Ted Vartelas Family Fund
Est. 2020 as a donor advised fund by the family and friends of Ted Vartelas in his memory.
Theodore “Ted” Vartelas was a man who touched the hearts of everyone he met. He was a sports legend in the Valley and the UConn athletic community. Above all, he was a devoted father, grandfather, and uncle, who loved his family more than anything.
Robyn Reilly, Ted’s daughter, said she and her brother, Jonathan Vartelas, and sister, Pam Alessio, established the Ted Vartelas Family Fund at the Valley Community Foundation (VCF) to continue his legacy of helping others.
“Our father was the youngest of 12 in a large Greek American family where everyone helped each other,” Robyn said. “He raised us that way too, so this is a way we can pay it forward.”
The donor advised fund will support Valley causes and programs that need help, Robyn, Jonathan, and Pam said.
Ted Vartelas’ love for sports was evident from an early age. He was a star athlete at Ansonia High, playing basketball, baseball, and football, and was eventually inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame. In the 1950s, he continued to excel in basketball at Southern Connecticut State University and then at the University of Connecticut.
“Dad was a true Valley guy through and through,” Jonathan said. “He loved this community and everything it stood for. He always said it was special and a great place to live and raise a family. He always wanted others to know that too.”
His children say their dad was deeply proud of his Greek heritage and instilled that pride in them. He also taught them about hard work and led by example. Ted’s business career is just as remarkable as his sports and community achievements. He was a top agent for the New York Life Insurance Company and worked there for more than 65 years. There’s even a special conference room named after him at the company’s Stratford headquarters.
Ted Vartelas passed away in 2020 at the age of 89. His children said because of the COVID-19 restrictions at the time, the family couldn’t hold a proper funeral or memorial service for him. They said establishing this fund is a way they can properly say thank you and goodbye to their dad.
“He was a legend in the Valley, but to us, he was simply our father,” Pam said. “We miss him and his wisdom every day, but we know he would be proud of the work we’re doing to honor his memory.”
Make a donation