Theodore “Ted” Saddic, 85, of West Chester died Thursday, April 13, of sudden cardiac arrest.
Born in South Philadelphia in July 1937, “Teddy,” as he was known in his youth, was second generation Lebanese-American and the elder of two children. He grew up in a large extended family that included dozens of cousins, many of whom could be found after school at the soda fountain of his family’s Christian Street pharmacy.
From an early age, Ted developed avid, life-long interests in hunting, fishing, and sports — particularly baseball. His favorite player and hero was Boston Red Sox’s Ted Williams: not only did they share a first name, they were also both lefties.
Ted attended Friends Select School and later got his diploma from South Philly High. He graduated from Plymouth College, University of New Hampshire with a degree in special education and, after teaching in New Hampshire for two years, returned to Pennsylvania to teach special education in the Radnor School District.
He met his wife, Bonnie, during the summer of 1963 at the Jersey Shore, where Ted was moonlighting making pizzas on the boardwalk, and Bonnie, before beginning her senior year at Rutgers, was working as a showgirl, dancing in a chorus line. They married in the fall of the following year and moved to West Chester shortly thereafter.
They had three daughters who, throughout their school days, swam competitively and ran cross country and track; Ted was a fixture at their many sporting events, cheering them on from the sidelines, always with camera in hand to document the event.
In 1979, Ted was awarded “Citizen of the Year” by the Paoli Business Association for the career education initiative he had developed at Conestoga High School — a work study program pairing Special Ed students with local business owners. He also developed and directed Conestoga’s Career Elective program, which provided graduating seniors a six-week, get-out-of-school opportunity to explore their career interests.
After more than 30 years as an educator, Ted retired from teaching and dedicated himself full time to his social life. He loved a good joke — both telling and listening — and accrued friends wherever he went, from all walks of life: teaching buddies, hunting buddies, tennis buddies, baseball buddies, business owners, doctors, neighbors, realtors, tenants, handymen. What would begin as a professional relationship often grew into bonds of friendship that would endure for years.
He was active in several local organizations, serving for many years as President of the Brandywine Gun Club and as a board member of the Chester County Sports Hall of Fame.
Perhaps above all, Ted loved his role being “Pop” to his many grandchildren — watching their musical performances with enthusiasm, whether at a backyard gathering or on Broadway; cheering them on at sporting events as he had for his daughters; teaching them to fish; sharing a day at the ballpark; making them pancakes in Ocean City, NJ. He was a diehard Phillies fan, making the annual pilgrimage to Florida with his wife for spring training, most recently returning from Clearwater just three weeks before his death. Ted was a collector of baseball memorabilia and a faithful contributor to the Ted Williams Foundation.
In addition to his wife, Bonnie, with whom he shared nearly 60 years of marriage, survivors include his sister, Phoebe Radovich of Hawaii; his three daughters, Robin Subers (Mark), Jill Yorke (Jeff), and Kim Makké (Hussein); his nine grandchildren, ages 8 to 26; and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents, Tofeigh (Ted) and Sadie Saddic.
Visitation will be held 9:00-10:30 AM Friday, April 28, 2023, followed by a short service at The Donohue Funeral Home, West Chester, PA. Family and friends are invited to join a luncheon celebrating Ted’s life at the Downingtown Country Club after the service.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Good Works Inc., P.O. Box 1441, Coatesville, PA 19320, https://goodworksinc.org or to a charity of your choice.