Sir John Seerey - Lester

Died: May 19, 2020
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Farley Funeral Homes and Crematory
BR Arbuthnot Walker
Katie Dobson Cundiff
Mary van Weezel
Ron Kleiber
Jeannine Passenheim
Denis Mayer Jr.
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Sir John Seerey-Lester

The world of Wildlife Art lost one of its giants with the recent passing of John Seerey-Lester, of Osprey, Florida.  Born and raised in England, John relocated to America in 1980.  He loved his adopted country and became a citizen in 2012.  He is survived by his wife Suzie and his son, John Jr.


With work hanging in the White House, as well as Museum collections, private homes, and assemblages all around the world, John Seerey-Lester is world renowned as one of the top wildlife artists on the planet.  He was known for his mystical and mysterious animals, and  was frequently called “The Godfather of Wildlife Art”.


Known for constantly changing his game, several years ago he started the “Legends of the Hunt” book series.  He wrote all the true stories and he created over 100 images for each of the three books (Legends of the Hunt, Campfire Tales, and The Legendary Hunts of Theodore Roosevelt).  His fourth book Legendary Hunters and Explorers will be published later this year.   John’s favorite thing to paint was Theodore Roosevelt, and was named “The Preeminent modern-day painter of Theodore Roosevelt.


He was Knighted by His Imperial and Royal Highness, Archduke Andreas of Austria for his work in conservation.  He and his wife Suzie received the Sime Combes Award for Conservation in 2014 from Artists for Conservation, The Society of Animal Artist presented him with the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019.  He was also just received the NRA’s Hunter’s Leadership Forum Award, for his work in conservation. This is just a few of the numerous awards he won.


John was generous with his time and talents.  He has been Master or Featured Artist for nearly every major wildlife show both in the US and the UK over the past 42 years.  He and Suzie taught wilderness wildlife workshops for the past 20 years, helping new artist as well as professional artists become better at their craft.


John was known for his gifts to conservation and the organizations that were important to him.  He was honored to be part of the Boone and Crockett Club, Campfire Club of America,  NRA – ILA and HLF, Artists for Conservation, St. Hubertus, Society of Animal Artists, just to name a few conservation organizations.


John was truly a force to be reckoned with, his sketchbooks and sketchpads are filled with ideas that were yet to be painted.  His passion was painting, every waking second of the day.    His legacy will continue.

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Timeline for Sir John Seerey - Lester

July 21, 2018
Raymond James Docents visit John and Suzie Seerey-Lester at their studio
Raymond James Docents visit John and Suzie Seerey-Lester at their studio
Died: May 19, 2020

Condolences for Sir John Seerey – Lester

Farley Funeral Homes and Crematory

Our sincere condolences.

The staff of Farley Funeral Homes and Crematory.


larry chesney posted on 5/29/20

Not only one of the world's great wildlife artists, but a gentle and kind friend. SEWE won't be the same. Fortunately the super-talented Suzie will pick up the brush you left behind. We will miss you, John. And I haven't forgotten what you told me; 'begin with the eyes.' Always.


Ann & Bob Flynn posted on 5/29/20

Having worked at Mill Pond Press and after that at NWF, we knew John to be gracious, kind and humorous. We will treasure our memories of him. John's gift to the world will live on in his beautiful paintings and prints. We are thinking of you, Suzi and John Jr., at this sad time.


Trudy O'Brien posted on 5/26/20

So sorry to hear about John. He will be greatly missed by all who love his art. his stories. his teaching and his humor. Suzie I wish I could be there in person to give you a hug and shed a tear with you. John will be remembered for a long. long time and greatly missed by all of his friends. His friendship and his art have certainly entrenched my life and many others. My prayers are with you and all your family and loved ones. Trudy


Pete Berkery posted on 5/23/20

Your work has been impressive, Best regards to the family. A friend of mine shared the info to me. I will look into your work a bit more. R I P


Rod Frederick posted on 5/23/20

Suzie, I just learned of John's passing. I'm so sorry. I will always have great memories of the two of you. I immediately harken back to years ago when my friend Terry Isaac and I visited your home for a dinner and wine tasting after a show in Florida. I'm a better person and artist having known you two over the years. I'm reminded of John everyday as I walk down my hallway and look at three Giant Panda prints hanging on my wall.R


BR Arbuthnot Walker posted on 5/23/20

This is a tribute to Sir John Seerey-Lester who the art world lost on May 19, 2020. This phenomenal wildlife artist was also a generous mentor to other artists. He gave in great depth to see others succeed. I was fortunate to study with him on several occasions and experience first-hand his genius for painting and his gift for sharing his understanding of wildlife and art techniques. John Seerey-Lester was a gentle spirit with a warm laugh and open heart. This is a great loss. Condolences to all who knew and loved him.


Gerald McRaney posted on 5/23/20

It is hard to conceive that a talent like this is gone. I knew John is not slightly, but will miss him and his talent. He was a very good man. Rest In Peace.


Katie Dobson Cundiff posted on 5/23/20

John was an inspiration to many. I will always remember and admire his talent and generous spirit. He is a giant and will be missed but not forgotten. May he rest in peace.


Kay Williams and Ron Holyfield posted on 5/22/20

Dear Susie, Our prayers are with you. In the past we were privileged to be in shows with John and then, once you came in to his life, with both of you. May you and the rest of John’s loved ones find comfort knowing that he is at peace and no longer suffering. He will be missed by so many. Kay Williams and Ron Holyfield


Mary van Weezel posted on 5/22/20

sense of humor, even in hard times....sweet goodbyes.


