R.R. “Blue” Seal, former justice court judge, dies

Published 1:39 pm Tuesday, July 22, 2008

“He was my hero,” said Pamela Herrin of her father Rufus Ray “Blue” Seal. “He was a big guy with lots of love and a big heart.”

The lifetime resident of Picayune succumbed to his long battle with kidney cancer lFriday, July 11, at a hospital in Covington, La. He was 72.

While serving three terms as Justice Court Judge for Pearl River County, Seal became known as the “singing judge.” Herrin said he performed the marriage ceremony for many, many, many couples and then he would sing to them.

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“He was about bigger than life. He was six foot, three and it was hard to fill his shoes,” she said. Because of his stature he called himself the “older Elvis,” and he did Elvis impersonations. He loved singing Elvis songs and playing the guitar.

Seal’s famil said he loved public service. Throughout his life he served his in a number of capacities, working in both the fire and police departments before eventually running for office and serving three terms as Justice Court Judge.

Herrin describes her father as a real people person and someone who always fought for the underdog. “He never met a stranger,” she said.

One of her fondest memories of her father was hugging his big stomach. “He just took care of you. He was a family person.”

Seal seemingly had an effect on everyone he came in contact with. “Everybody that’s ever met him has a story,” said Terry Herrin, Seal’s son-in-law. He describes him as having a strong personality with a hearty laugh, and someone who loved pulling pranks.

Seal’s struggle with cancer lasted for more than 10 years. “We thought we lost him three times before the end,” said Pam Herrin. During this time he never once complained.

Seal was preceded in death by his wife, Geraldine “Gerry” Seal, who passed unexpectedly two and a half years prior. The couple was married for 49 years until her death.

Seal’s services took place last weekend at Pine Grove Baptist Church. Brother Tim Mims officiated the services.

He is survived by his two daughters, Pamela and Paula Suzette Seal; his two grandchildren, Terry Brandon Herrin of Picayune and Amy Lauren Von Antz of Lafayette, La.; and his two great-grandchildren, Madison Rivers and Presley Lynn Herrin.