Seitter’s Market has been in New Haven for over 40 years and continues to go strong. Seitter’s was opened by Arnold Seitter and is still run by his daughter and son, Karen and Randy Seitter, as well as Lisa Kissee, a friend of the family.
Recently, Seitter’s Market suffered a great loss: Arnold Seitter, founder, passed away. He spent 40 years of his life building the store up. His legacy will never be forgotten, and the whole town is filled with grief. He was a great man who created this grocery store that turned into a home. A place where everyone feels accepted and loved. Where we all know everybody. He will be missed, but we all know he is still watching over the store, because that is where his family is.
Arnold was born in New Haven in 1933. He worked for Mr. Pratt from the age of 13 until he joined the service. He started by sweeping floors and then he graduated to being a "soda jerk". From 1953-1956, Arnold served in the United States Air Force. In 1958, he married Marilyn J. Seitter (née Wolfe) and they continued to live in New Haven. They had four children; Grace, Colleen, Karen, and Randy. He was an active member of the New Haven United Methodist Church, New Haven Lions Club, the New Haven American Legion, and was a former board member for the New Haven School District.
Arnold owned and operated Seitter’s Market in New Haven for years. He enjoyed his time at the store working and helping customers. When he wasn’t hard at work, he loved to bird watch, travel, cut grass, hunt, fish, and spend numerous hours with his family.
I can’t recount a time where Arnold wasn’t working hard or cheering people up. He was always at the store, lending a helping hand and talking to his loyal customers. He always wore a smile on his face and carried a good attitude with him. He will truly be missed at Seitter’s and in our community.
Many of Arnold’s friends and family had stories to tell about him.
Karen Seitter had a great story about the time Arnold delivered groceries to a lady at the top of ... Katalpa Hill (...the steepest hill in town-- it is now closed). After taking the groceries inside, he went outside and his truck was gone (it was winter and icey). It had rolled down to the bottom of the hill into the creek.
Marilyn said that Arnold did not get to attend his 8th grade graduation because he was swinging on a vine and fell off and broke his arm.
“Arnold was on the school board, a boy scout leader, and held lots of positions in church. He loved his grandkids - he and Marilyn took two different sets of grandkids to Hawaii; they talked to their kids every Sunday when they moved away,” Lisa Kissee recited.
Another story recounted about Arnold was when he and Ed delivered the New Haven papers, Arnold never charged the folks for their papers. He was very generous-- if someone couldn't afford groceries, he made sure they got what they needed.
According to Lisa, Arnold loved to put up groceries on Tuesdays and Fridays. He loved to converse with people-- he cared about them and what was happening in their lives. He loved to teach, to share what he had learned in his decades of running a grocery business.
She also shared that Karen found out at his funeral that he always attended the funerals of fallen comrades (military members) and took part in the ceremony presented by the American Legion members.
Lisa went on to describe, “He told me once about getting electrocuted while on base during active duty. A buddy took a broom and knocked him from the current. Don't know the guy’s name (Arnold said it, but I don't remember), but there wouldn't be a Karen or Randy or Seitter's Market if not for that guy.”
According to sources, Arnold and Marilyn took lots of trips. They traveled to Brazil for a month when their first granddaughter was born (their daughter and her husband were missionaries there). They traveled to Mexico City for the bull fights and cheered for the bulls. They liked to take historical trips because they enjoyed learning about America's history. Once they took a trip to Louisiana based on the address on a bottle of hot sauce in the store. They visited the plant that made the hot sauce and of course other sights while there.