2020 has been quite a year for all of us. But our family would appreciate any support we could get at this time.
Kelly and Jill (Cliff’s Daughters) are writing this Caring Bridge about our Dad, Cliff Seitz and the challenges he is facing.
Our dad, Cliff, is seriously one of a kind. Growing up on a farm in central Wisconsin has provided him with a work ethic like no other. In his younger years, Cliff worked doing road construction in Milwaukee and when he moved his family back to Marshfield in the early 80’s he worked at H and S Manufacturing building farm equipment. Besides this, he did many side jobs for people after his working hours. His favorite side job was building fieldstone fireplaces. This was truly an art and talent he had.
Cliff’s family consists of his wife Lois. They have been married for 50 years. He also has two daughters Kelly and Jill, their husbands Troy and Brent, and we must not forget his pride and joy his four grandchildren. Blake (17), Katherine (14), Lyla (12) and Amelia (10). He also has 6 brothers and sisters all who live within ten miles of him. His relationship with his brothers and sisters ( Judy Beining, Jerry Seitz, John Seitz, Mary June Mayer, Susie Alfredson, and Rosie Frank) is a magical one. They have always had a deep love for one another and have always been there to support each other.
For those of you who know our Dad, you know what a huge heart he has. He would do anything for anybody. He loves people and could strike up a conversation with anyone. Throughout his life, Cliff has been a man of deep faith. He has a very close relationship with God and his favorite Saint, St. Jude.
So this is where Cliff could use you!
In March of 2019, Cliff woke up and could not get out of bed. He was rushed to the hospital to find out he had a strep infection in his neck that disintegrated one of his vertebrae. This paralyzed him from the waist down. Our Mom was unable to care for him so he has been in a nursing home for the past year. One of his favorite sayings is “where there is a will, there is a way”. So with much hard work, this past March, he started being able to walk a few steps with the help of the walker. He was hopeful that he could come home to our Mom in the house on Upham Street that he had built for them.
But then Covid hit. Covid in a nursing home is very, very depressing. We had not been able to see my dad since March. If you are not aware of this, because Covid is so aggressive on the elderly, no visitors are allowed in and no patients are allowed out.
Although Cliff was improving, he started having terrible swelling in his feet and this greatly affected his mobility. This caused him to be unable to receive physical therapy. So the progress he was making was slowly fading. Then in early August, he ended up breaking a vertebrae in his back. He spent several weeks in the hospital. Although the Doctors tried to repair his back, they could not. This break has left him completely paralyzed from the waist down. All the hard work he endured over the past year had vanished in a blink of an eye.
We wish we could end here. This incredible man has been through enough. But of course we need to insert another chapter into his story. Having many scans, throughout the summer the Doctors stumbled upon a suspicious spot in his pancreas but because of all the other medical grief our Dad was going through, they could not take a biopsy until the end of September. Even after the biopsy the Doctors thought it was just a cyst but as for Cliff’s luck the results of the biopsy came back, Cliff was diagnosed with an aggressive type of pancreatic cancer. Ironically, this is the exact same type of cancer his daughter fought 2 years ago.
After discussing his options and treatment plan for Pancreatic Cancer, he has decided to forgo treatment. His body can not take another surgery or the potency of the very harsh chemo he would have to endure. Without receiving treatment for this type of cancer, Cliff’s time on Earth is very limited. In Cliff’s words, “ He is going to ride the final wave.” In mid-October because of his limited time, Cliff was moved to a brand new, beautiful hospice facility in Marshfield called The House of the Dove.
Again, this would be all awful news but what makes this the hardest is that because our Dad is in hospice, he is under the strict quarantine rules. He is unable to spend his last months with the people he loves. He also can’t go to his favorite places, his house, his “cabin at the flowage” and we must not forget the grocery store!
Our family wants to make our Dad’s last months of life, ones to remember. So if you would like to support our Dad we would love if people (family, friends, and strangers) would send him cards and letters of encouragement, prayers or whatever else you feel would brighten his day (he does love lottery tickets). Feel free to include copies of old pics you have of him or write down a story you remember. You are welcome to share Cliff’s story with anyone. The more cards and special notes he receives the more love that will surround him during these next difficult months. He will not be “riding the wave alone”!
If anyone else has any other ideas of ways we could support our Dad please reach out to us. We are open to any ideas that would help brighten his situation.
Thank you for helping us embrace our Dad with love, support and prayers.
Cards and notes can be sent to (Lois will get them to The House of the Dove):