Oct 16, 1951 to Dec 26, 2020
On the shores of Lake Superior, in the tiny fishing village of Port Coldwell the youngest child of Harvey and Mary Cress came into the world on Oct 16, 1951. In Ted’s mothers handwritten pages, she describes Port Coldwell as a “finger shaped fjord that juts abruptly into rugged rock – one of the most picturesque and natural harbours along the Superior shore.” As beautiful as the setting was, she also described Coldwell as “eking out an existence in an unsympathetic environment.” It wasn’t an easy life and hard work came early to Ted. From hauling buckets of water along the CP tracks to stoking fires at the fishing camp in Onaman Lake, he learned the value of a day’s work.
Ted was only 13 when he and his 7 siblings lost their father. A short time later, their home in Coldwell was lost to a fire and the family moved to Marathon. He spent much of his teen years ensuring his amazing mother Mary was well taken care of. He was passionate about fixing and racing cars and loved driving the strip and hanging out with friends.
In Donna’s words, “Would you believe me if I told you it all began in the summer of 69. The year a boy would capture my heart and never let it go. So good looking and of course the 59 Ford Convertible didn’t hurt either. The added attractions – he was smart, hardworking, honest, strong, gentle, tenacious – oh I could go on and on. We began the most amazing journey of parenthood in 1971 at the tender ages of 19 & 20 – Ted being the younger of the two. Our sweet, incredible daughters, Stacy and Treena took over our lives in the most wonderful way and all of the traits I so loved in Ted were now revealed in them. We would often wonder how we got so lucky. Then we got luckier – our grandson Cole and granddaughters Ella and Haley were born to bring us more love and joy than we ever could have imagined. We built a life with our extraordinary family and friends and there was never a day I imagined it without Ted. Sadly that day has come and I am so grateful to have shared my life with him. Now, I will keep him forever tucked away in my heart, where he has been since the summer of 69.”
As a father to Stacy and Treena and his sons-in-law Mike Chalat and Guy Rousseau, “Dad taught us the important things in life by example. How to be a good friend, how to offer help without hesitation, how to be adventurous, how to always be there for your family and friends, how to put love and pride into the work you do in life, how to dream big and remain grounded, how to appreciate good music, how to be grateful for all of life’s wonder and for everyone that touches your life, how to take whatever life throws at you without complaint and with a quiet determination. More than words can truly express, he was the best father anyone could ever ask for.”
As a grandfather to Cole, Ella and Haley, “Papa’s sense of humour made him the ultimate story teller. He always put other people’s feelings first and gave the best hugs. Adventures at Grandma and Papa’s home including breakfast ‘in’ the creek and time spent camping and exploring Port Coldwell last summer are favourite memories that we will always carry with us.”
Ted often talked about how thankful he was for his brothers and sisters. Doug (Sylvia), Bob (Sandi) and Bill were not only brothers but the best of friends. His sisters Edith (Stan) Keeping, Marion (Danny) Fraser, Marie (Danny) Peroff and Nelda Stovel were always in his thoughts and in his heart. He shared an unbelievable bond with his sisters-in law and brothers-in law, Judy & John Wilcox, Debbie & Keith Skworchinski and Cindy & Wayne Copp. He had so many wonderful cousins, nieces and nephews and he truly treasured each and every one of them.
At the age of 22, Ted received his 3rd Class Stationary Engineer ticket while he was employed at the Marathon Pulp Mill. He moved on to become the Maintenance Manager at Eaton’s and then finally to his career as a System Control Operator with Thunder Bay Hydro. The work ethic he developed early in his life stayed with him as he continued to learn and mentor those that came after him. He was truly thankful for the System Control crew and their enduring friendship and support.
Ted was never impressed by wealth or status, he admired those who worked hard, acted with humility, integrity, kindness, empathy and passion. Making friends came easily to Ted as he was genuinely interested in everyone’s story and saw the good in all. You could always be yourself around Ted. His sense of humour and kindness endeared him to everyone he met and he relished the opportunity to help.
The extent of his knowledge about the world was truly remarkable and the enthusiasm with which he shared this was one of Ted’s greatest gifts to the world. His quick wit and insightfulness led to so many great conversations. His neighbourhood friendships were authentic, creating much joy and so many memories to cherish.
When we think of Ted our memories of him are warm and happy. Ted touched our lives in so many ways with his generosity, kindness, humour, courage and compassion. He was adventurous and curious and always carried an appreciation for the way history has shaped our world. We stand taller and stronger having been a part of his remarkable life. He will be forever in our hearts, our minds and in our actions as we strive to live in a way that honours his life. He is so special and dear to each of us and we long for the day when the tears we all shed will once again turn to smiles when we think of him.
In lieu of flowers, a random act of kindness in Ted’s memory would surely put a smile on his face.
Our wish is to celebrate Ted’s life in the summer of 21 at the home he took such pride in, where we can raise a glass and share our memories of his extraordinary life.
To plant a memorial tree in honor of Ted Wade Cress, please visit our Heartfelt Sympathies Store.
Nos plus sincères sympathies à la famille et aux amis de Ted Cress 2020..
Décès pour la Ville:THUNDER-BAY, Province: Ontario