Cover photo for Thadeus "Ted" Brudniak's Obituary
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Thadeus "Ted" Brudniak

April 22, 1930 — March 2, 2023

Thadeus "Ted" Brudniak

Thadeus (“Ted”) Joseph Brudniak, beloved husband and father, passed away peacefully on March 2, 2023, at the age of 92. He was welcomed into the world on April 22, 1930, by his parents Julia (Bogush) and Joseph Brudniak, both with roots in Poland.

Ted grew up in Lisle, Illinois, and attended Downers Grove High School, where he played on the school’s golf and football teams. He met his wife-to-be, Elizabeth Jean (“Jean”) Lauchle, as a sophomore; the couple tied the knot in 1954, enjoying a loving marriage of 68 years.

Ted received his B.A. in chemistry from Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, where he continued on to graduate courses and was a member of Kappa Alpha fraternity. He interrupted his college career to volunteer for the U.S. Army, and served as a

training officer in Fort Knox, Kentucky, and as a company commander of “C” Company of the 709th heavy tank battalion, rising to the rank of first lieutenant. He received his discharge papers in December of 1953, and married Jean nine days later.

Ted’s working career was with three companies that became one company through acquisitions: Spencer

Chemical was bought by Gulf Oil Corporation, which was later acquired by Chevron Oil Corporation. Ted’s

early work included commercial development in the area of explosives for mining operations, and later

turned toward the newest area of chemical innovation: plastics. Ted’s efforts resulted in numerous

patents for new technology, and his last ten years with Gulf Oil were spent as Manager of Technology

Licensing Worldwide, finalizing agreements for new technology and traveling extensively all over the

world. He was on one of the first U.S. trade missions to mainland China, and his travels included visits to

Japan, Korea, Taiwan, India, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and all of Western Europe, as well as many trips behind

the Iron Curtain to Czechoslovakia, Romania, Hungary, and Bulgaria, back when all were under Russian


Ted and Jean made their homes successively in Prairie Village, Kansas; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania;

Houston, Texas; and Hot Springs Village, Arkansas. Ted played college golf and continued playing

throughout his life, always maintaining that “it never rains on the golf course.” He loved working with

wood, and he filled his home with beautiful Early American and Shaker furniture. His wife Jean would

point out a magazine photo of something she liked, and he would build it—what often began as a quick

schematic on the back of a napkin would become a lovely customized piece.

Ted also did a ground-up restoration on a 1968 Fiat Spider and a 1963 Jaguar XKE (a multi-year project).

A born do-it-yourselfer (and generous with his tools and talents), he built a wing onto his Kansas home

and always seemed to be able to fix anything, earning him a reputation in the neighborhood as the “go-

to” guy for help with technical repairs and building things. Ted was an occasional fisherman, as well as a

prolific reader of fiction (especially espionage, military, and action novels). He could often be found

relaxing with his wife, enjoying the antics of the birds and visiting squirrels at the feeders that he built, or

listening to his favorite classical music with the family dog curled up beside him.

Ted was preceded in death by his brother, Daniel Brudniak, and by his loving wife, Jean. He is survived by

his three children: Becky Brudniak, Steven Brudniak, and Laura Brudniak.

 Honoring Ted’s wishes, there will not be a funeral or memorial service.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Thadeus "Ted" Brudniak, please visit our flower store.


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