Tropical 10

William "Ted" Tedrow Little

February 5, 1931 ~ June 24, 2020 (age 89)


William "Ted" Tedrow Little passed away June 24, 2020 in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. He was born February 5, 1931 in Kalamazoo, Michigan to the late Alvin and Emily (Tedrow) Little.

Ted served in the US Air Force during the Korean conflict. He was educated through the US Air Force Institute of Technology and Russian Language School. His service involved translating intercepted Russian messages. After returning to civilian life, Ted worked as an administrative assistant at Argus Cameras in Ann Arbor from 1952 until 1956 when he received his MBA from the University of Michigan. He worked the next eleven years for the US Plywood Corporation, Protection Products Division, in Kalamazoo. Soon after, his business ventures continued with several partnerships over twenty years with Burton Upjohn. He also partnered with John C. Howard operating the Westpaw Preserve and became 50% partner, CFO and treasurer of Seaward of Grand Bahama, Ltd.

Ted supported many organizations and individuals in a quiet, unassuming way, not wanting his contributions to be known. He was an entrepreneur, philanthropist, industrialist, and a civic leader.

His contributions to Kalamazoo were vast. He jointly purchased the Hanselman Building with Irving Gilmore and donated it to the City of Kalamazoo for the Kalamazoo Center (now the Radisson). Ted developed the first Condominium project in Kalamazoo County (the Kalamazoo Building), which was the largest commercial condominium project in the state of Michigan at the time. He developed the prestigious Marlborough Condominium in downtown Kalamazoo, which was one of his favorite projects because of all the friends he made with those who moved in (his grandmother also lived there in the 1940's). Ted also founded DCD (Disadvantaged Citizens Downtown) for the purpose of providing downtown housing and purchased the old Rickman Hotel and raised private funds for total renovation providing housing for 100 disadvantaged people.

Ted's local involvement additionally included service as a Board member, contributor, or volunteer for many organizations. These included 49 years as class agent with Choate Rosemary Hall, Community Chest (now United Way), Boy Scouts, Lion Leader Dog for the Blind, Rotary Club, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Salvation Army, Richland Community Museum, Markin Glen Park, and Chenery Auditorium. Ted was also a chairman of Gary Sisters Foundation and was an honorary Board member of East Side Boxing.

An avid outdoorsman, Ted loved golf and upland game bird hunting with his beloved English Setter hunting partner, Pepper. His golf memberships included the Gull Lake Country Club, Prairies Golf Club and the Kalamazoo Municipal Golf Association. Ted founded "Uncle Ted's Golf Invitational" in 1996, playing on various Caribbean courses. Ted also captained a trawler for nine years in the Eastern Caribbean along with his wife and co-captain, Fran.

He is survived by his wife of 34 years, Frances A. Little; his daughter, Virginia S. Little of Kalamazoo; sister, Mary Little Tyler; both of Kalamazoo; sons, Andy (Shelley) of Ada, and Joel (Jennifer) of Jenison, Michigan; and grandchildren, Avery and Emmery of Ada, and Kyler (Michelle), Paris, and Kohl of Jenison; Nieces: Toni Lyn Tyler and Sarah Tyler Chase (Alan) and nephew Timothy J. Tyler.

Ted was preceded in death by his son, Mark Little, and nephew Steven Tyler.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, no services will be held at this time. When it is safe to come together again, a celebration of Ted's life will be planned.

Donations in Ted's honor will be appreciated to the William T. Little Foundation or a charity of one's choice.

Please visit Ted's personalized online guestbook at


A service summary is not available


William T. Little Foundation
4415 Duke Street, Suite 1-E, Kalamazoo MI 49008

Charity of One's Choice

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