Theodore Stokes Graboski, known as “Teddy,” of Bayside, died on July 24. He was 35.
A social studies teacher at Eleanor Roosevelt High School in New York, Mr. Graboski grew up on the family farm in Bridgehampton, to which he returned each spring and summer to help his father, Benny, plant and harvest “Benny’s Best” potatoes.
From the time he was an infant, Mr. Graboski spent many summer days and attended family beach parties at Flying Point Beach. Whenever he returned to the East End, he was drawn to the beach, no matter how rainy, how cold or how perfect the weather. He loved Bridgehampton and the open farm fields and knew well the rhythm of the seasons that farmers’ lives revolve around, his family said.
Proud of his Polish heritage, he loved Polish cooking, including homemade pierogi, cabbage, kielbasa, potato platski, dill pickles and borscht.
A graduate of Southampton High School, where he played on the golf and tennis teams, he loved sports and was a lifelong Jets and Yankees fan. He followed his teams, reading the daily newspaper sports columns voraciously. To earn money for college in the summers, he caddied at Shinnecock Golf Club, noting that each time he went out on the course, he played a round of golf vicariously.
He went on to study at Boston College, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in history and did play-by-play radio broadcasts of football and hockey games on the college radio station. One of the highlights of his college years was the semester he spent abroad studying at the University of Glasgow. Of course, his golf clubs went along, and he loved playing St. Andrew’s. Venturing through Normandy, Warsaw and Krakow only deepened his understanding and appreciation of the tremendous sacrifices this country has made to protect freedom, survivors said.
After he graduated from college, his passion for sports led him to WCBS in New York, where he worked in production on the “NFL Today” show for five years.
Ultimately, Mr. Graboski decided that he wanted to share his interest in history, and he went on to Hunter College, from which he earned an master’s degree in education in 2011. Committed to truly making a difference, he accepted a teaching position that September at Eleanor Roosevelt High School. He earned the respect of his colleagues and thrived on sharing his knowledge, enthusiastically engaging his students, in history, politics and government.
Mr. Graboski is survived by his wife, Lauren Suprenant Graboski; and 5-month-old son, Evan Anthony Graboski of Bayside; his parents, Benny and Nancy Graboski of Bridgehampton; and three sisters, Diane DeCaprio, Jennifer Wilson and Carol Coles, and their families.
A funeral Mass was held at St. Brigid’s Roman Catholic Church in Westbury on July 30. Burial was private.
Memorial donations may be made to Our Lady of the Hamptons Regional Catholic School, 160 North Main Street, Southampton, NY 11968, or to the Theodore Graboski Memorial Scholarship Fund at Eleanor Roosevelt High School, 411 East 76th Street, New York, NY 10021.