Theodore (Ted) Treadwell Jr.

August 5, 1916 - November 3, 2011

Ted Treadwell 1916-2011

Theodore Rogers Treadwell Jr., age 95, passed away peacefully in his home November 3, 2011, surrounded by his family. He was a resident of The Willows Retirement Home in Bellingham, Washington, having moved there in 2007.

Known to his family and many friends as Ted, he will be remembered for his wordplay, corny jokes, unbridled optimism, and heartfelt interest in others. He loved playing cards, board games, and Scrabble and didn't mind winning no matter who he was playing, including his children when they were young. During his four years at The Willows, he met early every morning with his coffee buddies, co-founded a monthly martini club, and had a circle of friends who shared his literary interests and liberal politics.

His years at The Willows were made special by a loving friendship with Dorothy Regal, with whom he shared poetry, constructive critiquing of each other's writing, and ongoing affectionate teasing.

Ted was always interested in woodcarving, and as his children were growing up he made innumerable original pieces that he gave to various members of his family. He became a skilled cabinet-maker and stained glass artist. Cherry was his favorite wood, and he designed and built a solid cherry grandmother clock with a stained glass door. A grandfather clock, wall and shelf clocks, coffee tables, desks, and a variety of other pieces followed.

Ted was born in Arlington, New Jersey in 1916. In 1940 he graduated from Rutgers University, and in 1942 from Harvard Business School.

He served in the navy in World War II. Commissioned as an Ensign in April, 1942, he served two years on the subchaser U.S.S. SC 648, the last nine months of that duty as Commanding Officer. He rose in rank to Lieutenant Sr. Grade. His tour of duty on the subchaser was in the Southwest Pacific Theatre and included five landing invasions. He earned six medals, five battle stars, and one Command-at-Sea pin while in the New Guinea and Philippine Liberation operations.

After the war Ted married Elizabeth Ann Ward (“Zan”) of Toledo, Ohio, and they had five children. One of them, Andrew, was born with Down syndrome. During the 27 years they were living in Sudbury, Massachusetts, both Ted and Zan were active in MARC, the Massachusetts Association for Retarded Citizens, and in 1982 Ted served as president of MARC.

Ted was a distributor sales manager for Cryovac Division, a division of W. R. Grace & Company. Several months after his retirement in 1984 Zan died and for the next four years, Ted occupied his time in creative pursuits. He traveled to England, Norway, Russia, Germany, Greece, and France, and to several national parks in the U.S., places that he and Zan had been planning to visit.

In 1988, Ted married Elizabeth (“Betty”) Cook Garamella of Danbury, Connecticut. He and Betty split their time between Danbury and Fort Myers, Florida. When Betty's health began failing, Ted devoted his time as her caregiver. Betty passed away in 2010. Ted maintained a close relationship with her children, Jack Garamella, Gail Andrzejewski, and the late Joan Pennella, and her grandchildren: Jaime and Brett Garamella, and Daniel, Corin, and Mark Pennella.

In 1998 he and his sons Dan and Ted III established a detailed website, splinterfleet.org, that explains subchasers and their history for educational purposes. In 2000, at the age of 84, Ted published a book through the Naval Institute Press, Splinter Fleet, about the 438 wooden subchasers that served during the war. In 2007, at 91, he published a book about his own experiences on a subchaser, Taste of Salt. He came to be recognized as a leading authority on this subject.

Ted leaves five children, Lucinda Treadwell of Stetson, Maine, Nancy Moore of Bellingham, Washington, Daniel Treadwell of Silver Spring, Maryland, Andrew Treadwell of Santa Rosa, California, and Theodore Treadwell III and daughter-in-law Randee Treadwell of Santa Rosa, California; five grandchildren: John Moore and his wife Isabel Hsu of Gaithersburg, Maryland, Ezra Moore and his wife Sonya Ondish of Montara, California, Rebecca Moore of Waldron Island, Washington, Cassia Leet of Oakland, California, and Kelila Friedland of Santa Rosa, California; three great-grandchildren: Tiger and Reilly Leet of Oakland, California, and Andrew Peterson of Montara, California.

A celebration of Ted's life will be held on Sunday, December 4, 2011, at The Willows, 3115 Squalicum Parkway, Bellingham. Donations may be made in honor of Ted Treadwell to Whatcom Hospice Foundation, 2901 Squalicum Parkway, Bellingham, WA 98225.