Cecelia Seiler, owner of Uga mascots, dies

Savannah — Cecelia Seiler, wife of Frank W. “Sonny” Seiler, and owner of the University of Georgia lineage of “Uga” Bulldog mascots for more than a half century, passed away in Savannah on Thursday.

“Cecelia’s devotion to the University of Georgia was surpassed only by her devotion to Sonny and the family. We all mourn her passing and are so thankful for her faithful love and care for the Bulldog tradition,” Georgia President Jere W. Morehead said.

Seiler, the former Cecelia Gunn, was a native of Columbus, Georgia. She married Sonny while they were students at the University of Georgia. In 1956, while Sonny was in law school at UGA, the couple received an English Bulldog as a belated wedding gift. That fall, Cecelia altered a red children’s t-shirt to fit the puppy and sewed a “G” she cut out of black felt onto the garment. On Sept. 19, 1956, the Seilers dressed the bulldog in the shirt and brought it to both a party and then to the Bulldogs’ football game against Florida State.

Shortly thereafter, Uga I was named the official mascot of the University of Georgia.

While the Seilers moved to Sonny’s hometown of Savannah after he graduated from law school in Athens, Uga has remained the university’s mascot. Russ was officially installed as Uga IX on Sept. 15, 2012.

Cecelia is survived by Sonny; children Swann Seiler and Charles Seiler of Savannah, Bess Thompson of St. Simons and Sara Storey of Athens; and seven grandchildren.

Georgia football coach Mark Richt expressed his condolences.

“My heart goes out to Sonny and the Seiler family on the passing of Cecelia. I know that my thoughts and prayers and those of the entire Bulldog nation are with the family.”

Former Georgia AD and coach Vince Dooley did as well.

“Cecelia was truly the matriarch and a force behind the Uga tradition. God bless her and the family,” Dooley said.

42 comments Add your comment

POAD2013

June 5th, 2014
11:18 pm

I know the UGa family will miss her very much. Blessings and God Speed.

HotDawg

June 5th, 2014
11:43 pm

God Bless Mrs. Seiler.
I’ll never forget when Clint Eastwood was in Savannah to film “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil”, he was playing around with Uga (who played himself in the movie!) and said “Uga, I’m gonna make you a star”. To which Mrs. Seiler replied “Clint, Uga is already a star!”.
Love that family. Bulldog Nation thanks all of you. Please accept my condolences.

Julius C. Manning

June 6th, 2014
2:18 am

My thoughts and prayers go out to Sonny and the Seiler family. God Bless

The Dogfather

June 6th, 2014
8:12 am

Enter your comments here

The Dogfather

June 6th, 2014
8:22 am

from “Always a Bulldog” Cecelia always made the shirts for UGA.She was in charge of feeding and treated UGA like one of her children.SHE was the one that could look at the litter of pups and pick out the next UGA. We Thank you for letting us be part of your family. A true SAINT…..

TommyBGoode

June 6th, 2014
8:41 am

Respect, love, and prayers from the Auburn family.

ssidawg

June 6th, 2014
8:44 am

I’m sad to hear this. RIP Mrs. Seiler.

gtcaryd

June 6th, 2014
8:59 am

Sounds like she loved her dogs the way i love mine, My sympathies to her family. God Bless.

David Vitner

June 6th, 2014
9:18 am

Thinking of all those great memories before a Georgia Football, and seeing both Cecelia and Sonny together was very special for me. Cecelia was always the first one out of the red SUV/wagon to greet me and give me a special hug. That was special for me, but that how she was. I knew the Seiler,s family for over 30 years meeting them before a football games with the UGA’s mascot in the back, so this news about her passing hit me hard, too. All my prays goes out to Sonny and the rest of family members for this great women who I will always admire…

as well as some of family members in that red SUV with UGA in the back

jlefty

June 6th, 2014
9:31 am

My deepest sympathies to the Seiler family and especially Russ (UGA IX) whom I sure will miss her tremendously. Russ was a part of her life, but to that dog she WAS his life. Rest in peace dear lady.

John C.

June 6th, 2014
9:52 am

When I was a student at UGA in the early 90’s, I worked at the Georgia Center, where the Seilers stayed on football weekends. I remember them pulling up in a giant red station wagon and letting us watch Uga while they checked in. Mr. and Mrs. Seiler were always pleasant, good folks, and my condolences go out to their family.

GOODDAWG

June 6th, 2014
10:06 am

Sonny, I know you will miss her dearly. What an indelible mark Cecelia had left on the the University of Georgia and college football fans worldwide. Godspeed.

Chuck

June 6th, 2014
10:25 am

A very sad day for all Dawg fans. Prayers to the family and friends.

Susan

June 6th, 2014
10:46 am

May she rest in peace. My prayers are with her loved ones she left behind.

