July 28, 2011 Ted Hudak – 1928 – 2011 Ted Hudak was a man of greatness. His story represents that of the old school adage “Pull yourself up by the boot straps and become a success.” He did that, in many ways. Born the youngest of seven children to a poor family in rural Minnesota, Ted came West in the late 1940’s, with little money but a lot of quiet determination. Working his way through a series of odd jobs and a stint in the military, he married Rita Schultz in 1951 and bore two sons: Jim, in 1952, and Don in 1956. Through hard work and genuine goodness, he achieved true prosperity. Building a 40-year career as an accomplished hardware salesman, Ted traveled throughout Western Oregon and Washington, developing a large territory of hardware stores. He referred to those store owners – his customers – as his friends. He’d never steer them wrong. Known as the rock of his own and his extended family, Ted was a man who gave and gave, never asking for anything in return. If a friend or relative needed assistance, financially or otherwise, Ted was there to quietly help. He visited and nurtured the sick, buried the dead, and provided inspiration to those who simply needed to talk or who sought his advice. As much as anything, he instilled confidence in those who knew him. He was someone who everyone trusted. Ted was a wonderful father, husband, and a friend to many. He loved sports, geography, history, and the outdoors. From the 49ers to the Trailblazers, he was as loyal to his sports teams as he was to friends and family. His intellect was broad, and he was well read in a wide range of subjects. A fine musician and music appreciator, Ted enjoyed all styles of good music. From bluegrass to jazz to The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, he cherished music that moved him. He played a strong boogie-woogie piano that he picked up in his teenage years after studying violin as a youth. His warm baritone voice could be used with strength and without strain for those lucky enough to hear him sing on occasion. More than display his own talent, he nurtured and encouraged the musical ability in his two sons. To him, music strengthened the mind and the spirit, and sports, the body. Ted despised arrogance. He championed the underdog, pulling for anyone who, like himself, went the extra mile and displayed character and a strong work ethic. He overcame his physical ailments without complaint, and with a warm and uplifting sense of humor that always lightened the mood. Perhaps as much as anything, Ted’s gentleness filled the room with ease and joy. A large man, his likeable presence could be like that of a big teddy bear. It’s hard to imagine him with any enemies or detractors. His sixty years of marriage shows his love and commitment to Rita, and their home was the gathering place for countless family get-togethers. Ted died quietly in his sleep this week. It was a fitting, tranquil way for him to go, though he will be missed by many. May he rest in peace.

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Jim Hudak

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