EDWARD "TED" LACKEY
March 20, 1937 - July 20, 2021
It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Ted Lackey at the age of 84.
With his children by his side, he peacefully went to join his faithful dog, TJ. He will be lovingly remembered and greatly missed by his children, Robin (Joe), Tamara (Bob), and Cameron. Also left to cherish his memory is his former wife Joanne; sister-in-law Jean; nephews Alan (Nancy) and Kelly (Brenda) along with their families. Ted will be missed by the many people whose lives he touched.
Ted is predeceased by his parents, James and Margaret; brother George; and nephew, Wayne.
Following Dad’s wishes, cremation has taken place and no formal service will be held. Ted’s family kindly requests that his friends and relatives take a few minutes to honour his memory by watching the photo-biography above. Please, also consider sharing your own photos and/or sharing your own memories and stories using the comment section on this page.
In remembrance of Ted’s life, his children ask that any memorial contributions be made to an animal shelter/rescue of one's choosing..
Dad was born Edward James Lackey in Winnipeg on March 20th, 1937 to James and Margaret, both from Belfast, Northern Ireland. He never used his given name, and everyone called him Ted, except for his mom when she was really angry with him. Although dad never got to visit the homeland of his parents, he was always proud of the Lackey name and his Irish heritage. Dad grew up In the West End of Winnipeg and attended Greenway School, General Wolfe, and Daniel McIntyre Collegiate.
Dad was an energetic and active child, and being the youngest of two boys, it usually resulted in his big brother George getting him out of various troubles he managed to get himself caught up in. Winter months in Winnipeg were long and cold, but fun could always be had skiing, sledding, and skating on the Red River when the ice was solid enough . Being the stubborn child that dad was, he didn’t listen to his brother when he told him to stay away from an area of thin ice, and managed to fall through the ice in the sewage drainage area of the river. Fortunately, with the help of a bystander, George rescued dad, and, with dad riding in the bed of the truck, made it safely back home where he promptly announced to his mom, “I fell in!”. Dad didn’t recall the next three days, but he was in for a shock when he woke up and saw that a strip of his hair had turned white, similar to a skunk.
Dad loved sports and was very active all his life. Whether it was playing, watching, or talking about them, he was all in. All of us kids knew not to bother dad when “the game” was on. He spent his childhood involved in one sports related activity or another with the focus being on hockey and baseball. As a young man he played roller hockey, and on one such occasion he foolishly agreed to be the goalie. One serious slap shot to the groin, and he hit the rink floor only to wake up later in the locker room in a lot of pain with a broken protective cup. Fortunately, the cup did it’s job or we wouldn’t be here to tell his story.
After dad left high school, he worked for a year in the mailroom for Canada Post, and in 1956 he started his 36 year long career as a Customs and Excise Officer for Canada Customs, stationed at the Federal Building located at 269 Main Street. He was so proud to work for Customs, and his exceptional memory served him well as he was still able to rattle off the tariff codes and duties almost thirty years after retirement. He worked with some good people, and often talked about them with affection and admiration. One of his closest friends at Customs was Art Cheadle, who passed unexpectedly in 1987, and this loss was devastating for dad. He often talked about the crazy antics and jokes they would pull with a wicked grin, but he never quite managed to keep the tears out of his eyes when he spoke of Art.
