They haven’t left yet. They’ve lived in the valley for 100 years. Someday they too will leave as we all must.

How small a part of time we have ’till we hear the sound of wings

Ray Wylie Hubbard

Unfinished Creation

A spoon Seth was working on.

Projects, aspirations, ideas are conceived, take form and end. Sometimes the end is completion. An object on the mantle, a picture on the wall or a goal accomplished. Other times it is an object in the dustbin, an aspiration abandoned in the face of reality, an idea, partially formulated, that floats away into the ether.

And sometimes the creator leaves the project behind for us to admire. To wonder what was envisioned for its final form. Rugged and bold, thin and delicate. We cannot not know. Yet there is still much to be admired it in its incompleteness. Indeed that may be its strength. We can each imagine the finished object finished in a way that pleases us.

Can anything be sadder than work left unfinished? Yes, work never begun.

Christina Rossetti

Storm

Storm moving on over the Arizona desert.

The desert sky is usually a ceiling of turquoise providing a backdrop to a dramatic landscape. Often there is not a cloud in the sky. Just the blue ceiling and the sun, far too bright to have a discernable color, creating sharp edged shadows revealing the rocks, ravines and crags in the landscape.

Occasionally a storm comes along and the landscape is subdued by the diminished light. It is then the sky takes over. The ceiling of turquoise becomes a moving mass of grey that will drop a deluge turning the normally dry washes and arroyos into turbulent red brown floods carrying away everything in its path. As the storm passes the water recedes, the clouds break into floating islands, the turquoise begins to show and pale pastels paint the top of the clouds.

For each storm cloud – a rainbow… For each shadow – the sun… For each parting – sweet memories when sorrow is done.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

17 Comments

  1. Bruce Adams

    We are heart – broken for you all and so very sorry. Praying for comfort and peace. Bruce & Diane Adams

  2. Jane Collins

    Alan and Lorraine,
    I did not know Seth but I do know the hell that comes with active alcoholism and I also know the joys of sobriety I wish Seth could have had happy, joyous and free life. Losing an adult child it the worst thing I have ever ever experienced-even in sobriety there is turmoil and pain. So from us to you we understand and we send you love and peace

  3. Terri Cantor

    Our heart breaks for your collective loss but gladdened by the beautiful memories of Seth you’ve chosen to share. We hope you continue to take comfort in those memories and think of his passing as his final journey home where peace, comfort and rest await him.
    Terri and Joe Cantor

  4. Betsy Dillebck

    So sorry for your loss, Alana and Lorraine. Will be praying for your comfort and healing. He sounds like and exceptional human being, with beloved friends and family.

  5. Martha and Cedwyn Morgan

    We had the pleasure of living down the road from Seth during his years working for Oxbow Associates. I enjoyed hearing about his adventures with turtles.; he obviously had a passion and aptitude for the work. We had many enjoyable exchanges while he threw the Frisbee for Jack. Always gentle and kind; a good neighbor.
    This is a beautiful tribute. We are so very sorry for his passing and your loss. Our deepest condolences to all.

  6. Anna Cline

    Alan & Lorraine,
    I am so very sorry to hear about the loss of your son Seth. I didn’t know Seth & only met him once when Dave, Megan & I visited you in Ashby. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this sad time.

  7. Nancy Catalini

    Dear Alan and Lorraine,
    Learning of Seth’s passing just now makes me want to bake you a blueberry pie, Alan, and come over and sit down at your kitchen table to talk — and express words of comfort and sympathy for the passing of your beloved son, Seth. May you come to feel the “peace that passes all understanding” in the days to follow. From an Ashby neighbor, Nancy Catalini

  8. Lori-Ann Tessier

    This tribute to Seth is the most beautiful and moving tribute I have ever read to someone who has passed. My friendship with Dondi is long, but I only met Seth a year ago and realize that I say 1/100 of who Seth was. I could feel his kind heart though. I love you Dondi and when you and I need a good laugh our code word will be Totem Poles.

    • Dondi

      Now that makes me laugh right here and now!

  9. Levi Pease

    I will always remember Seth as the most amazing person I could have the honor of knowing. He brought a new level of life to anything that he did. He will be missed greatly. I love you Seth, your brother Levi.

  10. Scott L. Royal

    I had the pleasure of climbing with Seth. A place where we both could reach past our comfort zones and fly with more easy, than we could walking on on flat ground. I remember the way Seth connected to the rock. The rock was an extension of his body and mind. I dared to believe and climbed harder, because I got to climb beside Seth. He embraced the mental challenges that climbing hand delivers to all of us. To Say Seth was bold when he climbed, is spot on. But we hiked too. One of the best days of my life was with Seth on Mt Monadnock, with a 1\2″ of rime ice on everything. It was 17 degrees and we were in Heaven. Seth had a way of connecting with the outdoors. Of seeing the intimate details in his surroundings. I will keep an eye out for Seth in the next life. May you be at Peace. And may Gods own Loving Grace, hold you all in this time of sadness.

  11. Bruce G Hughes

    My condolences to your family on the loss of Seth.

    Bruce Hughes

  12. Karen Chapman

    Alan and your family,
    I am so sorry for your devastating loss! I did not know Seth, but he sounds like a wonderful person. I hope you find solace in all the great memories. He is free now.

  13. Holly Ford

    I want to express my deepest condolences for the loss of your son. May you find comfort in the many memories you have of Seth.

  14. Heather Leonard

    Keeping all who knew and loved Seth in our hearts and sending our condolences. May all of your many fond memories of Seth give you some peace during this sad time.

    Deepest sympathies,

    Andrew and Heather

  15. Joanne Boudreau

    Dear Dondi, Alan and Lorraine, my heart is so sad for your loss but lifted a bit by all the beautiful comments of such a loved person as Seth. He certainly had his struggles in life but seemed to keep his creative sweet spirit and that is a beautiful legacy to leave behind.
    I remember him as a smiling goofy adorable little boy! I also remember what a kind warm adult he grew into. I have a lot of fond memories of that West Townsend apartment house where I first got to know him. Dondi, I think of you often and I am still quoting you after all these years and will never forget our friendship.
    I send my love and hugs to you all.

  16. Heidi Larkin

    Dear Alan, Lorraine and Dondi,
    Thinking of you at this time of sadness at the news of Seth’s passing. I only met him twice though I feel like I’ve known him through Robin’s many stories of travel adventures, westward bound in the Star Cruiser, mountain climbing in frigid weather and sailing in the Mediterranean.
    I hope these happy memories bring you comfort.
    Sending love and sincere condolences,
    Heidi

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