Thursday, August 21, 2014

Theodore F. Luba

Theodore F. Luba, age 89, passed away on Thursday, August 21, 2014, at Wheaton Franciscan All Saints Medical Center.  He was born in Racine on April 12, 1925, son of the late John and  Anna (Nee: Kopichinski) Luba.

On November 15, 1952, at St. Rita’s Catholic Church, he was united in marriage to Joanne A. Menden. Ted was employed by The Horlick Corp. and then by Walker Forge for 17 years. He worked for the Mt. Pleasant Sewer Dept. for 20 years, retiring in 1990. Ted was a member of St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church and the Friday Optimist Club, where he created and implemented the most improved student award for area middle school students. He served on the Mt. Pleasant Park Commission and volunteered with the Racine Senior Volunteer Program and Toys for Tots.

Ted grew up in a close-knit Polish family.  He loved to tell about his adventures of growing up, both as a little boy and also hanging out in Racine and Sturtevant with his two best friends, Jim Washebek and Ernie Urdiales.  Both of these friends stood up for him when he married the love of his life, Joanne. Joanne and Ted met when he applied at the Horlick Malted Milk Company, where his future bride worked in human resources. Malted Milk tablets became a traditional Christmas gift to their kids and always brought back memories of this momentous meeting.

Ted also spread joy to the kids of his and his co-workers at Walker Forge, working on the annual Christmas Party committee.  There he helped pick out and give age group presents for all of the employees' kids, arrange for treat and fruit bags and, of course, a visit with Santa.

When the forge shop shut down during the 100 degree temperatures and the foundry was too hot for the company to safely work, he came home, piled all of his kids and wife into the station wagon and headed out to Brown’s Lake for an afternoon in the water.  His favorite times were being with friends and family.

Since money was tight, some of his weeks off in summer for vacation were spent at home or renting a cabin in Eagle River, Pembine, or other palaces “Up North.”  That green Dodge station wagon, (complete with the traditional fins), was well used to venture to the drive-in theater, traveling the 1,000 miles to Florida with the family to visit his friends, and one summer, to take everyone and head out to Washington, DC, to see the White House, monuments and Arlington National Cemetery.

He loved the annual trips to Paper Valley for Thanksgiving weekend, Easter brunch at Vicki’s and Frank’s, any family cookout or get-together, backyard parties at all of his kid’s homes and, later, traveling with JoAnne.  Together, they adventured in Spain, Peru, the Galapagos Islands, the Bahamas and Cancun, as well as on cruises and the Mediterranean. Ted loved life, being with people, and never met anyone that he didn’t have a smile for. Even today, people get a smile on their face when they talk about him and often comment about what a character he was. Ted was a dedicated husband, father, grandfather and friend who will be dearly missed.

Surviving are his wife, children, Vicki (Frank) Jarosz, Terri (John) Tessmann, John (Diane) Luba, Joey (Karen) Luba, Cindy Tessmann; grandchildren, Matthew (Sally) Jarosz, Rachel (Tighe) Ittner, Meaghan Tessmann, Peter (Kelsey) Tessmann, Kaeleigh Tessmann, Ericka Luba, Nicole (Ryan) Price, Joshua Luba, John Luba, Yash Luba, Grace Luba, Tiffany Tessmann, Ryan (Jenna) Tessmann, Tyler Tessmann; great grandchildren Ian, Katie, Ryan, Nathan, Kurt, Drew, Lily, Austin, Morgan;  brother-in-law and sisters-in-law, Fred (Frances) Menden, Audrey Ragan;  nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.  In addition to his parents he was preceded by his sisters, Alice Lesko, Jean Marcinek, Stella Kozich and  Harriett Erickson; and his  brothers John, Walter, and Chester.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Monday, August 25, 2014, at 11 a.m. at St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church, 6400 Spring St., with Rev. William Dietzler officiating.  Entombment will follow at Holy Cross Garden Mausoleum, Hwy 32.  Relatives and friends are welcome to meet with the family Sunday at the funeral home from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.  Additional visitation will be on Monday at the church from 10 a.m. until time of Mass at 11 a.m.

A special thank you to all of his caregivers through the years for their loving care and support.

Maresh-Meredith and Acklam Funeral Home
803 Main St., Racine, WI     (262) 634-7888

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