Dad continued playing sports as a young adult and spent countless hours at the Winnipeg Roller Rink, where he met Joanne Kennedy. They were married Oct. 29,1965, and in 1966, they welcomed their first child Robin Lynne, followed by Tamara Leigh (1968), and Cameron James Stuart (1971). In 1971, dad moved his family to Transcona where he was involved at the Oxford Heights community club, and assisted in coaching the Pee Wee division, including the team his son Cameron was on. He later assisted his good friend from Customs, Al Francis, in coaching the girls softball team at Oxford Heights. The girls adored “Uncle Ted”, and he had a blast working with them. Dad was a kid at heart. We remember tickle fights, piggy back rides to bed, going for family bike rides, sledding down “the big hill” on our family sized toboggan, and camping in a tent in our back yard. Dad loved to treat his kids, so we had the absolute best comic book collection in the neighbourhood! Fridays after work, he would come home with his pockets filled with candy for us to find. When dad had to travel for work, he always brought each of us something back to let us know he missed us. He set up a swing set, an above ground pool, a sandbox, and a picnic table in our back yard where we spent hours playing. Christmas was always a huge surprise, and dad loved to see the excitement and smiles on our faces when we’d drag him and mom out of bed at a ridiculously early hour and beg to open presents.
Following the separation with mom, dad decided to make his new home at The Holiday Towers located in downtown Winnipeg. We enjoyed visiting him on the weekends , spending hours swimming in the indoor pool. How dad managed to sit by the pool for hours and just watch us show him our “not so great” swimming abilities, without falling into a sleep coma, defies all logic. One of our favorite things to do when visiting dad, was to go to the Eaton Place food court, where we would each get to choose a muffin from Marvelous Muffins, and then spend the rest of the day visiting various stores in Eaton Place, Winnipeg Square, and on Portage Ave. We all remember going to the tobacco shop with dad to get his pouch of tobacco for his pipe. Dad lived at the end of the hall in his apartment, and the smell of his tobacco pipe would guide us to his door. The smell of that pipe will forever mean home to us. In a time where playing video games meant you had to leave the house to go to the arcade, it wasn’t something we did because the age requirement was 16 unless you were accompanied by an adult. For Cam’s 12th birthday, dad took him to the arcade, handed him ten dollars in quarters and told him to go have fun. After that was spent, he gave him another ten to go play more while dad just watched and enjoyed seeing his son so happy. Dad always tried to make those times as much fun for us as he could, knowing he’d have to send us back home soon. He’d walk us to the bus stop and stand there waving as the bus pulled away. He never stopped waving until that bus was out of sight.
Dad retired from Customs in 1992, and this was about the time he decided to explore his creative side in the form of art. He relaxed while painting scenery and was not afraid to try out new products, techniques and mediums. If a new product became available, dad had to try it out, and he amassed a huge art supply collection over the years. In 1995, he moved into his house in the East Kildonan area, just down the street from his brother George. In 1997, dad adopted his best and most loyal companion TJ. They spent many hours going for walks around the neighbourhood and beyond. Like a scene out of “Grumpy Old Men”, you could see dad, TJ, George and his dog Smokey going for walks together and “solving all the world’s problems”. Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor hail, nor heat, nor dark of night could stop dad on his daily walks with TJ. They could be seen on their “ three hour tours” visiting Bun’s Creek, walking the railway tracks, stopping in every park in the area, and making friends along the way. Dad prepared for these walks as one would for a two week trip, and practically needed a suitcase to carry all his gear. He looked like a gun slinger out of an old western movie except instead of a cowboy hat and guns, it was a baseball cap and fanny pack with water bottles at the ready. Dad spoiled TJ with love, attention, toys, and treats, and fed him peeled Gala apples and grilled, boneless, skinless chicken breast at the dinner table. As much as dad gave to TJ, TJ gave back to dad tenfold.
