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Obituary: Theodore George Czech, 98, Legendary Coach

Theodore George Czech, 98, of Portsmouth, passed away on Saturday, March 15, 2014 at home surrounded by his family.

Born in Chicago, IL on September 15, 1915, he was the son of the late George Czech and Anna (Szynalik) Czech.

Ted had a long and event-filled life. He grew up in Harvey, Illinois, and excelled in sports. Ted attended George Washington University and graduated from Drake University, where he played on a football scholarship. He served in the US Naval Reserve during World War II. Ted received a BS degree in Education from Drake University. After the war, Ted began a physical education and coaching career at Thornton Township High School in Harvey. He excelled as a wrestling coach, and during 17 years of coaching, his teams won 138 matches while losing only 8. His teams finished among the top ten teams in the state eight times and claimed first on three occasions He coached 33 state place winners of which 15 were individual state champions. He was beloved by his former students and athletes. Ted received numerous awards. In 1973, he was elected to the Illinois State Coaches Wrestling Hall of Fame. In 1976, Ted was the Illinois Wrestling Officials and coaches Association (IOWCA) grand marshal. Also, Ted received the National Wrestling Hall of Fame's Lifetime Service to wrestling award for the class of 2001. The National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum are located in Stillwater, OK. After coaching, Ted was a well-known and respected wrestling official in Illinois.

Ted earned an MS degree in Physical Education from Indiana University. During the last seven years of his career, he worked as a counselor at Thornridge High School in Dolton, IL. Throughout many years, Ted enjoyed the avocation of repairing furniture and making grandfather clocks, tables and chests. 

Ted moved to Portsmouth in 1988 to be near his son, daughter-in-law and grandsons. He became an avid fan of New England professional sports teams. Ted was a strong advocate and member of the Portsmouth Senior Center, which is where he met his second wife, Mona Lee Blake.

Ted’s family wishes to thank the Portsmouth Fire Department, Newport Hospital, Visiting Nurses of Bristol and Newport Counties, Gentiva Hospice and all the physicians, nurses, CNAs and friends who helped them during the illness of our husband, our father and our friend, Theodore G. Czech. God bless you. 

He is survived by his wife, Mona Lee Blake, his son Theodore T. Czech and his wife Betty Ann of Portsmouth, RI, his two grandsons, Theodore T. Czech Jr. and his wife Amy and Anthony Czech and his wife Lisa .He is also survived by his four great grandchildren, Aaron, Sam, Kira and Marli Czech, and Mona’s children, who called him dad. 

He is preceded in death by his first wife, Eleanor (Pacocha) Czech, who passed away in 2004.

Calling hours will be held on Saturday March 22, 2014 from 9-10:30am in the Connors Funeral Home 55 W. Main Rd. Portsmouth, RI

His funeral will be held on Saturday, March 22, at 10:30 AM in the funeral home.

Committal prayers will be held at 11:30 at St. Columba Cemetery, 465 Brown’s Lane Middletown. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Portsmouth Senior Center, 110 Bristol Ferry Road, Portsmouth, RI 02871

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