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Colchester/St. Albans, VT--
Theodore H. Church, 83, St. Albans, passed away peacefully on December 25, 2008, after a private and courageous battle with cancer.
Theodore was born on February 6, 1925, in Brooklyn, NY, the son of Rudolph and Shirley Gleason Church.
He enlisted and proudly served in the Army in 1947 at the age of 22.
He graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a degree in mechanical engineering in 1946. His degree was quickly put to good use by joining the family ceramics business in 1947. Ted became the president and owner of Superior Steatite and Ceramics Corporation in 1964. In 1975, Ted relocated Superior Steatite from Englewood, NJ, to the St. Albans Industrial Park in St. Albans, VT. The company was renamed Superior Technical Ceramics in 1985 to better reflect the technical and specialized nature of the evolving business.
Ted was always active in the daily business operation. He never failed to recognize the importance of his business and his customers. He showed true thoughtfulness and cared deeply for all his employees. In addition to STC, Ted acquired several other related businesses both domestic and international. Each and every business that he was involved in has lost a key member of their management teams and a true friend who will never be replaced or forgotten.
In his younger days, Ted was an avid and accomplished climber and downhill skier. He was still an active participant in the American and Canadian Alpine Clubs, the Mad River Ski Area and the Aramapo Ski Club.
He loved to travel throughout the world and never missed an opportunity to visit historic sites, museums and other well-known landmarks.
Ted was active in many social and professional organizations including the Shelburne Museum, the Flemming Museum, the Georgia Historical Society, the Association of American Ceramic Component Manufacturers, the American Ceramic Society and the National Association of Manufacturers. His knowledge, business expertise and love of so many things in life played a part in the success of each and every organization that he touched.
He was an avid art collector along with military memorabilia, finely detailed models, books and antiques. Everyone who knew Ted could not help but see his interest and passion for these things. His knowledge about each piece of art, furniture and book he owned became a history lesson for the many lucky and grateful guests invited to his historical home in Georgia, VT. Nothing gave Ted more pleasure than seeing the eyes of his guests light up when they noticed a piece of Ted's favorite art.
Ted is survived by his son Colin of Winnipeg, Canada, grandson Dustyn La Rose of Hudson, NY, brother Bruce Church of London, England, and cousins Matthew Syracuse of NY, Joseph and Yvonne Syracuse of NY, Brooke and Robert Munkelt of NY, Albert and Susan Munkelt of CT and Helen Daniels of MA. His daughter Ginny and his wife Earlyn Dean predeceased him in 1991 and 2002, respectively.
A memorial service will take place at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in St. Albans, on January 16, 2009, at 3 p.m. Following the service, family and friends are invited to the American Legion of St. Albans for a celebration of Ted's life. There will be no calling hours and the interment will take place privately in the family plot in Valhalla, NY.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to The Lahey Clinic of Burlington, MA, or the Mohonk Preserve of New Palz, NY.