Frank William "Bill" Tedesko

Bill Tedesko, 91, lifelong resident of Brewster and Florence, passed away February 6, 2013 at his home. He was born in Brewster on July 31, 1921 to John and Margaret "Maggie" (Frazier) Tedesko. He lived on the family farm in Brewster until moving to Florence in 1978. He attended Brewster Grade School and graduated from Florence High School in 1939, after which he worked in the Griffith coal mine in Brewster for five years, alongside his dad. Bill then joined the Navy where he served in the Pacific Ocean aboard a destroyer escort, the USS Baron, as a radar man and the captain's talker during WWII. On May 28, 1946, at St. Benedict's Catholic Church in Florence, Bill married Adeline Louise Guerri, who survives him. They celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary in 2012. In 1985, they were honored as Pioneer King and Queen. After his discharge from the Navy, Bill worked at the Portland cement plant for two months and then was employed by Safeway Stores. He worked at the store in Florence for 32 years, which included several years as assistant manager and 21 years as store manager, followed by an additional five years at the Safeway in Canon City as assistant manager. Bill spent much of his lifetime serving his community, beginning in 1952 as president of the Brewster School Board, during which time he worked with the State Board of Education to consolidate local community schools into the Florence RE-2J school district. This included Brewster, Rockvale, Coal Creek, Williamsburg, Portland, Concrete, Wetmore, and Penrose. He then served on the Florence School Board, during which time the Florence Elementary School, the cafeteria, and the T & I buildings were built. He was secretary of the board for his entire 21 years of service to Florence schools. In 1983, Bill was elected to the Florence City Council, serving ten years, including six years as mayor and mayor pro-tem. During his tenure, the Federal Prison was built and the upgraded Florence water system was developed and expanded. As the Florence Citizen stated, "With dogged determination, he let few things stand in his way - not lack of money, not lack of opposition, and not governmental red tape. Without his hard work and determinations, Florence would not be in the superior position the city is in with regard to water." He also represented Florence City Council by serving on the Colorado Municipal League for many years, during which time he served as president for one year. From 1993 to 1999, Bill was president of the Price Pioneer Museum board. During this time, many improvements were made to the building. He was also a member of the Florence Public Library Board for several years. In 2002, the Florence Area Merchants presented Bill with "The Goodwill Ambassador of Florence Award" for his hard work done for the City of Florence. He loved living in Colorado and enjoyed the outdoors. He was an avid hunter and fisherman, and especially enjoyed fishing the Arkansas River and the Rio Grande River above Creede, Colorado, where he went with his family for most of his life starting as a little boy traveling there in a Model T Ford. Bill will be dearly missed and remembered forever. Bill is also survived by his daughter, Vicky (Dan) Pretti of Colorado Springs; grandson, Dennis (Carrie) Pretti; and great granddaughter, Danika all of Boise, Idaho. He is also survived by three generations of nieces and nephews; cousins, Frances Tedesko Horvath of Canon City, who was raised with his family on the farm in Brewster; and cousin, Sharlene Shaffer of Florence. He was preceded in death by his parents; baby brother, James; brother, John "Jack" and sister-in-law, Barbara. Memorial Mass will be at 10:00 a.m., Monday, February 11, 2013 at St. Benedicts Catholic Church in Florence. Inurnment will follow at Union Highland Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to St. Benedicts Catholic Church or to the Pioneer Day Association c/o Virginia Rankin in Florence, CO. Arrangements are handled through Holt Family Florence Historic Funeral Home.

Published in The Canon City Daily Record on Feb. 8, 2013