Theodore “Ted” Schluter

May 29, 1934 ‒ May 01, 2020

Mansfield, Ohio

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MANSFIELD: Theodore Franklin “Ted” Schluter peacefully passed away early in the morning Friday, May 1, 2020 amongst great friends at Brethren Care Village in Ashland.  Ted’s story began on May 29, 1934, born as the middle child to parents Frank “Whitey” and Goldie (Simpson) Schluter in Mansfield, where he chose to reside his entire life.

Ted had great love and respect for his parents who both preceded him in death. His father inspired Ted to go into the car business. He was amazed by his mother’s accomplishments and had a great fondness for her. Ted’s brother Charles also preceded him in death. He had great admiration for Chuck and truly missed him. Ann Yoakam Boreman and Jim Boreman, Ted’s mother-in-law and father-in-law preceded him in death. Ted’s father-in-law Duke Yoakam is also deceased.

Ted also has a younger sister Phylis Schluter Cunningham and brother-in-law Bill Cunningham of Texas. He deeply adored and cherished their times spent together. He is also survived by his brother-in-law and sister-in-law George and Darlene Yoakam of Columbus and sister-in-law Jeannie Schluter Crouse of Mansfield.

Carrying on Ted’s legacy are his daughter Kim Schluter Hickox and son-in-law Tom Hickox, grandchildren Hobie Hickox and Allison Hickox all of Mansfield.

His son Dirk Schluter and daughter-in-law Tammie (Gerich) Schluter of Mansfield, grandchildren Kyle Schluter of Mansfield, Christine Schluter Smith and her husband Kile Smith of Aspen, Colorado, and great grandson Theodore Smith (Ted’s name sake), and grandsons A.J. Schluter and Dylan Schluter both of Mansfield;

His son Brett Schluter and daughter-in-law Vicki (Ledbetter) Schluter, grandson John Schluter and great grandchildren Devyn Schluter, granddaughter Jena Schluter Thompson and her husband Cal Thompson and great granddaughter Paisleigh Thompson, granddaughter Ashley Christman and her husband Joe Christman and great granddaughters Kennedy and Reagan Christman, and granddaughter Chelsea Dropsey all of Mansfield.

Ted graduated from Mansfield Senior High School in 1952 where he was a member of the varsity football and track and field team. He set a pole vaulting record at the Mehock Relays that was held until his children were in high school! Shortly after graduating, Ted married his high school sweetheart, senior high homecoming queen Shirley Ann Yoakam on November 29, 1953 at Grace Episcopal Church in Mansfield. Shirley was the love of his life and they remained married for 45 years until she passed away. They had three children: Kimberly, Dirk, and Brett.

Ted joined his father, Frank, and his brother, Chuck, at Whitey’s Inc., which began his lifetime career in the car business. Later, Frank retired and Chuck passed away, and Ted went on to build the business and developed Whitey’s Auto Mall alongside his three children and his cherished employees. Ted felt he worked beside his best friends everyday. Many of his staff enjoy the memory of gazing out the front windows of the dealership only to see Ted driving by in a suit and tie on his tractor.

Ted was an extremely ambitious and visionary car dealer. He was always building and thinking up new ideas. Whitey’s went on to become Whitey’s Auto Mall. And early national recognition in the industry as the first dealer in the country to offer several auto manufacturers under one roof and call it an Auto Mall. He was featured on the front page of Automotive News announcing this idea. Today there is an auto mall in every community. Whitey’s Auto Mall has become MMG.

Ted had an amazing and extraordinary life, working every day in a business that he loved! Cars – Cars- Cars! He was fortunate to find his passion very early in life! He loved the excitement of the unveiling of the new models every year and was even more passionate about the hunt to find exciting new cars.

Ted’s hobby was traveling to antique car auctions with friends and collecting great cars. His favorites include a 1929 Duesenberg Fleetwood Model J (the only one ever made), a 1930 Packard Roadster, a 1936 Auburn Boattail Speedster, and a 1948 Lincoln Continental used for many family events. Ted dearly loved showing Shirley’s 1978 Lincoln Mark V.

Ted had a great sense of humor, often making fun of himself, and easily made others laugh. He really appreciated great times with friends and family.

Ted’s kids and grandchildren would be out riding snowmobiles at the farm, or jet skiing at the lake house, when all of a sudden, Ted appeared on his snowmobile or jetski, all decked out with new equipment. He would race the family and beat them. He was very daring, and they would all laugh…

He spent a great deal of time on his boat on Catawba Island, where he cherished many friends. They enjoyed boating, dining in the CIC club, and dancing to the beautiful Lake Erie sunsets. Every Friday night Ted would take his boat on what he called a “booze cruise,” any and all were welcome, from Catawba to the Crew’s Nest club on Put-In-Bay. Such happy memories for all – every week there was a different crew. Ted provided white high heels for all lady boat guests. He was all about high-heeled shoes and milk chocolate Hershey’s bars with almonds. He adored hosting his many family and friends to his lake house, and he truly was the life of the party.

Ted was a member of Westbrook Country Club, Catawba Island Club, and the Crew’s Nest.

