Grazman championed integrated child care


Ted E. Grazman, former executive director and later president of St. Louis ARC, who championed integrated education, died Thursday, Jan. 8, 2009, at the age of 69.

In his fifties, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. For as long as he could after the diagnosis, Mr. Grazman kept busy volunteering at various agencies and for medical procedures to help doctors learn more about the Alzheimer’s. He was widely admired by family members, friends, rabbis and caregivers for his courageous battle against the disease and efforts to combating it.


Ted Erwin Grazman was born in St. Louis on April 8, 1939, the son of Ann and Sam Grazman. He grew up in University City and graduated from the University City High School in 1957. He studied industrial engineering and received his undergraduate degree from Saint Louis University in 1961, just days before marrying Marsha Bly of the University City Class of 1958, whom he had met at Camp Wyman.

Mr. Grazman went to work for McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing), and worked on one of the early space flights of the 1960s. While taking courses in accounting, Mr. Grazman began to work at the old Jewish Hospital, “and fell in love with the world of health,” said Marsha Grazman.

After a few years in Chicago as a health consultant, Mr. Grazman accepted a grant from the Kellogg Foundation and began work at Georgia State University towards his Ph.D.

While working towards his doctorate, Mr. Grazman taught, earned master’s degrees in business administration and health administration. He then accepted a position as professor at the University of West Florida, where he taught and was awarded Outstanding Professor of the Year Awards for two consecutive years. Mr. Grazman and his family returned to St. Louis in 1978.

Mr. Grazman served as a health consultant, traveling all over the world to places such as the Amazon, Ireland, Israel and throughout the United States. He then accepted the position of Executive Director and then President of the St. Louis ARC.

“Ted was always concerned and involved in making the world a better place for all people, and his work at ARC allowed him to make great strides into integrated childcare, community residential settings, job coaching and generally integrating special needs adults into the general community,” recalls Mrs. Grazman. “Ted grew and thrived in this arena.”

Twelve years ago, Mr. Grazman was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. “Ted lived bravely and with great courage as the disease attacked his brain,” Mrs. Grazman said. “He decided to focus on what he could do, not what he was no longer able to do. To this end, he participated in many research projects for Alzheimer’s, volunteered every day of the week, created an outreach program for early onset Alzheimer’s patients, and made himself available to any task he could do to help.”

Mrs. Grazman said her husband also began to play the saxophone again, something he had not done since the 1960s. “Miraculously, he was still very talented and used the sax to entertain and charm others,” she said, adding that he spent his last few years at Parc Provence and met many new people who shared his challenges.

“Ted had many caregivers who grew to love Ted very much. Ted was a quiet and strong person, whose actions spoke louder than words,” she added.

In addition to his wife of nearly 40 years, Mr. Grazman is survived by three sons, Brent (Debbie) Grazman of Chicago; David Grazman of Chicago and Mark (Edyta) Grazman of St. Louis, and a daughter, Essie (Gary) Mitchell of St. Louis and four grandchildren.

Funeral services were held Jan. 9 at Congregation Shaare Emeth, where Rabbis James Bennett and Jeffrey Stiffman, along with Rabbi Andrea Goldstein and Cantor Seth Warner officiated. The rabbis and family members paid tribute to Mr. Grazman’s many professional accomplishments, his courage in the face of illness and his qualities as a husband, father, grandfather and friend.

David Grazman said of his father, “Our father, Ted, was a man whose depth of kindness knew no limits. He was someone who always sought and found the good in others.”

In his remarks, Mark Grazman recalled that his father would often ask “How do you feel? Are you satisfied? Are you happy? Are you aware of others around you? How do you feel? I am hearing my father’s questions louder now than ever before. He was a giver of voices.”

Following the funeral service at Congregation Shaare Emeth, burial was at the Beth Hamedrosh Hagodol Cemetery on Ladue Road.

Memorial contributions are preferred to the Saul Mirowitz Day School-Reform Jewish Academy, 11411 North 40 Drive, St. Louis, Mo. 631131 or the Alzheimer’s Association, 9374 Olive Boulevard, St. Louis, Mo. 63132.