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“What a great fun loving man I had the pleasure of meeting him at Paramount of South Hills ..... I enjoyed taking care of him even thou he always...Read More »
1 of 5 | Posted by: Jodi Dobnak - Pittsburgh, PA

“I was so touched by your dad's memorial in Newsday that it brought tears to my eyes. It was so beautifully written and told about the life of a very...Read More »
2 of 5 | Posted by: Karen Krause - Laurel, NY

Howard & Shirley, Washington Oaks Park, Florida “Today we have lost a good friend, buddy, and Best Man at our wedding.I lived in Richmond Hill Queens,I first met Ted while my mother and his mother...Read More »
3 of 5 | Posted by: Howard Hawrey - Palm Coast, FL

“My Dad, fellow Retired SCPD Marine Bureau Officer, Russell Smith, and his family wish to express our sincere condolences to Teddy's family and...Read More »
4 of 5 | Posted by: Russell and Joan Smith and Children - NY

“Sending healing prayers and comforting hugs ”
5 of 5 | Posted by: Anne Davis - Patchogue, NY


Born July 13, 1935. Died May 7, 2020.
(To be honest, he hated the name Theodore and much preferred going by Ted, Teddy, Dad, Papa, or Grampy, depending on the person.)
He was born and grew up in Richmond Hill, Queens, where he and his dad kept pigeons and he often went fishing with his friend Howard (Iggy). As an adult, he lived in Long Island, Southern California, Florida, and - most recently - Western Pennsylvania.

He was a U.S. Navy Seabee stationed in Bermuda, Norfolk, and St. John's, Newfoundland. After his service, he worked for the airlines at LAX and Idelewild (now JFK) before becoming a Suffolk County Police Officer. He was a patrolman on the South Shore and later joined the Marine Patrol in Port Jefferson. He saved multiple lives, including pulling a man from a burning car, which earned him official recognition for bravery from the Department. As his granddaughter Madeleine put it in a recent essay for her 4th grade class, "He was a saver."

He married Susan on his birthday in 1968 after pursuing her relentlessly around the streets of Sayville, NY. When they were dating, he would play police jokes, like pretending to be arrested in front of her or pulling her car over with sirens blaring for no reason whatsoever. It should be noted that he tried to pull her mother over too, but Grandma Annie would just ignore him and keep driving.

He was a dedicated father who could almost always be found going to the dump with at least one of his infant daughters in the front seat of a pickup truck. In later years, he would "kidnap" us by promising that we were "just going to the grocery store," and then proceed to run errands all day long with us in tow just because he liked our company. If we stayed home, then it was either knockwurst or fried Spam sandwiches for lunch. He was always the one to pick us up from school dances no matter how late, and he always parked in the same spot with his running lights on, so we could see him. He wouldn't let us leave the house without washing our faces and making sure we made our beds. When I was a kid, I was asked "Why does your dad stand at the bus stop every day with you and wait for you to get on the bus?" Not realizing the question was intended to be antagonistic, I stopped the boy in his tracks when I answered with the simple truth, "Because he loves us."

He had a quick temper and a big heart. He was the ultimate feminist, a clean freak, and quirky as all get out. He always took our side, no matter what. He would have lied for us on the stand while under oath.

He loved animals more than people. Family members, close friends, and children were exceptions to this rule. There was always a menagerie at the house in Wading River, which included, but was not limited to, dogs, cats, rabbits, geese, chickens, and pigeons. He was known to block traffic in order to relocate wayward turtles on multiple occasions.

The man could never sit still. Ever. He was a doer. He built furniture and carved birds. He loved warm weather, cherry pie, Good 'n Plenty, Starbucks, spoiling his Chihuahuas, and just being with his two granddaughters, who he found absolutely hilarious. He especially loved fishing with his daughter Kara, his most favorite fishing partner. He was scared of horror movies, but he loved Hallmark Channel romcoms. He hated cauliflower and neckties with a fiery passion. One of his many superpowers was making potato pancakes, which everybody loved. He was tickled and proud that his wife and daughters all earned advanced degrees, and would tell anybody who would listen about them in detail.

He is survived by his wife Susan, his daughters Jacqueline and Kara, his son-in-law Jonathan, his granddaughters Madeleine and, Emily, and his brothers Ronald and Gene. He was predeceased by his dad Theodore Sr., his mother Josephine, his sister Arlene, and his infant sister Lenore, who died very young.
Dad died as a result of injuries sustained from multiple falls over the past year. He really never could sit still. We cannot give a funeral because of the pandemic, but he wouldn't have wanted one anyway. He once instructed us to "bury me, and then tell everybody I died." We are following the spirit of his instructions, if not the letter. Dad will be buried at the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies on Tuesday, May 12, 2020.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating in his memory to the North Shore Animal League, which is where we adopted our family dog Scooter, the ASPCA, St. Jude's, or the Ronald McDonald House, which is where his daughter and son-in-law stayed when his granddaughter was having surgery. These were his most favorite charities, but – really – any charity that helps animals or children would be just fine to him.

To say that we are going to miss him terribly is a gross understatement. There are no words that can express our grief. Nobody can compare. The man was an original. God broke the mold with this one.

Arrangements entrusted to WILLIAM SLATER II FUNERAL SERVICE, Scott Twp. (412-563-2800). www.slaterfuneral.com