Jeez

June 6th, 2014
11:00 am

DGD-owner. Condolences and best thoughts to my friend, Swann.

RicknSfla

June 6th, 2014
11:56 am

A sad day for the Bulldog Nation. May God bless the Seiler Family!

Lynda Hanscome

June 6th, 2014
12:11 pm

Let this be the end of the horrible in-breeding, sick creation of these dogs. PLEASE let us have mixed breeds for this mascot. Let the dead be dead and the living move toward betterment….

Lynda Hanscome

June 6th, 2014
12:13 pm

Let this be the end of the horrible, indefensible inbreeding of these dogs. Let the dead be dead and the living move on to betterment…

CatLadyATL

June 6th, 2014
12:22 pm

Lynda: Your comments are totally inappropriate for those expressing their admiration for a woman who lived Georgia football and obviously will be missed by many. Take your tacky self elsewhere and allow her family, friends and admirers to grieve together. Seiler family, be blessed. I’m very sorry for your loss.

JOHN J

June 6th, 2014
12:23 pm

Great Family! God Bless the Seiler Family. Thank you for all you do and have done for the University of Georgia. And thank you for making Uga our beloved mascot. john j

Mike F

June 6th, 2014
12:41 pm

My condolences. What a rich tradition and wonderful legacy she helped provide for the University of Georgia. The entire Bulldog Nation owes her and the family a debt of gratitude.

Greg Carroll

June 6th, 2014
12:48 pm

Thank you Mr.s. Seiler and your entire family for allowing UGA ’s to be a part of our lives

Macon Dawg

June 6th, 2014
1:32 pm

Lynda Hanscome you are the inbred here. Go make your pathetic comments elsewhere,

HotDawg

June 6th, 2014
1:53 pm

Everybody please report to the ajc to remove the totally inappropriate comments made by someone using a name “Lynda Hanscome” @12:11pm and 12:13pm on June 6th.

HotDawg

June 6th, 2014
1:57 pm

And we are all grateful the Seiler Family carries on our great Uga tradition for future generations.
Thank you Seiler’s and God Bless.

partlycloudy

June 6th, 2014
2:04 pm

I have known Sonny for years, and I met Cecelia years ago when I took a friend to their house to buy one of their puppies. She was so nice.

fb

June 6th, 2014
2:29 pm

I just did and believe all UGA fans should report Linda Hanscombes’s insensitive posts. They should be removed. This family is incredibly comitted to their dogs and don’t deserve such comments (today especially).

gtcaryd

June 6th, 2014
2:33 pm

Lynda has a burr in her azz don’t she.

poad

June 6th, 2014
2:45 pm

Lynda is not WRONG but this is not the place to express the breeding of the Dogs. Everybody knows the Ugas are not healthy but they are LOVED and well cared for as well much beloved by the Dog nation.
Lynda save those comments for another blog.

Poad2013

June 6th, 2014
2:48 pm

did that post show?

THEBuckeye

June 6th, 2014
3:34 pm

UGA biting the Auburn Tiger is one of the most iconic photos in the history of college football.

Poad2013

June 6th, 2014
3:38 pm

Enter your comments here

POAD2013

June 6th, 2014
3:41 pm

THEBuckeye Uga is how you spell it FIRST and Second he Uga VI NEVER Bit the Auburn player but he gave it a good try.. LOL

Mickey Pope

June 6th, 2014
3:42 pm

It’s been many years since we’ve all been together but I have kept up with the 2 or actually 3 of you through the Alumni Magazine. So terribly sorry about your lost. Cecelia was a delightful individual.

Loser Lynda Hanscome

June 6th, 2014
3:58 pm

This woman “Lynda Hanscome” should be ashamed of herself. I think i will just send a message to Lynda Hanscome on FB.

Sam

June 6th, 2014
4:30 pm

Condolences Charles from a former O-House denizen.

Tim Husk

June 6th, 2014
4:55 pm

I sorry to hear your bad news. I will pray for your family.

TvilleDawg

June 6th, 2014
5:05 pm

UGA was the Honorary Grand Marshall in the Thomasville Rose Parade many years ago. Ms. Seiler (and Swann) accompanied our beloved mascot and Ms. Seiler was very quickly loved by all, even the FSU fans who, in garnet and gold regalia, just had to be photographed with UGA. A good time was had by all, and we Thomasvillians still recall the grace and charm of “UGA’s Mom”! Ms. Seiler, we’ll miss you.

AUDVM

June 6th, 2014
7:29 pm

War Eagle Mrs. Seiler!!!!! I had a chance to treat a pup from your line!!!!

WDE

June 9th, 2014
7:06 pm

My condolences. Our families prayers are with you and your family.

Thomas Brown

June 9th, 2014
9:39 pm

God Bless Cecelia Seiler and Family.

FootballTopFan(c)

June 10th, 2014
2:39 pm

Rest In Peace (RIP) !!!