Saying ‘goodbye’ to an old friend: The obituary of Tim Seibert

December 7, 2018
By Marcy Shortuse


The following was written by Lynne Seibert, the wife of Tim Seibert, who recently passed away.

Edward J. “Tim” Seibert, 91, passed away peacefully on December 2, 2018 at his home in Boca Grande, with his adoring wife Lynne and loving daughter Pandora at his side.

Tim was a kind and considerate person who loved life to its fullest. He was devoted to his wife of 31 years, Lynne, his daughter Pandora and stepson Aaron.

He deeply cared about Boca Grande and appreciated its rare, close-knit community spirit. Tim was an active advocate for the preservation of the unique character and scale of Boca Grande. He served on the Boca Grande Historic Preservation Board for over seven years and as its chairman for two of those years.

Tim was one of the founding members of the Boca Grande Pass Yacht Club in 1996. He designed the club’s distinctive burgee and served as Commodore in 1998-99. In addition to sailing, Tim Seibert designed yachts in his retirement years and won first place in three Classic Boat Magazine’s international design competitions in the United Kingdom in 2005, 2008 and 2012.

Tim Seibert learned the fine points of sailboat design from his father, an engineer and captain in the U.S. Navy. In the 1950s and ‘60s he sailed in numerous Southern Ocean Racing Conference events, including several St. Petersburg-to-Havana races. An avid sailor since his boyhood, Tim designed and had built his classic wooden sloop, Annie-T in 1972, which he sailed for many years in Sarasota and then in retirement from his home port of Boca Grande.

Edward J. “Tim” Seibert was born in Seattle, Washington on September 27, 1927 to Lt. Commander Edward C. Seibert, U.S.N. and Elizabeth Grimsley Seibert. Tim had been a resident of Sarasota, Florida since 1942 and retired to Boca Grande in 1994. He served in the Navy in World War II and was educated at Stanford University and the University of Florida. He returned to Sarasota in the early 1950s to work alongside innovative architects like Paul Rudolph and Victor Lundy who were then winning national acclaim for Sarasota as a center for architectural design. In 1955, Seibert opened his own office and quickly gained a national reputation for his design work.

His work has been featured in Life, Better Homes & Gardens, House Beautiful, American Home, McCall’s, Architectural Record, and various other national and international publications.
The University of Florida honored Tim Seibert with a Citation of Merit for outstanding service to architectural education in 1964 and he received their Distinguished Alumni Award in 1994. Tim was a member of the President’s Council and served on the College of Architecture campaign committee in 1997.

Tim was an active member of the Gulf Coast chapter of the American Institute of Architects for many years and was a past chapter president and state director. He received numerous AIA awards for his work over the years, including the Florida AIA’s Award of Honor for Design in 1995. He remained active in architectural preservation and educational efforts through his support of the Sarasota Architectural Foundation, served on its advisory board and was honored by them in 2017 with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Over his more than 45 years in practice, the scale and scope of his firm’s work grew to include large development projects: luxury condominiums, resorts, marinas and shopping centers in the U.S. as well as in diverse locations such as Australia, Hawaii, and the Caribbean. Many assignments involved complex land planning and design work for entire resort and residential communities, including 580 acres on Skidaway Island, Georgia, 750 acres on Seabrook Island, South Carolina and Arvida’s 1,400-acre Longboat Key Club in Sarasota.
In 1998, Tim Seibert was elected a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects for being “nationally recognized as a leader in the Sarasota School of Architecture whose commitment to architecture as an art has resulted in consistently provocative and elegant design solutions which distinguished his work for over 40 years.”

The Florida AIA awarded Tim Seibert the 25-Year Test of Time Award for the John D. MacDonald residence in 1999 and again in 2001 for the Richard W. Cooney house. In 2006 Tim received two 25-Year Test of Time Awards for Bayport Condominium on Longboat Key and the T.H. Mitchell House in Sarasota. Tim won the Florida Gulf Coast AIA Chapter Award of Excellence for three designs in 1985, two on Longboat Key and one in Sarasota. He won the Architectural Record’s 1961 Award of Excellence and the American Jewish Committee’s 2006 Civic Achievement Award.

Tim Seibert frequently wrote and lectured on architecture and planning, and his articles have appeared as a weekly newspaper column and in professional journals.
In 1994 he sold the firm to his long-time associates, who continue the firm’s reputation for excellence as Seibert Architects, PA. It is Sarasota’s oldest continuing architectural practice.

Tim Seibert is survived by his devoted and loving wife Lynne, his treasured daughter Pandora Seibert, stepson Aaron Hanretta, wife Kelly and granddaughter Emlyn.

His family and friends will hold a Celebration of Tim Seibert’s life in Sarasota and in Boca Grande, with the dates and times to be announced in the near future.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Boca Grande Health Clinic Foundation or the Suncoast Humane Society.