Theodore “Ted” Schluter
May 29, 1934 ‒ May 01, 2020
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: SnyderFuneralHomes.com
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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