'Irreplaceable:' Colleagues discuss Seguin's legacy

By Jill Sperling
September 25, 2017 - 4:57pm

KAMLOOPS — Determined. Innovative. Passionate. 

Those are some of the words being used to describe Christopher Seguin. 

The 39-year-old vice president of advancement at TRU passed away Friday, Sep. 22. 

Seguin was in Victoria on business when he was admitted to hospital for a critical illness, according to a statement by the university. 

He leaves behind a wife, and two young children. 

"It's still unbelievable," said Danalee Baker, executive director of the United Way Thompson Nicola Cariboo, "It's hard to process, someone so young, someone so vibrant, someone who was such a big part of our community."

Seguin was a former Rotary Club president, active member, and a visionary for what Kamloops could accomplish. 

"We made history together, United Way and TRU, because of the innovation and the foresight of Christopher," Baker said. "He suggested that we run our fundraising campaigns together in a collaboration called TRUly United. Our staff and board are so happy that that happened." 

The campaign helps students who struggle to afford their university education.

Seguin was also instrumental in putting together the initiative called Feeding the Future.

"He called me," Kamloops Food Bank Executive Director Bernadette Siracky said, "and asked the school district to be involved, United Way, and Rotary, and the four of us made this effort to start starfish backpacks in our community where children who don't have food at home, identified by the schools, they go home with a backpack full of food." 

As a Rotary Club member, Seguin focused a great deal of attention on ensuring children didn't go hungry. 

"During his presidency me and him sat down, and we thought that you know there's nothing out in Kamloops for the children, the needy children in Kamloops," explained Devon O'Toole, past president of the Rotary Club of Kamloops. "So, we started the Rotary Family Dinners back then and they're still continuing today. His contributions to the community have been overwhelming and great and it's just very sad to lose a great pillar of our comunity."

Seguin's position with TRU saw him rub shoulders with donors, one of them being local philanthropist Ken Lepin. 

Lepin donated $2.25 million to the institution in 2014, but says his relationship with Seguin was about more than business.

"My wife Maureen and I loved him as a son," he said, "and his wife Melissa and their two boys were like family."

Lepin says Seguin brought out the best in people, and gave generously of his time and enthusiasm. 

"I think he's irreplaceable, and I think he sort of upped the bar in Kamloops for donations, giving time, doing projects like that. He was a bit of a visionary I suspect."

The cause of Seguin's death has yet to be released. 

In lieu of flowers, a trust account can be found at any Kamloops CIBC location.

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