Harold L. Teeter of 55 E. Main Street, Trumansburg, passed away at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester on Monday, June 23, 2008 at the age of 81.
The son of Harold Teeter and Ruth Roe, Harry was born at home on May 18, 1927, and when the midwife spanked him, he never cried – he just began to sing, and he’s been singing ever since. In his teen years he sang and played drums in several local combos while also calling square dances around the T-Burg area. He was known to sing at the drop of a hat, particularly if an adult beverage was involved (“Manhattan, please, a bit sweet, with just a touch of cherry juice”). At almost any gathering if a hat was dropped, he started singing, and if you were anywhere in the vicinity, you could hear anything from “Sentimental Journey” to “Hey Good Lookin” to “Satisfaction”.
Harry graduated high school in 1945, but his mother had to receive his diploma for him because he had already enlisted in the Navy where he would serve aboard the USS Tarawa until the end of WWII. After his discharge he returned to the states and married the love of his life, Freda Frost, on April 5, 1947. (“I was calling a square dance and couldn’t take my eyes off her; she was the prettiest girl I’d ever seen.”) That union prospered (in spite of the birth of two rather troublesome sons) for the next 61 years.
Following a couple of years at Ithaca College, Harry began his career as a successful local business owner. He succeeded at his several entrepreneurial ventures not only because of his business acumen, but also because of his hard work and the belief that since most people are honest and trustworthy, the business owner must also operate with the same integrity.
Harry was a member of the Trumansburg Senior Citizens, Trumansburg American Legion Post 770, also the Moose, Elks and VFW both here and in Florida. But this was only a small part of his ever increasing circle of friends. The family would like to thank all the wonderful folks in the immediate area, the people in St. Croix, the group on Pine Island (little T-Burg) and all of the other caring people that Freda and Harry met in their world travels. A special heart-felt appreciation goes out to “The best friends and neighbors a man could have”, Barb and Joe Lockwood.
Harry is survived by his wife Freda of Clare Bridge of Ithaca; sons, Michael (Deborah Nottke) of Trumansburg, and Scott of Rockwood, TN; grandchildren, Jessica Teeter of Sarasota, FL, Billi Jo Starr of Santa Barbara, CA, Kym (Eric) Jackson of Lansing, NY, Stevey MacCheyne of Brooklyn, NY, Vanessa Willard of Trumansburg, NY, Ben Willard of Boynton Beach, FL, and Mike Willard of Trumansburg, NY. Harry is also survived by his sisters Helen (Keith) VanDerzee of Trumansburg, NY and Margaret Fait of Great Barrington, VT; and brothers, Donald (Velma) Teeter of Ithaca, NY and Philip Teeter of Lusay, MD.
In addition to his parents, Harry was predeceased by a brother, Richard Teeter and a sister, Harriet Gunning.
There will be a Celebration of Life for Harry at the American Legion Post #770 in Trumansburg on Sunday, June 29, 2008 from 3-6pm. The family asks that friends dress casually, and bring a hearty appetite, a powerful thirst, a big smile and maybe a hat to drop – you just might hear someone singing!
Because Harry always felt that you had an obligation to the generations that follow you, and he so much wanted to give back to the community that was so good to him, the family asks that in lieu of flowers, those who wish to remember Harry in the form of a contribution to kindly consider the Harold L. Teeter Memorial Fund C/O Tompkins Trust Company, Main St., Trumansburg, NY. Contributions will be used for the establishment of a youth/community center.
To further honor the memory of a good man: open that special bottle of wine – go out to dinner and order the lobster – bet a buck on the bob-tailed nag – go fishing – listen to live music – sing and dance.
LIVE…….AND LET LIVE.