Ted Tangalakis 1916-2011

One of my favorite people I have ever met passed away this past week, Ted Tangalakis. None of us kids knew Ted's last name. We just called him Ted. He was the owner of a very cool retro style drugstore located right behind my grandmother's home in Ypsilanti.

Ted's store was not large but it was crammed full of the coolest stuff! He had an old fashioned style soda fountain. We spent all our allowance money there on cherry cokes and ice cream.We would sit in those wooden booths at Ted's, have a sundae and chatter away with Ted. We loved him so.

Ted's Store on Cross St. at Normal Ypsilanti, MI

My favorite area of his drug store was just inside and behind the door to the right. This was the magazine and book stand. He carried my favorite reading materials in the early 60's. Mad Magazine, Archie Comics and Peanuts/Snoopy paperback books were my passion in elementary school.

My grandmother Dorothy Stinson was a good friend of Ted's and they were very similar people. Kids loved them both so much. All the kids in the neighborhood knew Ted and my grandmother they called "Nanna".

Ted lived a very long life and helped countless people that were lucky enough to meet this man. He was so kind and jovial. You know, he always got our names right! All these kids and yet Ted always called us by our correct name. Who knows your name now in any store?

Ted opened a cool bar on campus for the students called Theos. It was a fun place and tons of kids hung out there. Ted made a huge impression on me of the proper way to do business and how to be a friend to all. RIP Ted and thanks so much for all the kindness you showed so many... xxoo

Theodore G. Tangalakis, 94, business and community leader and long time resident of Ann Arbor, known to many simply as "Ted", passed away on January 13, 2011. He was born in Blissfield, MI, the son of George and Kaliope (Karabatsos) Tangalakis on April 1, 1916 and grew up in Saint Louis, MI.


Ted served as a Captain with the U.S. Army Medical Corps during WWII in the European Theater from 1942 to 1945. He served in the Ardennes, Rhineland and Central European campaigns and was attached to General Patton's division during the Battle of the Bulge. Distinguishing himself there, he was awarded the Soldier's Medal by General Patton for saving wounded men from a MASH unit hospital tent set ablaze by enemy fire.

At great danger and personal risk, he repeatedly entered the blazing hospital to save wounded soldiers, carrying them out to safety. It was an act of bravery that he simply considered to be his duty to his fellow man. Ted was the first American medical officer to enter and liberate the infamous Bergen-Belsen concentration camp toward the end of the war, giving aid to victims of the Holocaust - an event which affected him deeply and which helped to mold his life-long commitment to helping people. Read full Obit Here


Flag this message Jeannie Garfield Kuhnlein said...

"I remember the store well. So sad to hear of his passing

Leslie said...

Neat article on Ted and Nanna!

David Matteson said...

I use to cash checks ther when I went to Eastern...70-71...Nice Man...RIP..... Whaler

TOM G said...

I purchased a lot of stuff from Ted's back in the day when I was going to Eastern. Always a friendly guy.

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