Cecelia Seiler, the wife of Frank W. “Sonny” Seiler who owns the dogs in the Uga mascot lineage, died in Savannah on Thursday, per a report from the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer.
Seiler was a Columus, Ga. native who met her husband Sonny while both were studying at the University of Georgia. They were given a white English Bulldog as a wedding gift by Frank Heard, also of Columbus.
According to a news release from the University of Georgia, Seiler clothed the dog with a children’s t-shirt which had a large ”G” sewn onto the front. On Sept. 19, 1956, she brought the dog to the Georgia football game against Florida State.
Thus, the legendary Uga was born, as a short time later the dog was named Uga I, and was made the official mascot of the team. Currently, the title is held by Russ, who was officially installed as Uga IX on Sept. 15, 2012.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to Sonny and the family,” legendary former UGA football coach Vince Dooley said. ”Cecelia was truly the matriarch and a force behind the Uga tradition. God bless her and the family.”
Current football coach Mark Richt expressed his sadness, saying, “My heart goes out to Sonny and the Seiler family on the passing of Cecelia. I know that my thoughts and prayers and those of the entire Bulldog nation are with the family.
University of Georgia President Jere W. Morehead said, “Cecelia’s devotion to the University of Georgia was surpassed only by her devotion to Sonny and the family. We all mourn her passing and are so thankful for her faithful love and care for the Bulldog tradition.”
Seiler was 80 years old, and is survived by her husband, four children and seven grandchildren.
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