Last month, famed football player, actor, singer, minister and needlepointer Rosey Grier quietly married Wichita kindergarten teacher Cydnee Seyler.
The two first met at a Tulsa conference in 1991 and have been friends ever since. But it wasn’t until last fall that they began to think about marriage.
“I’d always had a great admiration for him,” said Seyler Grier, who taught at Benton Elementary in west Wichita this school year. “I’d known him all this time but only as a friend and acquaintance.
“I’ve been feeling my heart and emotions have been on a roller coaster. It’s been better than a Cinderella story.”
Grier, 80, and Seyler, 63, were married April 30 in Wichita. She finished teaching this month and plans on joining her new husband in California. Since the wedding, he has been remodeling his condo near Brentwood, Calif.
“We have been friends over the years,” Grier said during an interview from California. “I spent time with her kids and had them involved with projects.
“When I would come to Wichita with World Impact and campaign with Todd Tiahrt, I would see this lady who was always involved in the community and always helping to make things better.
“When my wife Margie got sick, I called Cyd up and asked if she would join me in praying for my wife. When my wife died, I called her (Cydnee) and thought I’d like to go and visit with her and see how she changed over the years.”
The two spent last Thanksgiving together in California.
“It seemed to click,” Grier said. “I felt like this was the woman I had been searching for. She’s a very beautiful lady who has taken good care of herself. She has a great love for community and children and, of course, I do, too.”
Grier is most famous for being part of the Los Angeles Rams’ “Fearsome Foursome” defensive line in the 1960s. And, on June 6, 1968, Grier – a friend of the Kennedy family – was Ethel Kennedy’s bodyguard at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles when Sirhan Sirhan shot Sen. Robert Kennedy. Grier ended up wrestling Sirhan’s gun away from him and pinning him down.
Through the years, Grier has periodically come to Wichita for events with World Impact – an urban ministry founded in Los Angeles – and the Milken Family Foundation. Seyler Grier has lived in Wichita since 1981. She was born in Pittsburg and raised in Iola.
“I wanted to be with someone who had a love for God,” Grier said. “I’m looking at a world falling apart; all the moral values of the nation and world seemed to be falling away, and no one seems to be caring.
“When Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. were assassinated, I looked in the mirror and said, ‘Now what are you going to do?’
“We need people to say everyone is precious and valuable.”