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Teddy Laine Stalson

Teddy Laine Stalson

September 14, 2017


‘Just call me Ted’

Laine Stalson 

December 24, 1946 - September 14, 2017

December 24, 1946 was a bitterly cold day in Colfax, Wisconsin.  It was also the day Teddy Laine Lucas was born in Stovern’s Maternity Home overlooking 18 Mile Creek at the end of Pine Street.  Ted’s mother was Donna (Randall) Lucas.  His father was John Lucas. Not long after his birth, his parents divorced.  Donna later met and married Juel Stalson who lovingly adopted Ted.

The Stalson family made their home in Colfax, Fargo, North Dakota, and Duluth, Minnesota before Juel bought a farm outside of Colfax.  Ted became skilled at farm work, driving tractors for field work whenever he could.  He was an accomplished horseback rider, doing ‘dare devil ‘stunts on his pinto horse, Beauty.  He enjoyed the farm life, but when it came to milking cows, that was another story. When bulk tanks became a must, his Dad sold the cows to the neighbor, Wally Larson.  Ted often said it was the happiest day of his life!

Even as a small boy, Ted loved fishing.  Anytime he could get to a creek or any body of water, he would head out with a fishing pole over his shoulder and a can of worms in his hand.  One day after the family moved to a little house on Highway 40 just east of Colfax, he asked if he could go down to the creek.  His mother finally agreed, firmly telling him not to fall in.  He set off with an old cane pole and some worms he had dug in a tin can.  Not long after he returned dripping wet with a fishing hook stuck though his finger.  In the process of trying not to fall in the creek he had grabbed for the bank and ran the hook through his finger.

In the mid 1960’s Tip Top Shows came to Colfax for the fair, and Ted fell in love with the carnival.  When the carnival outfit left town, Ted left with it and thus began a lifetime of traveling from town to town and from state to state assembling, disassembling and running carnival rides.  It was a lifestyle that would stay with him for many years to come.  While back in Wisconsin In 1967, Ted met and married Sandy Belden.  A son, Terry Laine, was born to the couple who made their home just outside of Colfax.

Somehow life on the road kept calling to Ted and so when summer came around and it was ‘Carney time’ again, and Ted answered the call.   He discovered that games paid more and were a lot less work than rides, a perfect match.  His gift of gab allowed him to be very successful and he was able to find work readily whenever he chose to hit the road.  He continued to live on the road with the carnival and his marriage to Sandy ended in divorce.

Sometime later when carnival season ended in the fall, Ted found himself in Louisiana where he met Debra Beeson. They later joined a carnival outfit together and were soon married on a unique ceremony on a  Farris Wheel, an event that made National news. During the off season, Ted drove tractor for various farmers and travelled all over the state with different carnival outfits and in his spare time he pursued his favorite pastime, fishing. His marriage to Debra lasted 5 years and produced a son named Shawn Scott.

When Ted and Debra decided to go their separate ways, Ted once again headed for Wisconsin. Stipe Shows came to Colfax for the fair and Ted met Morrie Houck.  Houck ran games and put Ted to work.  It was a relationship that lasted 13 years.    In those years Ted worked the carnival about 8 months a year.  In the off season he drove dump truck, sold Christmas trees, ground stumps, and sold fireworks, whatever it took to make money.

Sometime later he met and married Myra King.  This marriage lasted 5 years and produced no children.  When the marriage ended Ted once again moved back to Wisconsin where he continued the ‘Carnie life’ in the summer and milking cows in the winter.

Ted loved to party and enjoyed Karaoke.  One night in 2010 Ted when was coming home from singing and partying, just 1 block from his house red lights came on behind him.  He was pulled over and issued a citation, and not for the first time.   After some time and a lot of thinking, he decided it was time to quit smoking and drinking.

Ted retired to Colfax where worked for his sister in her antique store part time and spent the rest of his time fishing. An encounter with Ted was always interesting.  He never failed to have a tall tale to tell about the latest big fish he caught, his wild life as a carney, his travels across the country, or how much money he’d won (or lost) playing Farkle with friends,  Duane and Sue.  He soon became known for his big Brook Trout catches.  He wouldn’t tell anyone where he caught them but always said, ‘…if I were you I’d head North of Colfax, toward the creeks around Highway 64…’

Ted always said if you’re gonna be a bear, be a Grizzly. He struggled with emphysema for several years, and passed away at his home in Colfax.  He will be fondly missed by his sister, Nan, and brother in law, Mark Mouledoux, who cared for him during his last few years.  He had many friends and loved ones who will also miss him.  He was preceded in death by his father, Juel, his mother, Donna, and son, Shawn Scott.

A memorial service for Ted will be held at Colfax United Methodist Church in Colfax, on Saturday, September 23, 2017, with visitation starting at 11:00 a.m.  The memorial service will begin at 12:30 and lunch will follow.

Chippewa Valley Cremation Services is serving the family.


Will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, September 23, 2017 at church


Will be held at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 23, 2017, at Colfax United Methodist Church in Colfax.