Ted Tholen holds a special place in the history of the Widget League and is the main reason the league exists today.
Ted attended St. Louis as a child, he was also the volunteer AD for 20 years. He gave from 20 to 40 hours a week at the school, and coached about six teams each year. Ted began coaching at St. Louis when he was in high school. In 1985, he and his brother Tom Tholen, who also was a coach there, started an annual basketball tournament with area Catholic schools to raise money for kids who couldn’t afford the equipment to play on teams. Ted became the volunteer AD for 20 years and also ran the widget league out of St. Louis. Anywhere there was a need he was always there to help.
Ted was an amazing man and a true Christian. Everything he did was for the kids, he was a friend to everyone and a blessing to all of us that knew him.
Ted was returning from umpiring a softball game when he was killed in a car accident on June 16th 2005
“He was just a good guy,” said his brother Tim Tholen. “It was always about the kids and teaching them sportsmanship.”
“He poured his heart out and did so much for the school,” said Tom Tholen “We just hope someone picks up the torch and carries it on.” This is where we all come in, we owe it to the kids and to Ted’s legacy to work together to make this league something we are all proud to be a part of.
In February, 2017 during the last day of the tournament, on championship game day, I woke up thinking of Ted. We drove to ND to get the gym ready and at the last minute I decided that before every game I would tell the story of Ted Tholen and it had a great impact on our day and how the games were played. That evening Roman received a text from a widget board member that had worked the championship games at St. Louis saying that Ted would be really proud and that Ted’s family showed up at St. Louis that morning and that they introduced his family to the crowd and also spoke about Ted and all he did for the league. None of us had discussed prior to that day talking about Ted and we had no idea Ted’s family would be present.
It was just like Ted, to do that for us!!