Theodore Smith Stark, age 93, of Cokato, died Wednesday, July 1, 2009, at the St. Anthony Park Home of St. Paul.
He was born April 28, 1916, at Harris, MN, to Albert and Adlaide (Smith) Stark. Ted grew up in Harris, and graduated from North Branch High School.
He attended the University of Minnesota and graduated with a degree in mortuary science. After graduation, he returned to Harris to help his father in the hardware, lumber yard, and funeral business.
Ted married Ethel Lorraine Abrahamson May 18, 1941. The couple was married for 66 years when Ethel passed away March 11, 2007.
Ted entered the US Navy April 7, 1942. He served on the USS San Jacinto as a pharmacist mate in the Pacific Theater, and was honorably discharged Oct. 3, 1945.
After service Ted and Ethel moved to Jasper, MN, where Ted managed a hardware store and funeral home, and then to Russell, MN, where he was the proprietor of a hardware store, plumbing and heating business, and funeral home.
In 1962, the family moved to Cokato, where Ted worked for the Cokato Funeral Home and became the manager of the Great Plains Gas Company.
Ted was very civic-minded. He was active in the Legion, Rotary, and Cokato Chamber of Commerce, as well as serving on the Cokato Corn Carnival Board for a number of years.
As a member of the Cokato Evangelical Lutheran Church, Ted served on the church board and was the sexton of the Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery for many years.
Ted loved to help people. If something needed to be fixed, he was usually available to help. He was a professional “tinkerer” and repair man, and he especially enjoyed his family, and loved his grandchildren.
Ted is survived by a son, David of Nisswa; a daughter, Sharon Skally of St. Paul; grandchildren Michelle Skally Doilney and husband Jim of Park City, UT, Rebecca Skally and husband John Stanley, and Chad Skally and wife Shannon, all of St. Paul; great-grandchildren Molly and George Stanley, and Leif and Sage Skally; as well as nieces, nephews, and many other loved relatives and friends.
In addition to his wife, Ethel, he was preceded in death by his parents; his brothers Bob and Al; and a grandchild, Anne Marie Skally.
The funeral service took place Saturday, July 11 at 7 p.m. at Evangelical Lutheran Church of Cokato with the Rev. Steven Thorson officiating. Music was provided by Karen Anderson.
Pallbearers and military honors were rendered by American Legion Post 209.
Arrangements were by the Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home in Cokato.