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Name: Theodore J. Grable (Nickname = Ted)
Spouse: Betty Lou Souder Grable
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Class of

1945 Attended from through

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College Attended:

USN - Advanced Studies in Computer Sciences
Birthdate: October 07, 1927   
Date of Death: January 8, 2015  

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Theodore "Ted" J. Grable, of Columbia City, IN, died at 2:10 a.m. Thursday, January 8, 2015. Ted's family includes his wife, Betty Lou Grable; daughters, Mary Lynne (Gene) Peterson of Grand Rapids, MI, Lauralee (William) Basch of Dundee, MI. and Jimi (Thomas) Heiks of Charlotte, NC.; 7 grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; sister, Connie Rohrbach of Columbia City; and sister-in-law, Eleanor Grable of Columbia City. Ted was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Gay Feist; and brother, Rex Grable.

Visitation will be on Sunday, January 11, 2015 from 2-6 p.m. at DeMoney-Grimes, a Life Story Funeral Home, 600 Countryside Dr., Columbia City. Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Monday, January 12, 2015 at the funeral home with Pastor Curt Johnson and Pastor John Cummings officiating. Military honors will be rendered by the Whitley County Korean Veterans Group. Entombment will follow at Lindenwood Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made in Ted's memory to Community Bible Church or American Cancer Society.

When reflecting on the life of Ted Grable, it is easy to see that he left not one thing undone. He drank fully from the beauty of moments he was given, taking nothing for granted in the process. Once his heart found Jesus Christ, Ted's life was never the same, and from that point forward he lived to be the hands and feet of the Lord he loved. A loving husband and devoted father, he took these roles to heart and lived to bring happiness, fulfillment, and unconditional love to the ones he loved most. A man of honor, integrity, and unending compassion for those in the world around him, Ted will be deeply missed while his memory remains a lasting treasure in the hearts and lives of all who were within his reach.

It seems only fitting that Ted's story began during a time that was as vibrant as he was. It was the Roaring Twenties when motion pictures came to life in both color and sound and Broadway was at its all time peak. Cars were more affordable due to the wide implementation of the assembly line, and radios brought the world around us within our reach. It was just as the sun was beginning to set on this incredible decade that a young couple from Churubusco, Indiana, was pleased to announce the birth of their healthy baby boy on October 7, 1927. Theodore J. was one of four children born to his parents, Clarence T. and Bertha O. (Myers) Grable, and he was raised in the family home alongside his brother, Rex, and his sisters, Connie and Gay.

In many ways Ted was a young boy of his generation. He looked forward to spending a lot of time at the farm of his Uncle Ott and Aunt Fern Leaf's as there was never a dull moment there. Ted learned the value of hard work as a boy, and together he and his brother sold fishworms one summer to earn money to buy bikes. He was a Boy Scout, and through this training he learned to tie a variety of knots, which would prove to come in handy during his years in the Navy. Ted was a student at MacClellan School and then at Columbia City High School where he took part in sports. As a senior he competed in the high jump and the pole vault despite suffering a broken back as a result of an automobile accident during his junior year. Ted went on to graduate from high school in 1945.

Ted didn't have to look very far to find the love of his life as he had an arranged marriage of sorts. It seems that when he was born, a man named Gary Souder went to see the new baby. He liked what he saw and said, "Well, I suppose when my daughter is 18, I'll have to get my shotgun out to keep him away." Gary Souder proved to be right as he predicted a love story that would span nearly 69 years. Deeply in love, Ted married his sweetheart, Betty Lou Souder, on May 18, 1946. Together they were blessed to welcome three daughters including Mary Lynne, Lauralee, and Jimi, into their hearts and home.

As fathers go, Ted was second to none. He spent 20 years serving in the Navy, but his heart was always with his family. Ted regularly made popcorn every Friday night including once his girls were grown and came back home for a visit, but of course he also made sure they learned to be responsible by having them pick up dog poop in the backyard. His homemade ice cream was also second to none, and his daughters loved that they were allowed to eat as much as they wanted. Of course they didn't so much love it when Ted woke them up in the middle of the night to go fishing. Throughout the majority of their married life Ted and Betty Lou always came back home for two weeks in the summer and again at Christmas to see family. He was the one who taught his girls to drive a stick shift, "taught" the computer to sing "Jingle Bells," and allowed the adventures of rattlesnake hunting in California, gathering Sassafras in Maryland, and mushroom hunting in Indiana. Ted was known to pick up hitch hikers, which made his girls happy when they were sailors but not so much when they were ones who required Lauralee to pinch her nose! However, nothing was worse than when Ted refused to stop for gas until the tank was empty - that was if they didn't run out of gas first!

It was during the tour of duty in Bainbridge, Maryland, that Ted's daughter, Mary Lynne, accepted Jesus as her Savior. Betty Lou soon followed, and on Ted's birthday in 1957 he surrendered his heart and life to Jesus. From that point forward his focus on was serving God and umpiring baseball in the National Umpire Baseball and Softball Associations. Ted served the Lord by helping to establish churches in Maryland, Virginia, and Florida.

After serving with the U.S. Navy for 20 years and for over 17 years at the Naval Medical Data Service Center in Bethesda, Maryland, Ted retired. He and Betty Lou moved back to Columbia City in 1983 where they attended Community Bible Church. Together, they also spent 30 years in Vero Beach, Florida. Ted was also a member of Faith Baptist Church in Vero Beach and of the Navy Fleet Reserve.

In his leisure time, Ted was a man of many interests. He enjoyed fishing, teaching Sunday school to teenagers, and had the time of his life on his recent Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. Ted also loved golfing and was especially proud of his hole in one at Crooked Lake.

All who knew Theodore "Ted" Grable would agree that he was truly a blessing in their lives. Everyone knew he could be counted on to do the right thing, and his character never wavered. Ted worked hard, always working two jobs, and his attention to detail was unmatched. He will never be forgotten.
Last Updated: 01-11-2015 Alumni ID: 12152
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2005 Columbia City High School Alumni Association     This page last modified 09/27/2006