When I try to put tragedy into words, I feel a bit hopeless.
Not only for the situation for those involved, but hopeless that anything that I will attempt to say will do a bit of good for anyone. But expressing opinions is what I do, what I am compelled to do, in good times and in bad. Forgive me if this goes astray and it seems a ramble. My intentions were honorable.
Ted Roeder, a great husband, father, son, Hawkeye fan, one of our Staff Photographers and a whole lot of other things, passed away in his sleep Monday night, a day after spending Christmas with his beloved family. He was 40 years old and he leaves behind three sons and his wife.
If you don't recognize his name, you might know him as ‘IowaDoc1995', the handle he used on the HawkeyeNation.com message boards.
But you saw his work in other places, as he and Jean Finley provided more than 1,000 images from Iowa's football games this fall.
Ted approached me in the summer about doing this, something he just wanted to do with his own time and resources, because he loved taking pictures and he loved taking pictures of the Iowa Hawkeyes.
I don't know Ted as well as I know some of my friends because I have only known him for a year.
But in that year, I learned all that I needed to know about him.
He was a generous man, probably to a fault. He would print out some of his pictures of Iowa players and go to events with his sons and hand out those pictures to other children who eagerly and happily scooped them up. He donated his time, talent and pictures to Hawkeye Nation magazine and the website, because he wanted to share with the Iowa fans.
He was a great role model for his sons and they will always know that he loved them so. He drove two-plus hours with his sons last spring and waiting in line so that they could get Warren Holloway's autograph on the cover of our magazine. He brought them to FanFest, he shared his love of the Hawkeyes with them.
I knew Ted to be a fair and agreeable man. Seldom was he moved to anger on the message boards that he enjoyed taking part of, and he certainly enjoyed gamesmanship with his online friends.
I also knew that Ted still contributed to his mother's small town church, though she didn't know it until recently, nor did the church know where the money was coming from. That didn't make him better than you or me, but it just made him Ted.
It seemed that Ted lived out his life exactly how he was on the inside, the place that no one sees.
In this day and age, that is a rarity.
It's sad to think about the instances, happenings and events that Ted's sons and wife will mourn through the years because of Ted's absence.
However, the time and care and love that Ted showed to them, and to those around him, will live on.
Ted's sons will likely continue to be Hawkeye fans. When they see an Iowa touchdown, their dad will be with them. When they rejoice over a win, their dad will be with them in their hearts, for he planted those seeds. That is something that they can share for the rest of their lives.
Should they have children of their own someday, they will probably be Iowa fans, too. A chain that might never be broken. After all, Ted was here. In his way, in his wake, he left a legacy to those that he knew, raised, loved and befriended. We all do of course. But Ted seemingly fought the good fight and ran the good race.
In the coming days, we will try to find out areas in which Ted's family can use some help or support, then we will share those with you. There are several things that I have in mind and I know that you have some, too.
For now, I would hope you would pray for Ted's family.
Ted, thanks for being a person that cared about others before he cared about himself. That shone through in your life, or at least what I saw of it.
To view the Hawkeyes through Ted's lens from the 2005 season, CLICK HERE
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. John 13; 34
I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith. Now there is a crown waiting for me. 2 Timothy 4; 7