GREENFIELD - Theodore ""Ted"" Telega, 93, of Congress Street died Sunday (4-6-14) at Poet's Seat Health Care Facility in Greenfield.
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He was born in Whately on May 8, 1920, the son of Theodore and Tatsiana (Bohonowicz) Telega. He attended local schools and was a graduate of Deerfield High School, Class of 1939.
Ted served during World War II in the United States Coast Guard during the Invasion of Normandy and was a member of the D-Day Rescue Crew. He was honorably discharged in 1946 and returned home and married the former Dorothy Jennis of Montague on Oct. 12, 1946.
His working years were spent in tool manufacturing working at the Greenfield Tap and Die before his enlistment in the U.S. Coast Guard and retiring in 1985 after 40 years at the former Millers Falls Tool Co.
During his working years, Ted was drawn to one of his favorite pastimes, baseball. Having played baseball for Deerfield High School and the U.S. Coast Guard, the game was very much a part of Ted. With mentoring of a well-known community figure and sportsman, Lou Bush, Ted soon found himself behind the plate or covering the bases as an umpire. From the baseball fields, he went to the softball fields and on to the football fields and basketball courts serving as a sports official in the Pioneer Valley for 48 years. Adding to his sports officiating, Ted brought his love for baseball to coaching Legion Post 81 Baseball scoring District Championships during his time as coach.
Ted loved the outdoors. As a young man growing up in the valley, after a day working the fields of the family farm, it was off to some quiet time on the banks of the Connecticut River fishing. Along with fishing, he enjoyed hunting and spent time in the winter months swishing down the ski slopes of Vermont. He enjoyed caring for the home he shared with his wife, Dot, for 47 years. Describing their yard, people would say it was ""manicured to an inch of it's life,"" refer to him as ""Mr. Meticulous,"" and the best was seeing Ted mowing his lawn to look like the greens at Fenway.
Ted was a communicant of Blessed Sacrament Church in Greenfield and a member of the Knights of Columbus. He was a Past Exalted Ruler and life member of the Greenfield Lodge of Elks , served as District 13 Commander and Commander and Quartermaster of the John F. Harrington VFW Post 417, and was a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion. He was a member of the western Massachusetts Football Officials Association, Hampshire-Franklin County Baseball Umpires Association, Massachusetts Baseball Umpires Association, International Association of Approved Basketball Officials, Franklin-Hampshire Basketball Officials Association and American Softball Association. Ted served as President of the Franklin-Hampshire Basketball Officials Association and was the recipient of awards from both community and professional organizations recognizing him for his dedication and years of service as a sports official.
Ted was a devoted family man and patriot. He had 47 years with his wife, Dot, and those years took them traveling throughout the country and enjoying and participating in each others venues - Ted with his sports and civic involvement and Dot with her nursing career.
As a Dad, Grampa, and Papa he was the greatest and someone to be proud of. He loved that his grandchildren participated in sports and didn't miss standing on the sidelines at baseball and girls softball games and watching through the plexi glass at Franklin County Hockey Association and GHS hockey games. More recently, smiles were on his face seeing his great-grandsons take to the baseball fields and his great-granddaughter to the softball field.
Not to be forgotten is Ted, the patriot. Up until his health kept him from actively participating, there was not a parade, visits to the Veterans Hospital, veterans memorial occasion, or Poppy Drive, that you didn't find Ted. He truly loved his country and was proud to have served and be among the ""greatest generation.""
Among his survivors, Ted leaves a daughter, JoAnn Kaczenski and her husband John of Greenfield; two grandchildren, Jennifer Ortiz and her husband Ramon of Southington, CT, and Christopher Bernier of Burlington, VT; three great-grandchildren, Jackson Bernier and Alex and Leeana Ortiz; a sister, Elizabeth ""Peg"" Karas of South Deerfield, and several nieces and nephews.
Ted was predeceased by his beloved wife, Dorothy (Jennis) Telega, in 1993.
Funeral services will be held Friday afternoon (4-11-14) at 1 p.m. at the Kostanski Funeral Home, 220 Federal St., Greenfield, with the Rev. Timothy J. Campoli officiating. Burial will be held at Calvary Cemetery at the convenience of the family.
Calling hours will be held Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the funeral home with a Celebration of Life to follow at the Greenfield Lodge of Elks, Church Street, Greenfield.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Baseball Post 81, c/o William Phelps, American Legion, P.O. Box 1004, Greenfield MA 01301, or, to GHS Athletic Department (Baseball/Softball Programs) c/o Michael Kuchieski, 1 Lenox Ave., Greenfield, MA 01301.
Sympathy message available at:
Kostanski Funeral Home
220 Federal Street Greenfield, MA 01301
Published in The Recorder on Apr. 9, 2014