In honor of Ted, his family will host a public graveside funeral service Thursday, May 7, 2020 at 1 p.m. in Mansfield Memorial Park. Everyone is welcome to attend.  The Rev. David Sipes will officiate. Social distancing will be observed. The Marion Avenue Snyder Funeral Home is handling funeral arrangements.

A Celebration of Ted’s life will be held on Catawba Island later this summer.

If you wish to make a memorial donation, it is suggested to either Brethren Care Village of Ashland (for the recreation fund) or to the Shirley Schluter Cancer Fund. Please mail your check to: Lehew & Associates, 400 Lexington Avenue, Mansfield, OH 44907, Attn: Maureen.

Snyder Funeral Home is honored to serve the Schluter family. Share with them a note of sympathy – send a “video hug” – or watch Ted’s tribute video – online at:

The Schluter family wishes to thank the fine family of caregivers at Brethren Care Village of Ashland, as well as Ted’s private care companions for their friendship, support, and care.


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  • It is with great sadness to learn of Ted’s passing. Ted Schluter was a great Man. He raised a great family and he built a great business. I have very much respect for him. Kim, Dirk, Brett and your families are in my thoughts and prayers. Ted’s battle is over, may he Rest In Peace.

  • Dirk, Kim and Bret,
    Wishing you the warmest condolences over the loss of your father. I feel very fortunate to have experienced Ted’s presence, professionally and socially. All thoughts of Ted leave only the very best, and warmest memories. God bless your families.

  • Dirk, Kim and Brett,
    My heartfelt condolences over the loss of your father. I feel very fortunate to have experienced Ted’s presence, professionally and socially, throughout the course of many years,. All thoughts of Ted render only the very best and warmest memories. May God bless your families during this time of change.

  • Your father will be missed at Brethren Care Village. Darrell and I send our condolences to the family. Peace of the Lord be with you.

  • To the entire Schluter family our deepest sympathy.

    Ted was a ‘classic’, a ‘central park cowboy’ & one of the ‘good guys’! He always had a ‘sweet ride’…

    Rest in peace our friend

  • I grew up down the street of where the Schluter’s lived. My condolences to all the family and friends of Ted. May the peace of God be with you all in your time of grief.

  • Please accept our condolences on the loss of your father. He was a great fixture in the community and I am sure will be sorely missed. Sincerely. Blane and Nancy Sommer

  • My sincere condolences to the Family. Yes was a true friend. He gave me a chance.

  • Kim, Brett, and Dirk I am sorry for the loss of your father. He was my cousin and even though we lost touch after the death of our parents (my father, Murrel Simpson, was Goldie’s brother), I do remember the times our families got together back in the “good old days”. Sincerely, Ginger Simpson Mosey

  • Kim, Brett, Dirk and families:
    I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your dad. Ted and my mom, Evelyn Butler, were cousins and he was my grandmother, Avis Stumbaugh’s, nephew. As Ginger said, I also remember the good old days and the Simpson Family Reunions we used to have. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this sad time.
    Deepest sympathy,
    Betsy Carpenter
    Mansfield, Ohio

  • So sorry to hear of Ted’s passing. He was a character! I’m sure he will be missed very much. You will have many happy memories to laugh about for years to come. And now Ted can be reunited with his dear Shirley whom he loved dearly and missed so much. My sincere sympathy to all of his family.

  • This is nephew Bill(y) and wanted to express my condolences for Uncle Ted’s passing. I have many fond memories of both Uncle Ted and Aunt Shirley during my early childhood in Mansfield as well as their visits to California. I enjoyed Uncle Ted’s sense of humor and the late night discussions around business and cars between “Big Bill” and Ted. I have fond memories of their visits to the west coast as well as the few trips I was a part of to Put-in-Bay where the required attire included high heels for the ladies courtesy of Ted. Good fun and fond memories. Rest in peace Ted and say hi to Aunt Shirley!


  • To:Miss Kim,Mr.Dirk and Mr.Brett I’m sorry for the loss of your dad…Working for Mr.Ted is such a good memories our bonding,caring.listening to his beautiful stories that I will never forget I will miss him😭Fly high Mr.Ted Rest In Peace🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼Condolence 🙏🏼🙏🏼❤️
    I will miss your favorite word (HO HO HO)🎅

  • Kim, Dirk and Brett,
    Uncle Ted will always have a very special place in my heart, right next to Aunt Shirley.
    Many fun times, fond memories of riding in his cars, sleep-overs at the house, and visiting him in Florida just a few years back.
    Rest in Peace Uncle Ted, you will be sorely missed.

    Kelly Cunningham-Frnka

  • So sorry for your loss. Our prayers are with you. My parents Pete & Mary Stecher had fond memories driving for Whitey’s. They’re all up there celebrating .

  • Dear Family,
    We were saddened to hear of Ted’s passing. We have known him a long time, and he never failed to delight and surprise. Ted was fortunate to have lived long and well, and he and Shirley were blessed with beautiful children and grandchildren. Now reunited , they must be content to know they left the world a better place. May you find peace in the many memories you have of family times and rest assured you are still loved.