As dad continued with his interest in art work, he became a regular at Artists Emporium on St. James St., and began volunteering his time there. He rarely missed a Saturday in the last 20 years, and often came in to help out anytime they were short on staff. This was dad’s passion, and he loved talking with customers, vendors, and the awesome staff he worked with. One of his favorite things to do was participate in Artist Emporium’s Open House every year. Dad got a kick out of dressing up for whatever theme AE put on. Some of his favorites were King Henry the VIII, one of the Teletubbies, and Willie Nelson, but what he was best known for was his portrayal of the character Master Roshi ( also known as the Turtle Hermit) of Dragon Ball. He attended Comic con and Aikon conventions in character as a rep. for AE, and had countless pictures taken with fans of all ages. What dad valued most working at AE was the friends he made. Many kept in touch with him for years after they left to pursue other interests, and it meant the world to him. When the pandemic shut down most of the city and dad was unable to go into the store, he stayed in contact with a few of his favorite girls, and they never forgot about him. Always emailing every week and calling, or stopping by his place for a visit was the best gift they could have given him. Dad loved to joke around and tease the staff, and he loved being teased right back. He loved it when they called him the artifact, an antique, or old man, and would laugh about the silly antics and inside jokes they all shared. Dad also loved to treat all the staff at AE to delicious goodies, and brought snacks in every Saturday for all to enjoy. He was generous with his gifts, as well as his time, and would give to others in any way he could. Whether that came in the form of a treat, encouragement, advice, a laugh, a sounding board, or a shoulder to cry on, he gave wholeheartedly.
Dad was so fortunate when it came to his neighbours in East Kildonan. He couldn’t have asked for better, and he tried to be the best neighbour he could be as well. There are too many wonderful people to name from all the years living there, but some were very dear to him and he always felt so blessed he had them in his life. Dad had the gift of gab, so it didn’t take him long to establish friendships and find other dog walkers and their dogs to accompany him and TJ. It was also of no surprise that when TJ passed in 2008, dad met a new friend named Levi. Levi’s human was gracious enough to allow dad to walk Levi, and walk they did. All over the place...for hours...and hours, and they both loved the time together! In the snow and the rain, often turning up back home looking like two drowned rats, but happy as can be!
Dad never drove, so traversed the city using the transit system all of his life. He knew the buses and routes, and had the times memorized, as well as which driver was going to be on what route in his area. He had such respect for the men and women who provided this service, and loved to talk with them when the bus wasn’t packed with people. If dad happened to be out in his yard when one of his usual drivers drove by he’d always get a wave or a honk, and he’d be smiling and waving back. He was such a regular, that if he missed catching the bus at his usual time, the drivers would ask where he’d been the next time they saw him. Dad had his favorite places to visit every week and enjoyed going down to Kildonan Place and visiting the staff at Coles Bookstore, Shopper’s Drugmart, Dollarama, and few other stores. He also looked forward to going shopping with his daughter Tamara. For 20 years they went almost every week, but as dad was slowing down a bit, they cut it down to every second week. In fact, if you saw one of them, the other was not far behind. People usually heard them before they’d see them as they teased, joked, laughed and threatened to disown each other (always in an affectionate way of course). They were regulars at Walmart on Regent, where they got to know many of the staff and other regular customers. Dad and Tamara would spend more time visiting and talking than they did shopping.
Dad also loved to go to Pet Valu on Reenders Dr. with Tamara where they’d visit with the staff, pet the rescue kitties that needed forever homes, and buy treats for TJ, and then later on, Levi. Dad encouraged his daughter Tamara to adopt two of his grandkitties from Pet Valu, and then proceeded to spoil them along with all the other grandkitties he already spoiled. New scratching posts, litter boxes, dishes, toys, and treats because he claimed “they needed them”. Dad loved animals, and enjoyed watching the birds and rabbits that came to visit in his yard. In the winter, he’d make a little shelter for the rabbits to huddle in to keep warm and looked forward to watching them play and chase each other in the spring.
Dad was a jokester until the end. Laughing and cracking jokes with the paramedics and the hospital staff even when things got rough. He was a character, and tried to “escape” from the hospital a few times while he was there. Fully dressed and heading out the door before a nurse stopped him and he “innocently” said he was just going to go for a short walk.
Throughout our lives, people come and go, but dad was sure to make an impression. We know life must go on, and it will, but for those that knew and loved him, he will always be missed. In dad’s own words, “ I thank you for your kindness, your consideration, and your patience. Have a great day, and a better tomorrow!” That was dad!
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