In Memoriam John "Thad" Seeberger
John “Thad” Seeberger was an amazing person. We met in college while attending Old Dominion University to finish our engineering degrees. It was funny how we met. My first week at school several people found out that I was a Pinball Hobbyist Business owner. They said “Oh, you must know Thad”. I said “No” but a few days after that we connected, and our friendship was cemented together, and we remained best friends since. By the time we graduated we were buying games and operating or selling them. Thad went on to work for Sperry Marine and I was working for Jefferson Lab (www.jlab.org), a Dept. of Energy project. It wasn’t long after when Thad was working at the Newport News Shipyard that I convinced him he had to come work with me at the Lab.
Thad couldn’t have been a better fit. He was brilliant. You might not know this, but most people have an ability for either hardware or software. Thad had an ability to master both. He knew Linux better than some of the people that worked with it for their entire careers. All Thad had to do was read a book about a software language and he was ready to go. Add this to his expertise with hardware architecture and now you know what set him apart.
I had been running AlltekSystems and Controls for a few years with another friend doing PLC and industrial systems designs on the side when Thad and I got frustrated repairing the old Bally/Stern pinball boards for the games we were selling. We took on the challenge to make a product line that would answer lots of needs and be affordable. Thad was up for the challenge. That was over 20 years ago and because of Thad, AlltekSystems is a very respected name in the pinball business.
Thad had lots of other interests and talents. He was very generous with his time. If you needed anything he was there to help. Always putting his parents first on the list. He has a deaf dog named Luna that went everywhere he went. If she wasn’t allowed in, he wasn’t going to leave her. Thad was also involved in so many business ventures with some amazing people. I tried counting the other day how many different projects he was involved in besides his full-time government job and I counted over 10.
Let me finish up by saying how my life has been so blessed to have known Thad. I worked with him, and he was one of my best friends for over 35 years. Something came to mind just a day after finding out he had died. I had just finished building a retro computer called MITS Altair 8080 which my dad and I had built in the mid 70s. I had just finished the kit and turned it on and realized that there was only one other person in my life that would appreciate this and he is no longer with me. I will miss Thad and he will be in my thoughts for the rest of my life.
By: David Seidman