In memory of
Theodore F. "Ted" Twardzik Sr., 89 of Siesta Key, Florida, passed away on Nov. 10th, 2016 surrounded by his loving family at Schuylkill Center's Homestead Care in Pottsville PA. Born Sept. 7, 1927 to parents Frank and Mary (Binek) Twardzik of Shenandoah, Ted was the youngest of six children. Preceding him in death are two sisters - Frances Gish, Eleanor Zale and three brothers - John, Walter and Lou. After spending a majority of his first 77 years in good old Shenandoah, he traded the coal dust for the soft sand beaches of Siesta Key, FL. He strolled the beach for much of the past 22 years but continued to "vacation" in Shenandoah, PA to visit family and friends. Ted was a "Purple Lark" of Mahanoy Township High School where he graduated in 1945. In 2015, Ted was awarded an honorary diploma from Shenandoah Valley High School joining his childhood friend Jerry Wolman in sharing such an honor. A year later, Ted was inducted into the Shenandoah Valley High School Wall of Fame joining his son Tim - the only father and son team to share that honor. After graduation from high school, Ted enrolled at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend IN. His college days were interrupted to serve honorably in the U.S. Army from March of 1946 to September 1947, where he rose to the rank of Staff Sergeant in the 83rd Mechanized Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron. Upon completing his commitment to proudly serve his country, Ted resumed college at the University of Notre Dame graduating in 1951 with a BS degree in Accounting, while making the Dean's list. Ted was active in the Notre Dame Glee Club where he served as the group's treasurer. He was also part of the Glee Club's two appearances on CBS-TV's Sunday night "Toast of the Town" hosted by Ed Sullivan. After college, Ted's first job was as a staff accountant for Arthur Andersen & Company in New York City, NY, one of the prestigious "Big Eight" accounting firms of its time. In 1952, Ted decided to return home to Shenandoah to pursue his entreprenurial dream to start a food company using his mother Mary's recipe for pierogies. He remembered how popular the traditional Polish dumplings were at Church Festivals and thought people would buy them at a grocery market. To honor his mother the brand became Mrs. T's®. Ted started with 5 women around the kitchen table in his mother's home at 218 N. Main Street in Shenandoah. It wasn't long before he had worn out his welcome in his mom's kitchen and decided to move production to Mrs. T's® current location at 600 E. Centre Street in Shenandoah, PA. This was a homecoming for Ted as this location was his childhood home and his parent's tavern. Today, Mrs.T's® /Ateeco, Inc. is Shenandoah's largest employer with over 240 associates. Ted is considered a pioneer in the food industry creating the completely new Frozen Food category: "Pierogies". While Ted can not claim to have put Shenandoah on the map, he did add Pierogies to the Merriam Webster Dictionary. He took great pride and immense joy from the impact his idea had on providing jobs and income to hundreds of employees and their families. Ted and his beloved wife Jean supported a multitude of local and national charities. They were members of the Edward Frederick Sorin Society Founder's Circle at Notre Dame and created the Twardzik Family General Library Endowment as well as supported a Distinguished Library Collection in Polish Studies. As Life Members of the Hillsdale College President's Club they created the Twardzik Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Endowment which funds both the Twardzik Business Seminar Scholarship and the Twardzik Free Enterprise Tradition Award Scholarship. Ted and Jean were the lead gift creating the Schuylkill County Volunteer Fire School Burn Building that provides lifesaving training for our community's brave volunteer fire fighters. Ted was a longtime Schuylkill United Way Pace Setter, continuing his father Frank's charter efforts with the Schuylkill County Society for Crippled Children. Ted and Jean donated the building on South Main Street in Shenandoah to house the Greater Shenandoah Area Historical Society. Ted is survived by his beloved wife of sixty wonderful years Jean (Roberts), and three sons: Ted, Jr. and Audrey from Center Valley PA, Tim and Caroline from Frackville PA and Tom and Pam from Shenandoah Heights; five grandsons: Adam, Eric, Ryan, Tom Jr. and Nick; and numerous loved nieces and nephews. "Tiger" Ted often liked to say, "God takes care of drunks, children and Teddy Twardzik." Services: A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Monday at 10:00 am in St. Casimir's Church, the scared worship site of Divine Mercy Parish, 229 N. Jardin St., Shenandoah, PA 17976. Interment with military honors will follow in St. Casimir Cemetery, Shenandoah Heights. Relatives and friends may call at St. Casimir's Church on Sunday from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm and on Monday from 9:00 am to 10:00 am. Expressions of sympathy can be made to the Shenandoah Historical Society, 201 S. Main St., Shenandoah, PA 17976, or the Schuylkill County Society for Crippled Children,121 North Progress Ave. Suite 330, Pottsville, PA 17901 or the Hawk Mountain Council Boy Scouts of America, 402 Blue Mountain Road, Schuylkill Haven, PA 17972. Walukiewicz-Oravitz Fell Funeral Home, 132 S. Jardin St., Shenandoah is in charge of the arrangements. To leave a condolence for the family, please visit www.woffuneralhome.com .
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