‘Grandma Dee’ is a giant at Visitation School, Kewanee

Photo Caption: Delores “Dee” Seyller, who has served Visitation Catholic School in Kewanee for more than 50 years, will be celebrated as its “Honorary Giant” on Jan. 30.

She is famous for her hugs and now Visitation Catholic School supporter, aide, room mother and helper Delores “Dee” Seyller is about to get a big hug back from the Kewanee school community she has served for more than 50 years. At a reception following the Catholic Schools Week Mass on Friday, Jan. 30, she will be celebrated as Visitation’s “Honorary Giant.”

“Grandma Dee,” as she is affectionately known, was nominated for the honor because she embodies the Visitation values and traditions of service, caring, excellence, and mentoring.

“I have always tried to make them understand they are special,” she said of the students, who often receive “grandma hugs.” She also remembers them on their birthdays.

“I still see students who are in high school and they give me hugs now,” she said.

Grandma Dee has assisted the school as a religious education coordinator, youth ministry helper, PTA member, reading and math tutor, and prayer instructor. She worked with longtime teacher Donna Holevoet and now assists Heather Sellers in her first grade class.

All six of her own children graduated from Visitation, as did her husband of 62 years, Milt.

“If you have the opportunity you should send your children to Visitation,” Grandma Dee said. “I have personally seen how so many children have grown academically and spiritually as a result of attending the school.”

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