First visiting Woodstock in 1968, Ted “fell in love with the place” reported his daughter Amy, herself a graduate of Onteora high school. Their first home was on Glasco Turnpike, and among their first local friends were noted long time Woodstockers Linda and Kevin Sweeney, Nancy and Bob Haney, Grace and Jerry Wapner, Sarah and Norm Cohen and David Ballantine. That circle later expanded to include Karen and Les Walker, Linda and Don Gregorius, Molly and John Kilb, Burrill Crohn and many many others.
An ardent sportsman, Ted could often be found on Sundays in the 70s, 80s and 90s at Andy Lee field. There, along with other photo weekend jocks” he participated in numerable contest of tennis, basketball, touch football and softball. So many guys showed up for the softball games that eventually a league was formed, and the team for which to Ted pitched, the redoubtable Woodstock Whippets, was several times champions.
When not in Woodstock, Ted was in Manhattan running his company, Ted Steeg Productions, or on the road somewhere in the world shooting some of his more than 200 films and videos. Perhaps his best-known work was the award-winning orientation video Your Turn, which is mandatory viewing for everyone serving jury duty in the state of New York. Hired by the New York office of Court administration, Ted followed up the petit jury video with the second orientation video, Protect and Uphold, which is shown to grand juries throughout the state. Because of these two videos, wrote Time Out magazine, Mr. Steeg “might be the most watched filmmaker in New York”.
A native of Indiana, Ted migrated to New York City following service in the Korean War to attend Columbia University graduate school. After a stint with Max Liebman and the 19 55-56 NBC TV “color spectaculars” of the time, he joined the political campaign of 1956 to make films and write speeches which helped to elect Foster Furcolo as Governor of Massachusetts.
Returning to New York, he founded his production company in 1968, and began creating films and documentaries for industry and education. Clients included IBM, Xerox, McGraw-Hill, Time-Life, International Paper, AT&T, Kodak, United Technologies, Citicorp, Newsweek, the French Government Tourist Office, the Citizens’ Committee for a Better New York, and the U.S. State Department. His documentaries on modern dance (Paul Taylor: An Artist and his World); agrarian reform (Juan); and New York block associations (Block by Block) all won multiple awards.
In the 1990s, Ted (a lifelong liberal) was hired to write all the texts for the exhibits at that George H. W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum at the Corpus Christi, Texas, and also to co-produce the many films and videos on display in the sprawling complex.
In 2002, he helped produce and appeared in New York in the Fifties, a documentary based on the Dan Wakefield book of the same name. He also had a brief cameo in the feature film Going All The Way, a coming-of-age story created by Mr. Wakefield in which Ben Affleck played Gunner, a character-based on Ted as a young man in Indiana.
Survivors include daughter Amy, son-in-law Peter, two grandchildren Brooke and Liam, Amy’s mother Diana Jackson and nieces and nephews. After cremation, Mr. Steeg’s ashes will be interred in the family plot in Indianapolis.
There are no services planned at this time.