Ted “Theo” N. Chaffey
Ted Chaffey passed away at the Veteran’s Home in Columbia Falls on Tuesday, July 25th surrounded by his family and friends.
Ted was born May 30, 1936 to Eva (McFarland) and Ted A. Chaffey at St. Patrick’s Hospital in Missoula, MT. He was christened at St. Paul’s English Lutheran Church in Missoula on July 8th; and, on July 9th, at age six weeks, he and his parents left Missoula for Detroit, MI.
As a boy, he had a horse named “Beauty”, who he said was the ugliest horse anyone had ever seen; but Beauty loved cigarettes which made him stand out from all the other horses.
At age 17, he joined the Army as a Paratrooper during the Korean conflict. He quickly got over his fear of jumping out of airplanes. He was honorably discharged in 1958.
Upon leaving the Army, he followed his parents to Alhambra, CA where he met his future wife, Gayle. Theo and Gayle were married in Carson City, NV on October 29th, 1975 on their way to Kalispell where he had bought a house at Lake Blaine from his cousins Alvin and Callie Tillson.
On Ted’s 44th birthday, his daughter Erin Nicole was born. Sixteen months later, his son, Nicholas Alan, was born.
Ted worked for UPS in California for 17 years and then for another 22 years in Montana. He retired in 1998 from UPS as a feeder driver.
He enjoyed hunting, fishing, water skiing, snow skiing, and sitting on the patio, playing cribbage with whoever stopped by. Ted had a passion for fast cars, fast boats, the Los Angeles Ram, Lakers, and Dodgers. He also loved the finer things in life such as boxed burgundy wine with a lot of ice in a red solo cup.
He was preceded in death by his parents, cousins Alvin and Callie Tillson, Charley and Alice Tillson, Julie Evanson, his wonderful brother-in-law, Harry Budds and an infant son, Larry, from a previous marriage and his beloved Setters, Dusty, Daisey, Dixie, Tulip, Sam and Milo.
He is survived by his wife, Gayle; daughter Erin (Jon) Zimbelman and their children, Blaine, Braylon, Brielle, Maizey, and Maddox; his son Nic; his sister Karen Budds and her children, Cindi ImHoff, Pam Thomas, Doug ImHoff, and Ron ImHoff; and his best, long-time buddy Russel Johnson, and many more family and friends.
He received great care at the Veterans’ Home from so many of the staff, namely Nancy aka Ruby, Dreama, and Marge, just to name a few. He was at home there for the last five years of his life. Thank you for making it a real home for him.
A private military burial was held on August 5th at the Veterans’ Cemetery in Columbia Falls. A Celebration of Ted’s life was held the same day at Lake Blaine for family and friends. Columbia Mortuary cared for Ted.