Gregory Seitz Profile Photo
1976 Gregory 2023

Gregory Seitz

July 3, 1976 — September 12, 2023

Greg Seitz—sawyer, skier, ecologist, humanitarian—would have had it no other way.  Death by tree, mountainside, Wednesday, September 13th.  High on the new slopes of Montana Snowbowl.
When a big tree falls in the forest it leaves a very large hole in the canopy above. It may have taken that tree a century to grow and outcompete others in order to fill the void left by its predecessor. Greg was a big tree and his branches reached far into the spaces around him, his roots deep into the soil. He offered shade for the understory below, stood strong against the wind, seeded future generations, and ultimately died to create nourishment and space for his legacy. He has left this community a large hole to fill but created space for us to all grow in his absence.
He’d come west for snow in the mid-nineties.  A teenager from Maine searching for big mountains and endless winter.  First to Utah, then to Montana.  In Missoula, he found not only wild mountains in which to ski and work, but a community that evolved into family.  Aside from a few early trips back, he never returned to the east, though he stayed close to his friends there.  
He earned a bachelors at the University of Montana. He owned an ice cream truck.  He earned a Master of Business Administration.  He skied the backcountry, from the Tetons to Canada.  He cut trees.  He loved and was loved.  
In felling trees by chainsaw, he was able to make sense of a chaotic world; the beauty and tragedy that was so existential in his daily life became fundamental, comprehensible.  The chaos of being a sawyer instilled a calmness within him.  The outside world became tangible—in the mountains, he found an equilibrium in which he thrived; the number of trees felled was an equation which he knew in the end could include the giving of his own life.  After suffering a broken spine, and witnessing a similarly near-fatal accident with a dear friend, no one was more cognizant of the hazards of felling trees; no one more willing to face risk in order to truly function.
Greg (known as George by his Missoula college friends) was a long time resident of Missoula.  An ecologist, orator, intellectual, and advocate for all thing wild, Seitz was something of a de facto mayor about town, always on hand at Charlie B’s, coffee shops, burrito joints.  He was famous for stump speeches, knew most Missoulians by name, and he loved nothing more than finding an aspiring young skier to hand-off a pair of skis to under one simple stipulation: Ski.  Use your skis.  Get out and go.  
Above all, he was a giver.  He was a kind, generous, sometimes troubled soul, and in the end he gave his life to the mountains that had given him life.  Balance.  As William Carlos Williams said, “If you can bring nothing to this place but your carcass, keep out.”  Greg was all the way in.
Greg is survived by the love that he’s given to the people and place that was his home.  He leaves behind stumps, ski runs, countless friends, and many women who wished they’d had the courage to ask him to go skiing.

 A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, October 7th from 1 PM to 5 PM, at Montana Snowbowl.

In lieu of flowers please send donations in the form of check to “Missoula Adaptive Recreation and Sports” (501c3) at: 930 Mount Avenue, Missoula, MT 59801.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Gregory Seitz, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Saturday, October 7, 2023

1:00 - 5:00 pm (Mountain time)

Service will be held at Montana Snowbowl.

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