“Terrible” Ted E. Shelby, 57, of Mendon, passed away on July 17, 2013, after losing his long battle with cancer.
He was born in St. Marys to the late Ned and Dorothy “Dot” Shelby.
Before graduating from St. Marys Memorial High School in 1973, Ted had already developed a strong interest in cars. He was very proud that as a teenager, he owned not one, but two 1970 Pontiac Trans Ams. After high school, he went on to attend the GM Automotive Service Education Program.
Ted’s early automotive mechanic training proved to be the start of a lifelong career in transportation, though he dabbled in other work along the way. His side careers included working at Huffy Corporation, several sales positions, including a stint selling copy machines, and managing a produce store. In the early 1980s, Ted also began driving trucks at night as supplemental support for his young family.
In 1983, Ted became a full-time commercial driver, working for several different trucking companies before founding his own, Transonic Express, in 1985. He used his natural charm, charisma and mechanical ingenuity to grow the business, eventually employing multiple drivers and hauling everything from fresh produce and lift trucks to funeral caskets.
Ted worked hard, but played harder. To avoid misdemeanor charges, friends and family will surely plead the fifth on some stories about him. Without incriminating ourselves, we can safely tell you that he loved rock and roll music, NASCAR and football played by the “Roughest Riders in the land,” Buckeyes and Miami Dolphins. He also enjoyed annoying his in-laws while playing euchre, setting off extremely loud fireworks of questionable origin and using his aforementioned charm and charisma to raise money for Special Olympics in Celina’s annual Polar Plunge.
While running Transonic Express from home base in Van Wert, Ted also continued to drive. During the summer months, his family often joined him for west coast deliveries. Because of this, his children received very special extracurricular lessons in geography (how to read a map in order to avoid weigh stations when a load was over the legal weight limit), physical education (how to sleep sitting up in the driver’s seat or curled around the stick shift of an 18-wheeler because mom and dad fully occupied the truck’s bunk) and social studies (how to keep elbows off the table while eating so one didn’t actually look like a truck driver and be nice to state highway patrol officers who caught you going 90 mph in a 55 mph speed zone). Largely because of this on-the-road education, Ted ensured his children were uniquely prepared to grow into successful, fun-loving adults with the confidence and wherewithal to stand on their own two feet.
Ted is survived by son Ty Shelby of Celina; daughter Erin Klein (Jeff) of Weston, Wis.; granddaughter Ella Shelby of Celina; sisters Cheryl Stahler (Don) of Wapakoneta, Judy Miller (Ron) of Fort Myers, Fla.; and Lynn Montero of Miami, Fla.; girlfriend Teresa Dorsten of Celina, and many other family members and friends who, in Ted’s own words, “either hate that you love me or love that you hate me.”
“Terrible” Ted’s last party for family and friends will be thrown on Saturday at Miller-Long and Folk Funeral Home, 314 W. High St., St. Marys.
Visitation will be held from noon to 4 p.m. with a memorial service starting at 3:30 p.m.
Condolences can be sent to MillerFuneralHomes.net.
The family asks that donations in Ted’s memory be made to the Mercer County Cancer Association.