Member Moments: Giving Is What This Rochester Hero Does—And He Does It Well

  • Member Stories
April 13, 2020
Mike Seidel is a giving guy. He gave to his country when he served in the Navy. He gave to the Rochester community when he served as a police officer for 29 years. And he’s still giving today in a very colorful way. Like clockwork, Mike gives flowers to the Rochester branch of Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union each week. Why? Well, let’s learn a little more about Mike first. 
Mike is nearly 79 years old and has been married to his wife, Jan, for almost 60 years. Before marrying, Mike served in the Navy on the USS Salamonie (AO-26). He remembers exactly how long—two years, nine months and 17 days. It’s not something you easily forget. And when he came home from service, he married Jan, the love of his life, and together they were blessed with a son and four daughters.

Grateful moments throughout his years in law enforcement with the Rochester police department were many. Mike was especially proud to bring National Night Out to the Rochester community though he recalls the most rewarding times involved saving lives. He recollects that about 30 people “got to see another day because of the CPR” he and his partner did. One such moment involved performing CPR on a doctor who coded in a pool. The doctor’s son sent Mike a letter addressed “Dear hero” and stated that if not for Mike and his partner, his father would not have survived. “I don’t know if that’s true,” says the ever humble Mike. “But I did tell my wife to hang that one on my casket because then they can say, ‘Well look, he did something good!’”

Mike has so many amazing stories to tell! He met Barbara Bush in the 1960s while she was in Rochester for a visit to Mayo Clinic and a local library where she read to children. Mike was part of the police escort that day and recounts how Mrs. Bush shook hands with everyone and took pictures with the police officers, which were then mailed out to the officers. What she did “tells me that she was a pretty special lady to do that. I was blessed to be able to meet her.”

While in retirement, Mike has stayed active. He walks every day—2.8 miles according to the pedometer—but he likes to round that up to 3 when he tells you how far he’s gone. His giving spirit even shines through on his walks as he continues to give back to the community by helping pick up trash during his walks. And he serves as treasurer of an association dedicated to his former Navy ship and attends a yearly USS Salamonie reunion in Warren, Indiana.

Now, back to the story behind the flowers. Every Wednesday for several years, Mike brings the Rochester branch of Affinity Plus flowers simply because he enjoys doing so. Mike buys flowers for his wife, Jan, each week and also buys an extra bouquet for Affinity Plus. “The smiles [the Affinity Plus team] have are worth whatever the cost is. I enjoy doing things like that. Years ago when I would bring my wife flowers at work, her coworkers would ask, ‘what did Mike do now, what kind of trouble is he in?’ I’ve never given her flowers because I was in trouble. I just like doing this.”

Mike has been an Affinity Plus member for more than 50 years, joining when he started with the Rochester police department. “The people at Affinity Plus have been good to me. They’re so people-oriented and ready to help members out. I suspect if I asked them to stay late to do business with me, they would! They always smile when I come in and call me by name. Probably because of the flowers, but I would like to think that it’s because of me too.”

The love is definitely mutual. Just ask Billie Packer, branch manager for Affinity Plus, Rochester.  “Mike’s thoughtful gift of flowers brings smiles to peoples’ faces and brightens the week for all who see them. We love when Mike visits because he’s just so wonderful—with or without the flowers!”
Based in St. Paul, Minn., Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union is a not-for-profit, financial cooperative that puts people first above profits. Members of Affinity Plus receive maximum value through competitive rates, minimal fees, and unique, member-centric products and programs. Established in 1930, Affinity Plus has 28 branches located throughout Minnesota and is owned by more than 200,000 members. Affinity Plus has over $2 billion in assets. Additional information is available at www.affinityplus.org or by calling (800) 322-7228.