Friday, June 6, 2014

Cecelia Seiler, wife of Uga IX owner Sonny Seiler, passes away.

Cecelia Seiler with Uga V. Photo via

Condolences go out to the family and loved ones of Cecelia Seiler, who passed away on Thursday. Mrs. Seiler was the wife of Sonny W. Seiler, owner of Georgia mascot UGA IX and his predecessors.

The former Cecelia Gunn married Sonny Seiler in 1955. The newlyweds lived in Athens while Sonny attended law school at Georgia, and worked in the Georgia athletic department . It was there that they were given a white bulldog as a wedding present, which was named "Uga" by their close friend, Bill Young. 

According to the book Damn Good Dogs, The Real Story of Uga, the University of Georgia Mascots, the Seilers dressed Uga up in a child's red t-shirt which Cecelia had sewn a black "G" on it for a party at Sonny's fraternity before Gerogia's home first game of the 1956 college football season. Uga was so popular with the party goers that the Seilers were encouraged to bring Uga to Stanford Stadium for the game.

A photo of Uga with a pair of Georgia cheerleaders caught the attention of Georgia sports information Dan Magill, who was looking for a live bulldog for use as a mascot for the team. At his request, then-Georgia head football coach Wally Butts asked Sonny if the school could use Uga as its mascot, which Sonny agreed to.

For the next fifty-plus years, the Seilers took on the job as owner and caretaker of Uga and his eight sucessors on the sidelines of Georgia football games in Athens and across the country.

Cecilia Seiler is survived by her husband Sonny, her children Swann Seiler, Charles Seiler, Bess Thompson, and Sara Storey, along with seven grandchildren.

In a statement, Georgia head coach Mark Rich gave his condolences to the Seiler family.

“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 head coach and athletic director Vince Dooley also gave his condolences.

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

(via Bulldawg Illustrated, )

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