Theodore "Ted" Patrick Kuryla, 74, of Bemidji, died Friday, Dec. 5, 2008, at his home.
The funeral will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday at the Cease Family Funeral Home in Bemidji with Rev. Gregory Grivna officiating. Visitation will be from 4-7 p.m., with a Masonic service at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday at the Cease Family Funeral Home in Bemidji and one hour prior to the service at the funeral home. Burial will be in the Greenwood Cemetery in Bemidji. Military Honors will be provided by the Ralph Gracie Post No. 14 of the American Legion in Bemidji.
The pallbearers will be Don Helgeson, Barry Werk, Kirk Simpson, Richard Thake, Dan Sorsoleil, Jon Utley, Daren Bradley, Mark Paulson and David Ambers.
Honorary pallbearers will be Nick Dimich, Sr., Richard Beitzel, Stan and Ann Daley. Louie Churack, Gary Dagen, Richard Rosati, Nick Kantos, Pat and Mary Dummer and Tuesday Morning Coffee Group.
He was born May 25, 1934, to Dimitri and Mary (Swinda) Kuryla in Chisholm, Minn. He was raised and educated there, graduating from Chisholm High School in 1952. He attended Hibbing Junior College in 1953. He served in the U.S. Army from 1953-1956. He served in the U.S. Army Reserve until 1967 when he was discharged at the rank of first lieutenant with the Medical Service Corps. He married Elizabeth "Bess" Dimich on Aug. 12, 1961, in Chisholm. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in business, economics and psychology from the University of Minnesota-Duluth and a Bachelor of Science degree in education from the Bemidji State College. He completed his master's degree in counseling from the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, N.D., and did post-graduate work at the University of Wyoming. He taught world history and forensics in Medford, Minn. In 1960, he moved to Mt. Iron, Minn., where he set up the program for special education. He was an assistant district manager for AT&T with the Initial Management Development Program in Fargo and Bismark, N.D. He moved to Bemidji in 1965 and was employed by Bemidji State University as the assistant director of Financial Aid. He transferred to the Admissions Department where he retired in 1989 as director emeritus for high school and university relations. In 1989, he was appointed to U.S. Selective Service System Board for Minnesota Region No. 3, a position he held until his death. He was a member of Ralph Gracie Post No. 14 American Legion in Bemidji, and the Voiture Local No. 582 of the Forty and Eight. He was a lifetime member of the International War Veterans Alliance No. 323. His Masonic memberships include: York Rite - Bemidji Lodge No. 233 AF and AM, Royal Arch Masons No. 70, Elkanah Commandry No. 30 of the Knights Templar, Scottish Rite-AAD Shrine Temple of Duluth, and the Headwaters Shrine Club in Bemidji. He also was a member of the Bemidji Elks Lodge No. 1052 and the Bemidji Eagles Aerie No. 351. He was an avid coin collector. He enjoyed being outdoors, fishing, hunting and spending time in the woods with his dog. He planted thousands of tree seedlings throughout the area, especially apple and plum trees he started himself from seeds.
He is survived by his wife, of Bemidji; daughter, Jessica (Barry Werk ) Kuryla of Madison Lake, Minn., three grandsons; sister, Kathleen (Kirk) Simpson of Apple Valley, Minn., niece and nephew.
He was preceded in death by his parents.