Ted Mullin loved his family and friends, Carleton College and its History Department, swimming and soccer, many forms of rock and alternative music, the Chicago White Sox and the Chicago Fire.

Edward H. “Ted” Mullin was 22 years old in September 2006 when he died of sarcoma.

A hard-working athlete who swam competitively beginning in middle school, Ted competed on his high school’s varsity swim team for three years and was elected captain his senior year. An honor roll student, he was an Illinois State Scholar and was named an academic All-American swimmer his senior year. Ted also played trumpet in his high school’s jazz and concert bands.

At Carleton College in Northfield, MN, Ted thrived in the study of history and was awarded the Patricia V. Damon Merit Scholarship for his exceptional academic and extracurricular achievements. He was a member of the men’s swimming and diving team and was twice elected captain. As a junior, he was featured in a “Profile of Excellence” in College Sporting News. In the article, Carleton swim team coach Andy Clark calls him “courageous, dedicated, team-minded and ultimately passionate about his daily endeavors and this is especially true of his swimming.”

At Carleton Ted co-hosted a weekly radio program. He co-captained two “Relay for Life” events to raise funds for cancer research. While at home in the summers, Ted served as a volunteer swim coach at Old Willow Swim Club and also coached at other local swim clubs, even while he was being treated for cancer.

Ted learned he had sarcoma in May of his sophomore year of college. Ted and his family turned to The University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children’s Hospital for treatment of this rare and difficult disease. Between June and November 2004, he underwent many chemotherapy and radiation treatments as well as surgery to remove the primary tumor behind his right knee. He returned to Carleton with the sarcoma in remission until the end of his junior year when scans showed the disease had spread to his lungs. He underwent more chemotherapy and a series of lung surgeries beginning in May of 2005.

Even with the cancer progressing, he was able to rejoin his classmates for the spring term of his senior year. He died at home on September 3, 2006. Throughout his treatments Ted was sustained by the love of his family and friends, his unfailing sense of humor and his faith. 

Other memorials to Ted include the Carleton College Thorpe Pool scoreboard named for him, the Carleton College History Department’s Edward H. “Ted” Mullin ’06 Memorial Fellowship Prize in History, awarded to a Junior History Major for travel and/or research opportunities to enhance the student’s broader learning journey, and a bench in Ted’s memory overlooking lower Lyman Lake on campus.

How my life will honor the loss of Ted Mullin: Ted never quit – I will think of Ted when I am thinking of quitting. Ted made the most of his time on earth – I will strive to do the same. Ted was an incredible and loyal friend – I will be one, too….I will be good to others and always think of the gift to all of us of Mighty Ted.

Whatever he would be doing, whether doing research for a paper, listening to a friend’s problems, or swimming a mile, he would make sure to do so fully. His commitment to and zest for life was refreshing and was apparent to everyone who was lucky enough to meet him.

You could count on him to be there always. It’s not the one time that he was there that stands out, it’s that he was there every time. I aspire to be as dependable and solid as Ted was, and everyone could learn from his example. Solid, compassionate, a great friend. He will be missed.

“My memories of Ted, no matter how funny, just deepen the chasm in my chest, just accentuate how much we have lost. But, I know that in time these memories of a precious and admired friend will provide solace and guidance for me and, I hope, for all of you.”