Those closest to murdered doctor talk about his life, family and dedication to patients

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MASSILLON, Ohio - Those who worked closest with a Massillon area doctor who was the victim of a fatal ambush on Monday remember him as a selfless man who wanted his patients to feel as though they were friends.

Dr. George Seese was shot and killed while getting into his SUV in a parking lot outside of Affinity Medical Center in Massillon on Monday afternoon.

Police have identified the gunman as Michael Wood, 50, of New Philadelphia, who then turned the gun on himself taking his own life.

Investigators believe the motive was personal, driven by jealousy over a woman both men had dated.

On Tuesday, members of Seese's personal office staff were consoling one another.
Many had worked with him for well over a decade.

"He's just a remarkable man who cared just beyond the time that he was in the room with a patient. He cared about them, would joke with them tell stories, listen to their stories. He just cared. People left the office in love with that man. If it was their first time, he just had a way of making you feel at home and not like you are at a doctor's office," said Patty Stroh, Seese's medical assistant.

Her words are echoed in the memories of everyone else in the close-knit office.

"He had a way about it even when he was delivering bad news. He had a way of saying 'this is how it is' and 'this is what we are going to do' and 'I'm going to be here with you..we are going to get through this together,'" said Roxanne Fish, a nurse practitioner.

Seese was described as a man who loved his relationships with his children and would sacrifice his own time so that the colleagues in his practice could spend time with their own families.

Dr. Wayne Gross met Seese when both were in their first day of cardiology school and considers him his best buddy.

"This weekend he came in to another hospital and finished all the work that needed to be done on his day off. I mean that's the guy who always came in for his colleagues. That's the guy who held this group together," said Gross.

Gross said Christmas was Seese's favorite time of year and he would take his own kids shopping for Christmas gifts for as many as three other families.

"His dad and mom died at a young age and so he always wanted to make memories for his kids. So he would always take them on a trip that would encapsulate a memory. So he just got back from Canada fishing with his kids so every vacation, every thought, was definitely kid-oriented," said Gross.

"He comes into work with blue jeans and a wrinkled polo shirt and nobody believes he's a doctor," said Dorie Preston, a nurse who worked closely with Seese.

"They could call him 'Skip,' didn't want to call him 'doctor' by any means. He would let them call him in the middle of the night. Neighbors who had troubles he would go help them. He was just awesome," said Rose Campbell, a nurse practitioner who worked with another of the physicians in their cardiology group.

Dr. Scott Williams, a primary care physician, said he and Seese saw many of the same patients and many of them believe they are alive because of Dr. Seese.

"I have had so many patients rave about him. Just about how if they were in the hospital and they were panicked, Dr. Seese would walk in the room and just a sigh of relief just knowing that Dr. Seese was there," said Williams.

The shooting on Monday has left a massive void in the privately owned practice where Seese would see about 35 patients a day in his office and then make rounds at area hospitals where he had privileges.

"I spent this morning with a lady who he came in to see this weekend and we cried for 20 minutes, one of his patients and we just sat there and we cried together there in the hospital room for 20 minutes," said Gross. "I mean, I talked to a patient last night who called me and says I'm having a panic attack because I just lost my friend."