Mary van Weezel posted on 5/22/20

Dear Suzie Don and I just heard this sad news , and send our condolences to you. After a long, strong fight, John moved on to the next level. May you find some comfort in the his strength and individuality.


Andreanna King posted on 5/22/20

Hi Suzie, I wish we did not live so far apart because I would be hugging you tight. You know John is there with you.I am just so SORRY that you and the family will grieve because of the missing of him. LOVE and Hugs


Laura Bennawy posted on 5/22/20

Dear Susie, My sincere sympathies and prayers for you and your family. He was the sweetest, kindest man who I have known for at least 30 years. God be with you for healing.


Linda Wallace posted on 5/22/20

Ryan, Tonia, Dick and I send love and sympathy to you Suzie and wish with all our hearts that you find comfort knowing how well the world will remember this extraordinary man who found his world in you. Rest in Peace John.


Jeff Gronauer posted on 5/22/20

Susie, I just heard from Trig French about John's passing. My condolences to you and your family. Jeff Gronauer Camp Fire Club Boone and Crockett Club


Dennis J Logsdon posted on 5/22/20

As a Wildlife Artist I did some Art Shows where John was a featured Artist. He was always generous and forth coming with his support of other artists work and never hesitated in that support to attendees and clients of the art at the shows. He was an Artist for Artists both in discipline and friendship.


Ron Kleiber posted on 5/21/20

Susie, Only the deepest sorrow can be what you and we all feel with the passing of John. He was a giant & pioneer in the profession, and a very friendly man. I am probably One of the people/artists you will not remember having met John at the Lakeland Fl show, and my years at SEWE. John always made it a point to stop at my booth, look at my work and offer kind and Constructive input. I cannot imagine the pain & sorrow you must be feeling, and soon to be replaced With memories of fun, laughter & togetherness. I’m confident your plate will be full Managing Johns legacy along with your own career.


Jonathan Shaw posted on 5/21/20

Dear Suzie, I was so sorry to hear this news. I always admired John's work and being a fellow brit, his humour too. He inspired me to paint better as do you! Sending you virtual hugs at this sad time.


Valeria yost posted on 5/21/20

I am so saddened to hear of Johns passing. He was a great artist and a wonderful teacher. My memories of the class he taught at Montana are still fresh and vibrant. My heart goes out to you. I hope he was able to complete his book. I would love to have a copy someday.


Roy Seerey-Lester posted on 5/21/20

Suzie, our hearts go out to you at the passing of a great artist, husband and a beloved family member. We had the pleasure of spending time with yourselves over your Independence Day holiday period in 2015 and was amazed at the sheer talent and the love that you shared with each other. We treasure the memories of that visit. Since learning the news of John’s battle with cancer, we were so very hopeful that he would overcome the dreaded silent killer. Please accept our deepest condolences from the Down-Under Seerey-Lester family, Roy, Margaret, Craig and Blake.


Jeannine Passenheim posted on 5/21/20

Suzie, all my love...Jeannine


Glen and Susi Rimkus posted on 5/21/20

I am so very sad to hear of John's passing. I took a painting class he and Suzie gave several years ago. It was 4 days of pure joy. I had hoped to take another class with John in the future. I have such fond memories of John. He was such a kind, patient, intelligent and fascinating man, and a true gentleman. John was a supremely talented artist. My sincere condolences to Suzie and the rest of John's family. To John, "May God raise you from death by the power of the resurrection, and also from everlasting death, by the power of the atonement, that ye may be received into the eternal kingdom of God." 2 Nephi 10:25


Gary Byrd posted on 5/21/20

John, your talent and wit will be sorely missed. Suzie, our thoughts a with you.


Brianna LaSalle posted on 5/21/20

Suzie, I'm so sorry to hear of John's passing, I will remember him and yours kindness for the rest of my life. The one of a kind wolf sketch that i have from him is in a frame and hung up on my wall where I will always remember and cherish it. I wish you well in this time of sadness and will keep you in my thoughts.


Sue Ackley posted on 5/21/20

My dearest Suzie - words cannot express the deep sadness I am feeling today upon the news of John's passing. Our visits have been nothing less than pleasurable every time our paths crossed. When I am giving art tours at the Raymond James home office, I always make it a point to stop by yours and John's paintings. I LOVE telling of your love story, as well as all of your adventures that you both shared with me. I shall forever cherish the turtle print and the Tracks in the Sand, vol.2, book I purchased when our docent group visited your studio in Venice back in July 2018. I will also be forever grateful for the wolf print John sketched for my friend Brianna, she simply adores it, knowing she has a one of a kind. His generosity in making a teenager feel special is just one of the things I loved about him. I shall be in touch Suzie, until then, many blessings to you.


Dale Rimkus posted on 5/21/20

Our most heartfelt condolences to Suzie and all their family. John was a great artist, and an even greater man. There is now a hole in the world and in our hearts that will not be filled.


Denis Mayer Jr. posted on 5/21/20

So sad to hear the lost of such a great man and artist. I’m glad I got to meet him years ago at the grouse mountain BC through Artist For Conservation AFC. He certainly painted all the way to the end and was faithful to his call as an artist. Rest in peace and may God give courage and strength to the family.


carol e wasson posted on 5/21/20

So sad to hear of John's passing. I met him and his wife Suzi at SKB in Wyoming. I am fortunate to own one of his sketches. My prayers to the family. He will be missed. Carol Wasson


Rock posted on 5/21/20

My condolences to the family. With hearts filled with sadness from the loss of John may you find comfort in Jesus’ words when he said death was like sleeping and one day all would hear his voice and come out from their memorial tombs to a better life. May we rejoice in that day with John. (John 11:11-14, John 5:28,29, Psalm 37:11,29)