Obit: Fetting, Ted (1943 – 2017)
Surnames: Fetting, Patrick
Source: Marshfield News Herald (Marshfield, WI) 08 APR 2017
Fetting, Ted (1943 – 1 APR 2017)
Ted Fetting - adored and cherished father, brother, son and friend - died on April 1, 2017 at the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center in Milwaukee, WI.
Born in 1943 in Delavan, Wisconsin, where his parents owned a dairy farm, Ted grew up a "good Wisconsin farm boy." After his parents moved to a farm in central Wisconsin, Ted attended Greenwood High School followed by the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. During these years, Ted's most memorable exploits involved riding bulls and saddle broncs at various rodeos. He later referred to this pastime as "idiocy," but always with a sparkle in his eyes.
In 1967, Ted volunteered for the Vietnam War to eliminate his younger brothers' eligibility for the draft. There he became a machine gunner for the U.S. Army 9th Infantry and distinguished himself during the bloody Tet Offensive. Ted was awarded the Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts in addition to many other honorary medals. The war was the defining experience of Ted's life.
When he returned to the states, Ted immediately became a vocal advocate for Vietnam veterans returning home. He was the first Vietnam veteran to be appointed by Wisconsin's Governor to the prestigious Board of Veterans' Affairs where he served among Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II and Korean War veterans.
In 1974, Ted ran for Congress in Wisconsin's 3rd district. Despite a hard-fought campaign that saw him walk the entire length of the district, Ted was narrowly defeated in the primary. Never one to accept a setback, Ted continued his political advocacy work for the rest of his life. He had a number of governmental roles including as Ombudsman in Veterans' Affairs for the State of Wisconsin and Milwaukee County Veterans Service Officer. He was most proud of his involvement with the Highground Veterans Memorial Park in Neillsville and the Vietnam Women's Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Ted was an avid collector. He collected physical things like sports cards, autographs, books, coins, stamps, newspapers and bobble heads. More importantly, he collected friends everywhere he went, loved to reminisce about practical jokes he and his cohorts pulled off, and endlessly talked about history, books, and politics.
Ted's life is not one easily defined by a few paragraphs: he also ran a real estate business, performed Notary Public and auctioneer services, helped build skyscrapers and bridges, attended the infamous '68 Chicago Convention, cheered on Nolan Ryan for his 300th victory and the Bulls for their 70th, and tirelessly worked on behalf of local and national Democratic candidates. He was generous to a fault with his time and money - a direct marketer's dream in that he contributed to virtually everything he believed in.
Ted loved yellow Corvettes, root beer floats, Danica Patrick and having everyone who was anyone sign a baseball. (And he believed everyone WAS anyone.)
Ted is survived by daughter Katie, son Nicholas, siblings Ruth, Ralph, David and Lily, ex-wife Louann, daughters-in-law Lesley and Aviva, granddaughters Avery and Erin, and soon-to-be grandsons Max and Teddy. He is also survived by the hundreds of friends whom he delighted, and delighted in. For those who passed before him, we know he is particularly excited to see his parents and great friends Jeff, Harvey, and Howard.
The family wishes to especially thank the palliative care nurses at the Zablocki VA Medical Center for their diligence, compassion and love. These "angels on earth" truly made a heartbreaking time easier.
Ted Fetting died the way he lived: with strength, bravery, and grace surrounded by love.
A memorial service will be held at the Milwaukee War Memorial on April 30th at 2 p.m.
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