Teddy Sklarski Remembered
1922 – 2008
Fisherman, Hunter and Friend
If anyone would like to add to this page for Teddy, please email me.
On February 18 2008 we all lost a Fisherman, a Hunter and
a Friend in Teddy Sklarski. To those that knew him, they knew what a great man
he was. He helped a lot of people in his days with us.
Teddy was an accomplished auto mechanic/technician
[mechanics as they were known in the ’40’s & 50’s & 60’s] I first
met Teddy when he worked for the Hudson Dealer in Niagara Falls and later as he
went into his own business when Hudson motor cars went bust and were a thing of
the past. Teddy still kept Hudson owners cars up and repaired and he helped
other garages in Niagara Falls with needed expertise when it came to repairing
these cars. Teddy was always there to help others with his expert advise.
“Ted’s Motors” as his new business was called
was a hub of activity in Niagara Falls. Ted’s Motors was one of the leading
radiator and gas tank repair businesses in the city, among so many other things
that required his skills. Among them, front end work, brakes, engine overhauls,
wheel alignments etc.]
As some will remember Hudson cars were equipped with what
was called a hydraulic clutch and the clutch had cork pads imbedded that
required a special oil lubricant. Ted’s Garage supplied the local area repair
shops with this special oil and as I can recall it was called “Hudsonite”
along with the special clutch parts that were needed and aftermarket parts were
As the years went on Ted and I got to be good friends and
I’m sorry I never got to fish with him as so many others did. Sometimes we went
to the same places but it was always at a different time.
I met up with Teddy’s good friend Dave Paonessa, on the
evening before Teddy was to be buried. Paonessa was one of the lucky guys that
went fishing and hunting with Teddy a lot . After some great “Teddy
Stories” and tears wiped away from reminiscing, Paonessa had a decoupage
of photos he made up for Teddy’s family and he gave me one. [Below is one
After Teddy retired he became bored at home and used to
help me out in my Tackle Shop on Hyde Park Boulevard [if he wasn’t
fishing] Ted would open my shop for bait fishermen at 4:00 am and sell
them their worms, minnows and crabs for the day or weekend. He loved it. He
would open a half hour early just so he didn’t disappoint anyone. Fishermen came
to my shop just to see Teddy and get the lowdown on where the fish were biting
and what bait to use for that day or weekend.
I never met anyone in Teddy’s family. He had three sons.
His wife [Wanda] predeceased him in 2002.
Teddy Sklarski was a Charter Member of the Niagara River
Anglers Association and participated in many of its functions throughout the
years. One meeting he seldom ever missed was the annual Christmas party/meeting.
The pictures below were put together by Dave Paonessa and
I’ll try and remember what Dave told me about them:
Upper left is Dave Paonessa, Teddy and —-? The top
center picture is of Teddy with his 8 pound walleye he caught in Canada and
according to Paonessa, Teddy was really tickled because it was the largest
walleye he ever caught. The top right picture is Teddy [L] and Paonessa on the
right with the sunglasses on. Don’t know who the middle guy is. Second row left
is Teddy in the field stalking birds. Center photo is Teddy waving to the
camera. Second row, right is Teddy hamming things up at fishing camp. The garb
on his head was some colored underwear made up to be a fishing cap. Bottom left
is Dave on the left and Teddy cleaning their walleye catch for that day. The
bottom center photo is unique as it shows the window from of the cottage at camp
that Teddy loved to sit and look out of at the scenery. Lower right is Teddy
getting the boat ready to go out for the day. Pictures loaned
by Dave Paonessa
We’ll miss you Teddy
Mark, Hi I’m Larry Sklarski, Teddy’s middle son, today is Fathers Day and
I wanted to let you know what happened…………Early this morning I was online doing a search on members of our
family, it’s always interesting to see who pops up when you type in your
name. Anyway I did my name, my brother Danny’s, his daughters Jamie and I
decided to try my dad’s, Teddy Sklarski.
To my surprise I found your article in tribute to my dad. Since this is
my first Fathers Day without my dad and we always celebrated his birthday
on the same day it was a comfort to read someone else’s experiences with
him. Unfortunately I was never really involved in my Dads fishing and
hunting. When I was growing up I do remember working in the garage
sweeping and holding the light, there were also times we’d go fishing with
his father and I remember catching a huge northern and also being caught
in a wicked storm. I did go deer hunting with my dad a few years but gave
up feeling it wasn’t worth freezing at 5AM to see a couple of chipmunks.
As I grew into my later teens and twenty’s as most children do I grew
further apart from my parents wanting to be more independent. As I
attended college in Florida for Oceanography and Environmental Science I
knew my dad was interested in what I was studying but never realized how
much I was following in his dreams and desires. It wasn’t until my mid
forty’s things started clicking with my dad and I and after my mom passed
we grew even closer.
Even though he didn’t show it I know my dad was proud of all three of
his son’s, their accomplishments and their families and grandchildren. Now
that I’m 55 I can look back at all the things dad sacrificed for us and
look forward to how I to do the same for my children. Are any of us
perfect in all we do, no, but it’s the trying and being there during tough
times that count in life. My dad was there looking out for us when we
didn’t want it but needed it and giving us advice that even though we
didn’t understand at the time would come to help us in the raising of our
Thank you for the tribute you printed in his memory and many thanks to
David Paonessa for the pictures and memories he shared with us. I called
Danny to let him know about the article and will pass it on to Teddy.