Theodore Dush

Obituary of Theodore Dush

Theodore Dush, “Ted,” longtime Vermilion resident, passed away on January 24, 2022 at home at age 84 after a lengthy battle with ALS. Born on July 26, 1937, he spent his formative years in his birthplace, Ridgway, PA. Ever the entrepreneur, Ted spent his childhood roaming the Allegheny National Forest and trapping mink, beaver, fox and muskrat, selling the pelts to Sears and Roebuck, and collecting clubmosses and milkweed that were used during World War II. Ted graduated in 1955 from Ridgway High School, where he was captain of the football team and went to state finals in track and field in high hurdles and high jump.

Spurning a scholarship to Penn State University, he instead joined the USAF, completing his basic training at Keesler AFB in Biloxi, MS. A favorite memento of his time there is a 1909 five-dollar gold coin that he won in a poker game. Ted then spent time in Goose Bay, Labrador, Thule, Greenland, and then Hamilton AFB in San Rafael, CA.

Following his discharge from the Air Force, Ted was employed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), first in Pittsburgh and then, from 1956-1989, at the Air Route Traffic Control Center in Oberlin. While in Oberlin, he spearheaded the development of a tracking system that is still used today. He also served as the local president of the Federal Managers Association.

True to his nature, following his FAA ‘retirement,’ Ted and his wife Edie purchased and ran Mill Manor Nursing home in Vermilion from 1989-2004. Ted was on-site nearly every day, checking on his residents and sampling the lunch. He was also instrumental in developing important social programs at Mill Manor, including trivia hour and, more importantly, whiskey sour night. After his final retirement, he became a part-time resident of The Villages, Florida where he was an active member of the Liver Lovers Social Club and enjoyed golf, water aerobics, dancing, pickleball, bocce, and many friends.

Ted was a true autodidact, an avid reader, natural teacher, and he loved a good political debate with his children. A lifelong devotee of health and fitness, Ted competed in Senior Olympics, winning regional gold medals in discus, javelin, and shot put. He also loved a good hike in the PA woods, and long walks on the railroad tracks in Vermilion. He died as he lived, learning everything he could about his disease, fighting hard, and directing his crew of caregivers.

Ted was preceded in death by his first wife Donna (Herzog), his parents George and Ida (Dallenbach), brothers Clarence, Ernie, Jim, and Bob, and sister Alice; he leaves behind his sister Dorothy. Ted counts among his greatest achievements his 55-year marriage to his devoted wife, Edie (Cadlac), who survives him. He also leaves behind his adoring children Mike (Kim Flint), Lisa, and Jennifer (Mark Klingler) Dush, and grandkids Atom, Mira, Signe, Layla, Summer and Jack.

Full of life and love, charming and kind, adventurous, funny, and generous in all ways, he will always be loved and remembered as a wonderful father, grandfather, and husband. A private memorial gathering is planned. The family welcomes all expressions of sympathy but suggests a contribution in Ted’s memory to the Paralyzed Veterans of America. The family thanks his wonderful caregivers at Infinite Helping Hands.

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