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Ted Sleeps

For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him

1 Thessalonians 4:14

This week we honor and remember “Ted” (Thor) Thisse.  He was the director of Camp Horizon in the 1970s during the transition to the current property in Leesburg, Florida.

I was fifteen when Ted came to our chapel to talk about Camp Horizon.  His laugh was infectious and his winning smile made me like him the moment we met.  I was an awkward teen with a love for the the Lord, but not a lot of social maturity.  What I did have was a lifeguard certificate and could sail small boats.  I didn’t know that I could wash dishes and sweep floors, but I learned that and more on the Camp Horizon summer staff.  Ted was my first director.

Ted could build anything that he could imagine from scrap parts.  When we did a “Star Wars” them he created fighters from propane tanks and hung them from the ceiling.  He arrived at in the big field on top of a large power-line spool converted into a larger version of that same fighter design.  He made things from metal where others might use wood, and wood where others might use metal.  The ‘WOODY” was a second generation vehicle that began as a pickup truck, but lived out its days with a wooden body. The original hood became the roof and the the wheel wells were from barrels. The rest was wood.

Ted could fix anything.  Not everyone knew that he was actually a trained engineer.  His dad was equally talented and had tools for metal and wood working that were state of the art.  Ted used those to build the signature light fixtures in the Camp Horizon dining hall.

Ted could love anyone.  Really!  There was not camper or staff member from those years that would deny that they felt loved by Ted.

Ted could make anyone laugh.  His famous poem “THE HORSE” was quoted for decades as was the equally famous “COMMERCIAL” that he did with Karen (his faithful bride).  Some of the skits and stories remain in our archives and folks still read them and laugh.

Ted was a mentor and friend.  After I became director of Camp Horizon he would visit occasionally and look around to see what was new.  He always had an encouraging word to say.

Karen (his wife), children Beth and Andy with his sisters Joyce and Pat will likely miss him most, but for those of us that he loved, we will miss him second most.

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