Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Theodore L. "Ted" Thompson Nov. 28, 1944 - Jan. 6, 2016 Businessman, Photographer Known as 'Mayor of Dormont'

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Theodore L. "Ted" Thompson Nov. 28, 1944 - Jan. 6, 2016 Businessman, Photographer Known as 'Mayor of Dormont'

Article excerpt

It is some measure of Theodore L. "Ted" Thompson's people skills, as well as his life, that the Italian Heritage Society of America in Pittsburgh honored him as its 2004 Man of the Year, even though he wasn't Italian.

"Yeah, it is kind of crazy, but not surprising," said Mr. Thompson's daughter, Tammy Speeler of Dormont. "He knew everyone, and everyone knew him in so many capacities."

Known to his many friends as the unofficial "Mayor of Dormont," Mr. Thompson, a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., cut a wide swath through his adopted South Hills community, Ms. Speeler said.

He was 71 when he died Wednesday of cancer.

Mr. Thompson owned and operated Ted Thompson Heating & Cooling for more than 25 years, and he was so skilled he could -and often would -tell his employees how to tear down and reassemble a furnace over the phone.

He had a passion for photography and shot for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Penguins in the 1980s and '90s. He was also a supporter of, and photographer for, the Dormont police and fire departments; a friend of judges, magistrates and sports stars; and a regular at such well-known community businesses as the now-closed Cip's sports bar in Dormont, the Dormont Eat'n Park, Carbonara's Restaurant in Mt. Lebanon, and the Linden Grove in Castle Shannon.

"Cip's, a local haunt, was like his office," Ms. Speeler said. "He'd go there for lunch every day and it was like the TV show 'Cheers,' and he was like the character Norm, except he only drank Coke. He could sell furnaces from in there."

Maggie Sulak, a former waitress at Cip's who knew Mr. Thompson well, said he was well-regarded in the community as a fair and honest businessman.

"People really counted on Ted," she said. "He really was the 'Mayor of Dormont.' "

Ms. Speeler said her father was friends with Steelers team photographer Harry Homa, attended training camps and often took photos from the sidelines at home and away games in the 1980s and '90s. …

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