In memory of his wife of 59 years, Shirley Anderson Seavey (1939-2017), and in honor of his teaching career, his keen enthusiasm for the outdoors, and dedicated support of the Iditarod, Dan’s preference is that these Fund benefits organizations like Seward Iditarod Trailblazers and Resurrection Bay Historical Society, that provide outdoor recreation and education opportunities to residents of Seward of all ages.
Dan Seavey and his wife, Shirley, arrived in Seward on Dan’s twenty-fifth birthday, August 19, 1963 – a beautiful blue-bird day as Dan recalls. They and their three “step ladder” children, Mitchell, Tracie, and Darian, ages four and under had traveled up the Alaskan Highway from Minnesota. Dan had a job teaching high school social studies in Seward. They planned to spend two years in Alaska. Instead, they, like so many others, fell in love with the state and never left. Dan received his Master’s in Outdoor Education from Northwestern State University in Louisiana in the 1969/70 school year. He believes he was the first person to teach outdoor education on the Kenai Peninsula. He advocates for the value of teaching outside that wish is best learned outside. Dan also introduced and coached wrestling for thirteen years at Seward High School. One of the other classes Dan taught was Alaska history. Through that class, he became interested in reestablishing the Iditarod Trail from Seward. Dan founded the Seward Iditarod Trailblazers in 1982. Dan has been dog mushing since coming to Alaska in 1963. In 1971 he joined forces with Joe Redington Sr., Tom Johnson, and Gleo Huyck to put on a race across Alaska. After years of hard work, Dan took to the trail with 11 dogs and 36 mushers in the first Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. He now races on a decadal basis, most recently in 2012, where he finished 50th at age 74. He is the author of “The First Great Race” (2013), a well-received book on the founding of the Iditarod Race. Dan remains vital in the efforts to maintain and preserve the Iditarod National Historic Trail and has passed his love for dog musing to thee ore generations of Seaveys.