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200 pay tribute to Struthers boy who police say was abused



Published: Sun, February 3, 2013 @ 12:10 a.m.

By SEAN BARRON

news@vindy.com

BOARDMAN

Sara Foltz fondly recalled the many times her grandson, Teddy A. Foltz-Tedesco, went fishing in Pymatuning State Park and at a lake near Jamestown, Pa.

It was common for him to bring home perch and other types of fish after a productive day on the water. Even if he failed to make a catch, however, he never returned empty-handed.

That’s because the easy-going boy always was with one of the many people who loved him and whose lives he had touched.

“The main thing is that if he felt someone was down, he made sure he gave that person a hug and spread his love around,” Foltz, of Hubbard, said in describing the nature of her 14-year-old grandson, who was lovingly remembered during his funeral and memorial service Saturday at Lane Family Funeral Homes, Anstrom Chapel, 8387 Tod Ave.

Teddy died Jan. 26 in St. Elizabeth Health Center in Youngstown after being admitted Jan. 21 for severe head trauma.

Teddy’s mother, 32-year-old Shain Widdersheim of 28 Creed St., Struthers, was arraigned Friday in Struthers Municipal Court on a felony charge of child endangering in her son’s death. Her ex-boyfriend, Zaryl G. Bush, 43, of 533 Creed St., is jailed on charges of murder and rape in Teddy’s death.

Foltz was one of about 200 family members, friends, teachers and others who filled the chapel to pay respects to Teddy, who she and many others

remembered as a happy-go-lucky, loving child who loved history and forensic science and had extensive knowledge about U.S. presidents.

Another passion of her grandson’s, Foltz said, was giving hugs — even occasionally to strangers.

Many attendees took their time viewing three poster boards that were a photographic snapshot of Teddy’s young life. Included was a picture of his baptism when he was an infant, a photograph showing a proud Teddy who had successfully carved a Halloween pumpkin, one of the boy in his Little League uniform and several of Teddy wearing a silly grin and with his siblings.

“He was a loving little boy. He always had something good to say,” recalled Dave Lashley of Carrollton, one of Teddy’s cousins.

Lashley remembered a family reunion at which many youngsters, including Teddy, went to a nearby playground. That was one of many times his happiness and zest for life rubbed off on others, Lashley explained.

“In his short life, he has touched so many,” said the Rev. Brad Bloomster, pastor of Hubbard First United Methodist Church, who also officiated Saturday’s service.

Teddy and his family were longtime First United members.

The Rev. Mr. Bloomster said he joined the church after Teddy had moved from Hubbard to Struthers, so he never met the teen.

Nevertheless, the pastor said, he learned a lot about the boy from those who knew him, such as how Teddy loved to watch his favorite football team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, each Sunday with his grandfather and uncles.

Teddy was a die-hard sports fan who also played football as a student at Reed Middle School in Hubbard, Mr. Bloomster continued.

Whatever he accomplished in his short life, Teddy always will be remembered for how he positively impacted others, Mr. Bloomster told attendees.

“I hear from person after person that Teddy was a loving child,” he said. “There was no pretense about him.”

Other similar remembrances came from two relatives, who shared several humorous stories about a comical Teddy who took great pleasure in making others laugh.

“I love him more than anything else in this world. I just want him back,” one of the relatives said before breaking down.

HONORING TEDDY

Abuse prevention fund

Roughly 200 people attended a memorial service Saturday in Boardman to remember 14-year-old Teddy Foltz-Tedesco, who died Jan. 26 from severe head trauma, caused, police say, by abuse. A fund to help prevent abuse against other children has been established in his name. Here’s how to help:

What: The Teddy Foltz-Tedesco Fund for the Prevention of Child Abuse.

Where: Send contributions to PNC Bank, 70 W. Liberty St., Hubbard 44425.


Comments

1kensgirl(575 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

This tragedy should have never happened. What was the role in Chidlren's Protective Services in all this? Who protected the rights of this child? Many people spoke out and who was supposed to act on those claims? How many more children have to die before we take these kids lives SERIUOSLY? SOMEONE/AGENCY DROPPED THE BALL!!!

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2papa1(641 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

childrens' protective services is a really sad joke. who did they protect? they should do their job or the agency should be disbanded.

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3olddude(197 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

I agree with the above posts..Protecting children from this horrible tragedy is a roll that Govt. should be taking.. But even more importantly to me is the question..When are people who chose to have offspring going to take personal responsibility for them?

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4JaneDoe(4 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

Wow, 200 people for the vigil. Where was ONE person when he was alive and needed help?

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5kensgirl(575 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

I just had a run in with a guardian ad litem (child lawyer). She was the biggest do nothing I have ever seen. Not only did she fail to do her homework on her client she had an "I don't care" attitude and wanted to place him in an unsafe home. She could have cared less. What a shame. If you don't like your job or can't perform your duies properly get a job at McDonalds.

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6harleydog(205 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

Been there done that with guardian ad litem. They are biggest waste of time.They forced my kids into a visit with their mother if though she was an alcoholic and drug addict. Turned out she was drunk and drove the kids to a park and left them there when they were 5 and 6 yrs old. Guardian washed his hands of it real quick. Just because they are mostly lawyers doesn't mean a damn thing. Most of them are not qualified to do what they are assigned to do. I hope all the people that are involved in this case who did nothing for this boy rot in hell. They deserve whatever they get.

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7hollywood(94 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

JANEDOE im with you on that 1. where was 1 of them to protect teddy? NOW everybody wants to stand up for him? if i thought 1 kid in my family was being hurt, id be at that house everyday if the law didnt help. break a window, fight do whatever it takes to get the police. police means news news means the public is listening. DO something dont just watch it happen then cry when someone dies. everybody that thought something was wrong with teddy and did nothing failed him. RIP TEDDY!!!!!!!

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8Mia213(10 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

Adults are supposed to be the first line of defense for children, not their worst nighmare.
Those with the authority and ability to save Teddy failed this child. God took over and ended His pain and suffering.. God will keep Teddy close to His heart.
There are no excuses for those not wanting to become involved in stopping child abuse.
I would rather be wrong than live with the guilt of not helping a child escape from evil.
I did not know Teddy but deeply care about the horror he suffered.
Im sure God will let Teddy know many strangers ended up loving him.

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