via Village Soup
WARREN — Teddy Paul “Ted” Ezell, 59, passed away peacefully in his sleep May 31, 2011, following a valiant 19-month battle against cancer. Ted spent his final weekend surrounded by his wife, Barbara; his daughter, Beth; his son-in-law, Chris Jensen; and his infant grandson, Eliot. Born in Detroit, Mich., on June 3, 1951, he was the son of J.C. and Berneice Pierce Ezell. Ted’s family moved to Montgomery, Ala., where he graduated from Sidney Lanier High School. After graduating, he returned to the Detroit area and went to work for Ford Motor Company.
In 1972 while visiting a friend, Ted met his future wife, Barb. He married Barbara Irene Pankow in Livonia, Mich., on Oct. 12, 1974. The next year, the couple moved to Midcoast Maine and quickly settled into rural life. These two city folk learned to cut and burn wood, garden, repair old houses, and keep animals. Ted always supported his wife’s interests; the very first thing he did when they bought their home in Warren was to build stalls and put in a pasture for Barb’s horses. They raised a cherished daughter, Marybeth, and took such pride in her talents and character. In time they were further blessed by a wonderful son-in law, Chris, who Ted delighted in taking under his wing. Ted considered himself especially fortunate to have such a daughter and son-in law. This year — at long last — a grandson arrived! Eliot became the center of Ted’s world.
Although technically from “Away” Ted became indistinguishable from a native Maineiac. He was a good friend to many, and worked hard at whatever task was at hand. He willingly helped those who needed it. Ted knew the value of a dollar, finding ways to keep equipment running when others might have bought replacements. A thoughtful, intelligent man, Ted had deeply held beliefs — and he didn’t mind sharing them. Public service was important to him. Ted served on the Warren Planning Board, as well as the subdivision and the mining ordinance committees — where he tried to achieve responsible growth while maintaining the beauty and way of life of the area he loved.
For over 20 years Ted worked at Steel-Pro in Rockland, where he was given the opportunity to use his self-developed skills to rise from welder to vice president of operations. The title meant less to him than the chance to provide quality products to the customers who had become his friends. His reputation for trouble shooting was worldwide, as can be witnessed by his trips to Spain, Eastern Europe, and China to solve problems for Steel-Pro’s customers.
Ted taught himself woodworking and furniture refinishing — using his skills to build furniture and toys for family and friends as well as a tree house for his daughter. He loved to fish. Ted joined his buddy Alex Matins on the Kennebec River or in Atlantic Ocean striper tournaments. A summer treat was to join his brother Jerry Cox to fish the Michigan Great Lakes for walleye. Ted’s other brother, Ron, was 17 months older. Despite time and distance and the natural competition between such close brothers, these two developed a deep and very meaningful relationship. Even before Ted became ill, they frequently enjoyed long discussions about wide ranging topics and from childhood on always had each other’s back. Ted discovered his creative side — learning glass blowing under the tutelage of his friend, glass artist Richard Remson. Right after the Ezells moved to Warren in 1979, neighbor Bill Nadeau introduced himself. The two became great friends: cruising Penobscot Bay in the sailboat they bought and repaired, helping each other with home projects, going on memorable camping trips. When Ted became ill, Bill took it as his privilege after work to pick Ted up and go for a drive. The errands the fellows ran were never as important as the companionship.
Although his battle with cancer was often very difficult, Ted fought it with grace and dignity and was grateful for the time he worked so hard to win. That time allowed him to see his beloved grandson born. But he also used the time to explore cancer and its treatments and share what he had learned. Ted also pursued the discovery of his own spirituality and reestablished his relationship with God — achieving a level of peace most people never find.
Other than his wife, Barbara, Ted is survived by his daughter, Marybeth Irene Jensen, her husband, Christopher Jensen, and Ted’s grandson, Eliot Reed Jensen of Washington; two brothers, Jerry Cox and his wife, Darlene, of Washington Township, Mich., and Ron Ezell and his wife, Peggy, of Troy, Mich.; several nieces and nephews, including two nieces and a nephew with whom he had a close relationship, Sara, Elizabeth and Brian.
A memorial service will be held Sunday, June 5 at 2 p.m. at Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home, 110 Limerock St. in Rockland. The Rev. Mark Glovin will officiate. A reception will follow at the funeral home’s 104 Limerock reception facility.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Miles of Hope, which provides complimentary transportation for cancer patients. The address is: c/o of All Aboard Trolley, 21 Limerock St., Rockland, ME 04841. To share a memory or story with Ted’s family, visit his guest book at Burpee Carpenter Hutchinson Funeral Home.