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Ted Ziajka

December 8, 1943 - February 24, 2023


ZIAJKA, Ted passed away peacefully at Kelowna General Hospital at age of 79 on 24th February 2023 following a brain bleed on 18th February. Ted was surrounded by family and an outpouring of love and well wishes in his final days.

Born in Coleman, Alberta on 8th December 1943, Tadeusz Michael was the youngest of five children for Michael Ziajka and Mary Simla. Ted was predeceased by his parents and siblings Annie, Joseph and Helen and is survived by his sister Josephine Virginia of Calgary.

In 1966, Ted met Phyllis Spence Gray who became his wife in 1968, they were married for almost 55 years. Ted will be deeply missed by his wife, Phyllis, his daughters, Sheelah Carlyn Ziajka of Istanbul, Turkey and Jennifer Sarah Nelson of Osoyoos, BC, and his grandson Tariq Alexander Ziajka of Istanbul who currently resides with him and Phyllis in Osoyoos. Ted is predeceased by his youngest grandson Callum Marcus Michael Ziajka and son-in-law Brian Wade Nelson.

Ted put a high importance on family and being there to support and celebrate each other so he will also be missed by many nieces, nephews and cousins, as well as his dear Aunt Marj.

Ted was the first person in his family to complete secondary education, graduating from SAIT in Calgary. Ted imparted the importance of education, dedication and loyalty to his daughters and grandson. From a young age Ted knew he did not want to work in the coal mine as his father had and that an education would be the key to opening more doors. He worked for the City of Calgary, Palm Dairies and Chapmans Trucking (Kelowna) before starting his 37-year career in administration and computing at the University of Calgary. U of C was a huge part of Ted’s life, a source of pride in his work, a connection to many friendships he maintained throughout his life, and a community where he was respected and well-liked. Upon his retirement in 2004, Ted questioned what he would do with his life now that he wasn’t working – a month later he was quoted as saying “I don’t know how I ever fit a job in”.

Ted lived in Calgary through his adult, working life before moving to Osoyoos, BC in 2006 to be closer to his daughters and grandson in Osoyoos and Vancouver. While knowing the value of hard work, Ted also understood the importance of relaxation and creating memories, he and Phyllis camped often before purchasing a trailer in Windermere, BC where Ted’s love of golf came to fruition. Upon retirement, they started spending winters in Tucson, Arizona where they met new friends and enticed many of their Canadian friends to join them. Ted spent many hours on golf courses in Invermere, Osoyoos, Tucson and wherever they travelled. Ted was able to make several trips to Istanbul for prolonged visits with Sheelah and Tariq as well as explore the rich history of Turkey. Ted volunteered extensively with his daughter Jennifer at local wine events where he enjoyed contributing and connecting with new people and experiences.

Ted always looked for the best in people and thus had many friends, close relationships with extended family, and the ability to make people comfortable immediately upon meeting him; this special quality means his loss will be felt widely but he would want to be remembered through enjoyment of a glass of  wine, a great game of golf, quality time with people who are special to you, and creating memories so you live on forever.

A Celebration of Life will be held for Ted in July when his oldest daughter, Sheelah, joins the family in Canada for his grandson’s high school graduation.

In lieu of flowers the family asks for you to make a donation is Ted’s memory to JoeAnna’s House in Kelowna where families are able to remain close to their loved ones during treatments and traumatic circumstances at Kelowna General Hospital.


Send a condolence, light a candle and/or share a memory, click "Send Condolence". Once your message has been approved by the moderator it will be posted to the website.

Pages: 12

From: Nunes-Pottinger Funeral Service & Crematorium Ltd.

The Nunes-Pottinger Funeral Service & Crematorium Staff send our condolences to family and friends.

From: Susan Delawski
Relation: Family friend

Heartfelt condolences on your loss. I will always remember him as “ Uncle Ted” and him being my MC at my first wedding. He clearly had a big impact on so many. Resting in peace now. 💞

From: Fernand Pare'
Relation: My wife and I played golf at Osoyoos Golf Course and he was just the greatest guy around. ALWAYS HAPPY..........

I am so SAD to hear about Ted…….we played golf at the Osoyoos Golf Course and I can TRULY say he was the NICEST person anyone can ever meet. We always had a lot of laughs with Ted. Why do the good ones always have to leave us way too early. HE REALLY WAS THE BEST………Condolences to his family……

From: Nancy Mancell
Relation: Work colleague

My sincere condolences to Ted’s family. He was a great person and everyone, at work (UofC) thought very highly of him. I worked alongside Ted for about 35 yrs at the university. He was always willing to help with the party planning etc. For example, at xmas, Ted and I would buy a big ham for the work potluck. I would cook it and Ted would carve it. Although, we have been retired for sometime, I often think of my colleagues from UofC.
Ted will be greatly missed.

From: Tom Flanagan
Relation: Friend

I knew Ted at the University of Calgary, where our lockers were close together at the fitness centre. We would see each other often at noon workouts. Ted always made me laugh!!!!

From: Anita Falck

I had the pleasure of working with Ted at UofC’s Academic Computing Services years ago. He was a person with too many qualities to list. Condolences to his family, and all who knew him.

From: Ledine Schade

As a childhood friend of his daughter, Sheelah, I always recall Ted as a warm loving father, who made thier home and dinner table a welcome place to all. My deepest condolences.

From: Bob Sivertsen
Relation: Colleague at the U of Calgary

Ted was a terrific employee and colleague at the U of C for my 26 years there. Always good memories of our relationship. Best wishes to his family and friends for this terrible loss.

From: Ron Konrad
Relation: I golfed with Ted every morning throughout the summer.

Phylis, I want to send you my deepest condolences on your loss. Also to your daughters & Grandson. Ted was one of the good ones that I had the pleasure to golf with & consider a friend. He will be sorely missed by myself & the golfers that golfed with him every morning.

From: Betty Liska Williams
Relation: I knew him when he was a teenager in Coleman.All us Bushtown kids hung out together.I & my brother David often wondered what happened to him.

So sorry to hear the passing of Ted.

Pages: 12

Service Schedule

Private service arrangements have been made.

Memorial Gifts

In lieu of flowers the family asks for you to make a donation is Ted’s memory to JoeAnna’s House in Kelowna where families are able to remain close to their loved ones during treatments and traumatic circumstances at Kelowna General Hospital.

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