Tadeusz (Theodore) Okula, 102, passed away peacefully Sept. 14, 2019, in Titusville, Fla., after residing at Addington Place Memory Care for over a year.
He was born in Bridgeport, Conn., to Polish immigrants Alexander and Mary (Szczygiel) Okula and moved with them in 1921 to Calverton, Long Island, where they bought farmland.
Ted married Dorothy Teuber Berezny in 1939.
He was employed by Cornell’s Long Island Vegetable Research Farm during all of his working life. At age 90, he moved from Riverhead to live in Louisville, Ky., for three years and then spent the remaining nine years of his life in Titusville.
Ted loved baseball and took pleasure in memories of being a star pitcher in high school and, later, playing for Riverhead Town teams. Forever loyal to the New York Yankees, he wore a Yankee baseball cap every day, including on the last day of his life.
He played golf into his 80s and took pride in staying fit, which he achieved despite eating meals at McDonald’s or Wendy’s at least once a day during his 40 years in retirement. He loved being outdoors in nature. He also loved growing things and maintained beautiful gardens on Mill Road in Riverhead, as well as in Louisville. He was mechanically talented and creative, and always had a project in the works, even up to the last few years.
A lifelong birdwatcher, he learned photography in his 50s and began studying astronomy, photographing both birds and the night skies. He drove a car until he was 100.
No matter where he was, Ted loved Long Island and thought it was the best place in the world to live. He will be remembered as a hard-working, generous family man who was always willing to lend a hand.
Ted was predeceased by his siblings Adolf, Henry, Antone, Stephen and Anna Perry; his wife, Dorothy; and sons, Theodore and Lawrence. He is survived by his daughters, Barbara (Walter) Worthington of Titusville and Patricia Berla’ of Louisville; as well as five grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
The family will have a memorial service at a later date, with interment to follow at St. John’s Cemetery in Riverhead, N.Y.
This is a paid notice.