OLLIE-Ted (Thaddeus J.) Lobello passed away Friday, May 30, peacefully at home, in the company of his sons Nick, Tony, and Vince, as well as several dear friends. Ted lived a rich and full life that centered on his two great passions; singing, and the lifestyle of farming in rural southeast Iowa.
Born in the City of Chicago in the spring of 1941, Ted's love of music started early and he used to love telling the story of winning a singing competition on the radio as a young student. Alas the tapes of this epic prelude to American Idol have been lost to history. He continued on singing as a student in the school musicals at St. Procopius College, and in recent years channeled his vocal energy into the parish and Diocesan choirs. Perhaps the hardest part of his recent cancer treatments was when they started to impact his ability to sing.
Despite being born in Chicago and living there for most of his life, Ted has long loved and appreciated his more recent home here in Iowa. His introduction to Iowa and farming came about through combined hitchhiking and carpooling with Tom Lazio when they were in college and dating two roommates at an all girls school up in Michigan. Years later they had both married those roommates and the Lobellos went to visit the Lazios. At some point in that visit they decided to take their young children to see Tom's sister and brother-in-law who owned a farm.
For some reason on that visit Ted and Elmer Greiner Sr. hit if off in a way that started an incredible lifelong friendship. For many years Ted would bring his family out to visit the wonderfully hospitable Greiners every chance he had, and made a point of taking vacation every fall to visit and help with the harvest. Once a week Ted and Elmer would call each other and talk - about everything and nothing - and this back in the days when long distance calls were not cheap. Ted had a lifelong best friend in Elmer and a parallel love of farming.
When the time came to retire it was little surprise to anyone that Ted decided to bypass Florida and become, as of yet, the only known person on the planet to retire from the greater Chicago area (population 3 million) to Ollie (population somewhat lower.) He found a home for himself, started a long run of volunteering at the American Home Finding Association, and of course joined the aforementioned choirs. When his great friend Elmer Sr. passed away Ted was incredibly saddened, but he had already met the members of the broader community and felt completely at home.
As those who knew Ted well were aware, there were occasions where Ted could be somewhat temperamental, demanding, and even dare we say, opinionated and loud. Please know that behind the volume there was someone who cared deeply about his family and neighbors, and that Ted was always thankful for the friendship and kindnesses so many of you offered him.
Ted served in the U.S. Army, being unlucky enough to get drafted in 1966 but very lucky to be posted to a stateside job running a new computer system that left him enough time to hold down a parallel full-time job at the local golf course. Ted is a past president of the International Fancy Guppy Association - bet that some of you never knew that - and was a member of the Knights of Columbus and the Up-North Auto Debate Society. Ted is survived by four sons, Chris (Ivy,) Nick (Carolynn,) his twin sons Tony and Vince and his dear friend Jane Mantzen along with numerous other good friends. Tony and Vince were born to Ted later in life and have always held a very special place in his heart. He also leaves behind his brothers Bob and Jim, his dear sister Barbara, godchildren Marianne and Rob, nieces and nephews, and three grandchildren - Connor, Trenton, and Franklin. Importantly he also leaves behind a community of neighbors and friends for which he was always incredibly thankful.
As a final comment, as Ted would have likely said himself for a final adieu - "Be good. If not, be careful."
A memorial mass will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 2, 2022, at Mother Cabrini Catholic Church in Richland. A luncheon will follow the service. Private family burial will be at Rock Creek Cemetery near Ollie. There will be no visitation.
Powell Funeral Home and Cremation Service in Keota is caring for Ted and his family. Tributes may be made at www.powellfuneralhomes.com.