Obituary for Theodore Simon Arthur State
Theodore (Ted) Simon Arthur State passed away on October 1, 2021 at the age of 97. He was the son of John and Mary State, and was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky along with siblings Frank, Mary, Rita, John (his twin), and Dolores. Following graduation from St. Xavier High School, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy Reserve and served with distinction in World War II aboard the destroyer USS Paul Hamilton (DD 590), rising to the noncommissioned officer rank of Motor Machinist Mate First Class. His ship operated primarily in the Pacific Theater, and earned seven battle stars. Following the war, he attended the University of Louisville on the GI Bill, and earned a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering. He also served in the U.S. Navy Reserve for six additional years and taught diesel engine classes. After graduating from the university, he moved to Southern California to take an engineering job at the Douglas Aircraft Company where he worked for 11 years, and later moved to North American Aviation (which became part of Rockwell International) where he worked an additional 26 years. One evening shortly after his arrival in California, Ted attended a Lawrence Welk dance at Lick Pier in Santa Monica where he met his future wife, Doris, her best friend Betty, and Betty’s future husband Carl, and the two couples were to become lifelong friends. In 1953, Ted married Doris, and they established their first home in Torrance, California where they had two sons, Steve in 1954, and Ted in 1960. In 1962, he and Doris moved to Orange, California where they have lived ever since.
During his career, Ted became expert in flight control systems, and in this capacity worked on fighter aircraft, missile, and manned spacecraft programs. Work was always a passion for him, and this ethic was not lost on his sons. He traveled extensively as part of his job, but usually worked-in visits along the way with relatives back east – he was the family’s “social network” long before such a thing existed on the internet! His avocations included working with his sons on the cars andhouse, vacationing with family throughout the year at the desert cabin he homesteaded in the 1950s in Wonder Valley, California(located east of Twentynine Palms), singing in the church choir, and sailing. In particular, he was passionate about his role as chairman of the committee for his World War II ship’s reunion which held 26 annual events across the country, and as co-editor of the ship’s newsletter which was a great means of communication with, and between, all the shipmates - once again, acting in his “old school” social networking role! Perhaps the greatest impression on those who knew him was that he was an intelligent man of strong Christian faith, and very outgoing yet humble at the same time. His influence lives on in those who remain.
Ted was preceded in death by his wife Doris, son Steve, daughter-in-law Carolina, and siblings Frank, Mary, Rita, John, and Dolores. He is survived by his son Ted and grandchildren John and Carol. He will be buried with military honors at Riverside National Cemetery. May he have fair winds and following seas.
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