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Family and friends mourn death of decorated military and OPP veteran | #lovescams | #military | #datingscams | #datingscams | #love | #relationships | #scams | #pof | #match.com | #dating

Published June 16, 2023 2:07 p.m. ET

Updated June 16, 2023 6:29 p.m. ET

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Family and friends are mourning the loss and celebrating the life of a mentor, consummate professional and decorated military veteran following his death Saturday night.

Loved ones confirmed to CTV News Master Warrant Officer Stuart Seki, who served 34 years in the Canadian Armed Forces while also serving 18 years with the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), died in Tay Township of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

RELATED | SIU investigating death after Police Interaction in Tay Township

According to the province’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU), a man called the police around midnight on June 10, reporting he intended to harm himself.

Officers responded to a parking lot on Highway 12 and negotiated with the man for roughly 10 hours before he shot himself, the SIU reports.

A Celebration of Life was held earlier this week in Midland for Seki. The 55-year-old lived in Barrie, Orillia, and the Midland area and served in Afghanistan roughly a decade ago.

Colleagues say they are heartbroken to have lost a leader unlike any other.

“Any time we had our celebration or formal dinners, Stu would bring out one of his 10 or so instruments. He was really a polymath; able to play the fiddle, the trumpet, the bugle, among other things, so he’s very well loved by everyone in the unit,” said Commanding Officer John Im, 32 Service Battalion..

Lt. Col. Mike Lacroix of the Grey and Simcoe Foresters recalled meeting Seki when the two were teamed up as company commander and company sergeant major at the 32 Canadian Brigade Group Battle School.

“We were both new in our roles,” he said. “After our first month together, we gave each other our first’ report card.’ He told me that I was the first person to ever take an interest in his personal development as a sergeant major. That comment has always stayed with me, especially when I provide mentoring to experienced leaders like him.”

The Ontario Provincial Police Association released a statement to CTV News, writing, “Stuart Seki served with honour and integrity the citizens of Canada with the Canadian Armed Forces and the citizens of Ontario through his service with the Ontario Provincial Police. His death is a tragedy that we all grieve.”

The statement concluded, “We encourage our members and their families to reach out and talk to someone if you are struggling. Our OPP Association Encompas Mental Health Wellness Program is available 24/7 by calling 1-866-794-9117, and the OPP Healthy Workplace Team can be reached at 1-844-677-9409.”

“He was an outstanding person, very much a father figure to every one of our soldiers. It really hit us very, very hard,” said Im.

Loved ones have requested privacy and say they plan to honour Seki’s memory with a scholarship or award for young Cadets.

Funeral plans have yet to be announced.


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