The hundreds of people who packed the Sooke Community Hall on Sunday speaks volumes to the kind of positive impact Jeff Seabrook made on the community.
Seabrook, the owner of WestCoast Tire, passed away suddenly on Jan. 2.
“Talking to friends and family, it always comes back to how Jeff was just an overall solid guy,” said his daughter, Stephanie Travis.
“He cared about the community he was part of, and made countless donations to any charity that stopped in asking for help.”
Seabrook, who was 54, started working at WestCoast Tire in his teens, and took over the family business in his early 20s.
“It was truly a family business in every sense of the word, with lots of family members involved,” Travis said.
“Jeff also had a way of making new staff feel like members of the family the minute they walked through the door. Customers were always greeted with a smile. He was a soft-hearted man who ensured transparency for them. He would go through heaps of good used tires to find that perfect set for someone who couldn’t afford a new set but needed safe tires for their family. Jeff wanted to make sure everyone riding in that vehicle was riding on safe tires, no matter what their income was. No matter what, he would work to make that happen. He was the same way with family,” Travis said. “He would open the family home to anyone who needed a place, and he would offer them a place to work if they needed that too.”
Seabrook kept the window ledges at the business lined with Hot Wheels so the kids who came in with their parents would have something to play with while they watched staff work on the family vehicle in the shop, Travis noted. The staff are understandably shocked and upset, but are keeping the business running because they know Seabrook would have wanted it that way, she added.
That love of family extended enthusiastically to his five grandchildren as well. “Jeff adored them and made sure he was the first person to give them their first taste of ice cream,” she recalled. “He had this funny giggle he shared whenever he was doing something that might make young parents nervous, like teaching the grandkids how to drive go karts.”
Seabrook leaves behind his mother, Ginny Seabrook, his loving wife, Sandy, Stephanie and her brother, Matthew Ralphs, as well as countless other family members, friends and colleagues.