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March 7, 1960 ~ February 2, 2024 (age 63) 63 Years Old
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Seda Witten passed away February 2, 2024, in Emmett, ID. She was born March 7, 1960, in Turkey, to Necmi Yazgan and Sabire Yazgan.
Seda spent most of her youth in Istanbul, although the family moved around some as her father was in the military. At the age of 14, Seda joined a local rowing team. She was very good at this and eventually won the Turkish Cup for her club. Seda did qualify for the Turkish Olympic Team but was robbed of the competition when Turkey boycotted the 1980 Olympics in Moscow.
In 1984, Seda immigrated to the United States with her first husband. In 1989, Seda joined the United States Army and served four years. In 1994, she completed a degree in Biology from Boise State University. This is also the year that Seda went to work for Hughes River Expeditions. Seda worked for Hughes for 13 years and then, with her current husband, went to work for Jeff Helfrich as a drift boat guide on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River for 17 years. Seda was a favorite with the clients, sharing her expertise as a guide, and her enthusiasm for the profession that was her passion.
Seda also worked as an international guide. She guided/traveled in Nepal, Tibet, India, Myanmar, Turkey, Tanzania, Peru, and Argentina. Seda led expeditions on the powerful rivers of Nepal. She also led trekking expeditions to Mt. Everest and Kangchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world. For many years Seda has led her own trips. She has led trips to the holy Mt. Kailash and the Changtang plateau region of Tibet, some of the most isolated parts of the world. Seda was part of the first group of rafters to float the Kameng River in India. Seda and two of her clients climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. She traveled with clients to many historical sites in Turkey and Peru. She was part of a group that floated the upper part of the Irrawaddy River in Myanmar. For the last 12 years, Seda has spent her Winters guiding fishermen in Argentina. The girl has done it all.
Seda was preceded in death by her father, Necmi Yazgan; mother, Sabire Yazgan; and brother, Muzaffer.
She is survived by her husband, Dean Snell; sister, Jale Yazgan of Turkey; and nephew Bora Yazgan of Turkey.
A Celebration of Life will be held at 2:00 PM on Saturday, April 6, 2024, at Dean & Seda’s home.