Lighting the way

Jan and Necia Seamons were named Lamplighter and Queen of Lights at the annual Candlelight dinner on Nov. 6. The dinner is a fundraiser for the Festival of Lights.

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Jan and Necia Seamons were named Lamplighter and Queen of Lights at the Candlelight Dinner on Nov. 6 in the Robinson Building. Family and friends were present to join in honoring the esteemed couple.

“What a surprise but we are truly honored,” said the Seamons. “We love this community and we appreciate the hard work and dedication of the many good people here who give of themselves to make it the great place that it is.”

They were introduced midway through the first session to a standing ovation with some background and a description of their many hours of service to the community, written by their children.

Jan and Necia Seamons know what it means to “Serve the Citizens of Preston” — not only in their lifelong careers, but in how they both serve those around them by giving extra care to make Preston an even better place to call home.

Jan was born and raised in Preston as one of three children to Blair and Janet Seamons, and is a diehard citizen. He has been known to say, “If you can’t find it in Preston, you don’t need it.”

Jan is a new retiree after working 38 years at Preston City. Hired on as a mechanic, then Public Works Director and later Foreman, he is a bank of information in maintaining the public facilities and infrastructure.

Jan has decorated downtown Preston for the Festival of Lights since its inception. He designed, welded, and bent the frames of the original light sculptures mounted on the roof the city office building. He is the expert at maneuvering a CAT backhoe, not only when working on the water and sewer lines that run beneath the streets, but also when perfectly placing Christmas trees in the heart of Preston. For decades Jan has lead city crews in preparing for this festival weeks in advance from stringing lights and hanging the large displays to building the center stage for festival entertainment on State Street.

Jan goes out of his way to support countless friends and neighbors in getting out of a bind with an excessive amount of skill and knowledge to engineer, repair and create anything. Whether it is rebuilding a critical piece of machinery or helping others to make special one-of-a-kind gifts for their loved ones.

Jan enjoys sharing great food with others and is an excellent Dutch-oven chef. Several ways he does this is by volunteering to cook dinners for the Oneida Stake Academy Heritage Days, serving his church community, and in his neighborhood parties. He has also served as a Dutch-oven cook-off judge for the Franklin County Fair.

Necia, a native to Utah, was born to Jack and Elaine Palmer and is the oldest of eight children. She served a Spanish-speaking mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Florida. Her first taste of living in Idaho was while attending Ricks College in Rexburg, Idaho for her Associates Degree. She then moved to Weber State University where she finished her bachelor’s degree in Journalism/Spanish. 28 years ago, she made her way back to Idaho where she found her permanent home in the rural community of Preston after accepting a position as editor with the Preston Citizen reporting on the local news, events, and happenings of Franklin County.

Necia is considered a thorough local historian and shares stories and brings to light the experiences of the past Preston, its businesses, and families. A timeless asset to the public, her book, “Images of America: Preston” is a collection of historical pictures taken between 1890-1950 of the people and places of Preston, Idaho. She researched the photos and wrote about the people and places in them. She also has written and compiled a formal family biography book for each side of Jan’s family, who are two families local to Franklin County. “In the Shadow of South Canyon” is the story of Delbert Bennett Seamons and Lucille Jepsen Seamons of Mink Creek. “Knudson” is a history of the lives of Virgil Gilbert Knudson and Leah Nash Knudson of Preston.

Necia believes that “when we all work together, we have a far better capacity to accomplish great things.” And living that mantra, she is a founding board member of the Oneida Stake Academy Foundation. Necia has served over 19 years researching and sharing its history, managing public relations, and writing grants for the Academy’s restoration and preservation efforts. She was an integral cog in the wheel that orchestrated the historical physical move of the Oneida Stake Academy building to its new home in Benson Park in 2003. It was her monumental effort and sheer grit that awarded Necia and the Friends of the Academy as the Herald Journal’s 2003 Cache Valley Resident of the Year.

As a community cheerleader, Necia has spent time lecturing in the schools, rotary and Lions Clubs and sharing the message that Preston citizens come from great roots and that they have it in them to be just as amazing as those who built this community. She inspires others to understand the importance of knowing what their history is for themselves and future generations.

Jan and Necia are always helping somewhere or someone in the community while supporting each other in their service. Necia has been a substitute teacher and Jan has driven school buses for students going to out of town activities. They both keep busy with active service with their church and are a 4H/FFA Award sponsor at Franklin County Fair.

It is here in Preston that Jan and Necia met, married, and have made their home in Whitney. They share three married children, Heaps and her husband Jason, Doug and Ashley Seamons and Sam and Sydney Seamons, and seven grandchildren. Necia leads by example in honoring the history of the people while Jan is the heritage and tradition of Preston.

“Jan and Necia Seamons are the perfect lamplighters,” said committee president Allyson Wadsworth. “So fun to celebrate with them and their family.”

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