My dad, Theodore (Ted) Szczepanski, was one of four children born to Frank and Belle Szczepanski. Frank drove a gas truck for Marathon and later owned his own service station. Ted was born 1st in 1915, next Harry, Dolorine and Rosemary. Dad always took great care of his siblings and parents. Dad enrolled in the army and was soon training in Arizona, California and Pennsylvania. Dad was sent to France with the 95th Division Infantry, to recapture the "Iron City of Metz" and soon found himself captured and serving as a POW for six months. After marching through France with other prisoners, to escape the Allies marching and capturing city after city, dad and 11 others escaped. Soon they were liberated! After the war, dad and Harry started their own business, Thierica, Studio, on Atlas Street in East Grand Rapids, MI. Their precision mask-making business quickly boomed. Dad met, Mary Zdonek, who he married in 1948. Ted and Mary raised three children, Ron, Rick and Kathy. Mary was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1954. Despite Mary's pain, it never stopped the family from travelling to Wisconsin, Canada, Minnesota and exploring different restaurants. Dad took great care of mom. Mom passed away in 1995! Dad continued to live at his house, built in 1954, until the age of 101. Dad then lived in assisted living until the age of 105, when dad peacefuilly passed away on March 6, 2021. I remember dad always loving life! Dad was "sharp as a tack' until the end. That is a blessing! He took great care of us growing up and we took excellent care of dad in assisted living. Dad will always be my hero, best friend and the strongest man I ever knew. Dad always put his country first, faith, family and giving back next!
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