Theo “Ted” Weems

Graveside services were held Tuesday, November 28, 2017, at Rest Lawn Memorial Park, Junction City, Oregon, for Theo “Ted” Weems, who died November 20, at Junction City, Oregon. Pastor Larry Gaskin officiated.Theo “Ted” Weems was born December 28, 1919, to Charles Albert and Mary Weems, in the sandhills of northern Nebraska, in a sod house on the family homestead.He was the fourth of seven children born to the family. His father, Bert, was a rodeo man and as he followed the rodeo circuit it meant that his family would be left at home alone. His mother didn't like that and so she moved the family to Stapleton. Stapleton wasn't a large town then, and is even smaller now, but it was Ted's hometown. He graduated from Stapleton High School with the Class of 1938.These were difficult times – the era of the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl years. Jobs were few and far between. Ted joined the CCC, the Civilian Conservation Corps, a public work relief program for unemployed, unmarried, men that operated from 1933 to 1942. The CCC sent him to cooking school. In 1940 he attended one semester at Nebraska State College, now the University of Nebraska, where he studied agriculture. In January 1941, he moved to Dearborn, Michigan, where he got a job in the Ford manufacturing plant.On December 3, 1941, just four days before the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, Ted was drafted into the Army. He boarded a troop train headed for the West Coast and deployment. At this heightened stage of World War II there wasn't much time for boot camp training. At one point the troop train stopped. The inductees were handed a rifle and ordered to march out six miles, take one shot, and then return six miles to the train. Ted had issues with the veins in his legs and couldn't complete the march, so they made him a cook and for his two years of service in the Army, Ted was a cook on those troop trains that ferried soldiers around the country. He was discharged in 1943.Mary Oliver was also a Stapleton girl who was living in Los Angeles. On a trip back home to Nebraska, she ran into an old family friend, – Theo “Ted” Weems. Conveniently, he was also living in Los Angeles and was visiting back home. Of course a romance ensued and they were married on December 11, 1950.Ted and Mary moved to Oregon in 1969 and settled in Low Pass on Highway 36 where they operated a cafe together. Later, Ted would drive a school bus and work as a mechanic for the Triangle Lake School District. He then went to work for Lane County in their equipment maintenance division. Ted had honed his machinist skills working for Mica Manufacturing in Culver City, California, before moving to Oregon. He loved working with his hands.When Ted retired in 1981, he and Mary moved to the Junction City area. He still enjoyed working with his hands in his shop, whether it was wood working or metal working or just puttering. He loved to go deer hunting, and fish the Oregon lakes and streams. He took on a new career as a garage sale junkie. Like others who lived through the Depression he couldn't pass up a bargain and hung on to anything he thought he might have a use for later.Ted also loved working in his large vegetable garden. He always had more than enough for his family and he was proud to share his produce at the Viking Sal Community Center.He began every day reading the newspaper. In his quiet time he would turn on the television and watch the news, or sports shows, or hunting shows, or The Price Is Right.While everyone around him knew that Ted could be quite cantankerous, they also knew he was loving and lovable, and that's why Ted will be greatly missed.He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Mary; sisters, Ethel Cooper, Maxine Bandy, Clara Hagans, and Marylynn, who died before one year of age; and brothers, Albert and Cecil.Survivors include his three children, sons, Don and Pat, and daughter, Maxine (Gilbert) Moade; ten grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren; and other extended family members. Ted was cared for by Mary Corbett and Theresa Smith the past few years.