VALLEY COTTAGE, N.Y. – Ted J. Wing, 74, died peacefully surrounded by family on Sept. 13, 2022, after a battle with Alzheimer’s disease.
He was born in Greenville in 1948, the third of eight children born to Morris Reynolds Wing and Emily Elaine Johnson Wing. Ted grew up in Farmington and graduated from Farmington High School (class of 1967) where he was on the ski team and competed in the Junior Nationals. It was thought at the time that he was talented enough to become a professional skier, but he had already set his sights on a different career.
He lived and breathed the sport of harness racing and had an illustrious career spanning over 50 years as an owner, driver and trainer, culminating in his induction into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame in 2019. Horse racing was his dream job, hobby, favorite thing, passion, obsession, heartbreak and absolute joy. He loved and respected his horses so much that he often said he never worked a day in his life and he was proud to be competing against the best in the world.
Ted will be greatly missed by his wife Jackie Allen Wing, originally from Groton, Mass., and his two children, Stacey Palazzotto (Vinny); and Ryan Wing (Lauren). Ted has four grandchildren who made him laugh and smile: Baldo Palazzotto, Enzo Palazzotto, Melina Wing and Layla Wing. He will also be missed by his devoted rescue dog Curly Sue. Ted never met a dog he didn’t like and always had one by his side throughout his life.
Married for 48 years, he was truly lucky to have Jackie as his support system. She took care of the household, the kids and the office of Ted Wing Stable Inc. while he worked seven days a week, training early in the morning and racing late into the night. After the last race he could be found back at his barn checking on his horses, filling water pails, resetting bandages and tending to their every need before heading home.
He was blessed to have many wonderful friendships that have lasted 50 years or more. Ted was a prolific storyteller and if he didn’t have a story he made one up. Always funny, too brutally honest and not politically correct, he thrived in the harness racing industry among the colorful cast of characters from all walks of life: the best people in the world!
Ted dreamed of racing as a very young boy and could be heard in his bedroom calling races from memory and using jump ropes as reins, in school he typically had a race program hidden within his text book and he spent every second he could at the barn asking questions and soaking in the knowledge so he would be ready when it was his turn. His understanding of the animal alone could match most veterinarians. He started jogging standardbred horses with his father at the age of eight. He won his first race with Shermar Nancy at Farmington Fair a week after he turned 17.
He was the youngest American-born driver at that time to win 1,000 races at the age of 26 and the second youngest to 3,000. In 1978 he was the leading driver at the Meadowlands and made history as the only driver to simultaneously take the top honors at the Meadowlands, Yonkers Raceway and Roosevelt Raceway. Ted was inducted into the New England Harness writers Hall of Fame in 1986. He was also inducted into the Maine Sports Hall of Fame in 1986 and his biggest thrill was his induction into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame in Goshen, N.Y. in 2019.
Ted was preceded in death by his parents Morris and Elaine Wing and his oldest sister Lanis Wing Monfried.
Ted is survived by his siblings and their partners and spouses: Jane Giglio and partner Ralph Record of Wayne; Emily and Earnest Watson of Enterprise, Florida; Robin Wing and partner Ann Griffin of Mt. Vernon; Elizabeth and Harry Shedd of Smyrna, Georgia; Chrystal Wing and partner Suzanne Hunt of Portland; and Rebecca Wing and Terry Fralich of Saco; and many nieces and nephews.
There will be no formal visiting hours. However a celebration of life will be planned at a later date. Arrangements were entrusted to the Libby Funeral & Cremation Services, 55 Teller Avenue, Beacon, NY. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his name to The Standardbred Retirement Foundation, 42 Arneytown Hornerstown Road, Cream Ridge, NJ 08514 or adoptahorse.org to assist with the humane care and services for retired racehorses; or The Harness Racing Hall of Fame, 240 Main Street, Goshen, NY 10924 / Harnessmuseum.com. To offer a condolence, donation or fond memory, please visit: www.LibbyFuneralHome.com.
The family wishes to express sincere thanks to the staff of Tolstoy Nursing Home, Valley Cottage, N.Y. for the wonderful care they gave to Ted during the past year.