Theodore (Ted) Dec was born February 17, 1922 and
passed away quietly in his sleep on April 22, 2015 at the age of 93. The
son of Polish immigrants Alojzy Dec and Katarzyna Bartoszek, he was the last
surviving sibling which included his older sister Martha, older brother Stanley
and younger brother Edward. Theodore is survived by his three children:
son Tim Dec (Dianne) of Mountain View California, daughter Pennie Ellsworth of
Middleton Idaho and son Kerry Durant (Vicky) of El Dorado Hills California. In
addition he had 10 grandchildren and 31 great grandchildren.
Ted was born in Raymond Washington and moved to
Chehalis Washington where the family had a small farm.
After graduating from Napavine High School in
1940 Ted enrolled in the University of Washington’s Civil Engineering program.
He also joined the U.S. Naval Reserve and completed his Bachelor of
Science in Civil Engineering in 1944. Soon after graduation Ted reported
to the 42nd Naval Construction Battalion (Seabees) for duty in the Philippine Islands
and worked in a number of assignments until July 1946 when he returned to the
University of Washington to obtain a Master of Science in Civil Engineering.
Continuing his Naval Reserve status, he began his career with the Federal
Public Roads Administration working in Washington DC, Idaho and Salem Oregon.
While in Salem he met the lovely Dorothy Durant
and they were married June 28th, 1959 becoming a stepfather to her two
children. After completing more than 20 years, Ted retired from the Naval
Reserve as Commanding Officer of the Construction Battalion 13-9 in Salem.
On promotion to Director of Planning and Research for the Federal Highway
Administration, Ted moved the family to the Portland Area in 1967. He
retired from the FHWA in 1980 after 35 years of service.
Ted was an avid ballroom dancer. Dancing is what
brought him to meet and ultimately marry his wife Dorothy. He enjoyed
acting in community theatre and later became an avid gardener in his senior
years. Ted was a passionate Portland Trailblazer fan from the teams first
days. He also loved golf, enjoyed trips to the beach and crab netting
with his son and wife.
Ted spent much of his time in service of others.
Beyond his military service to country, he worked tirelessly to bring
fair taxation reform to federal, state and local retires. In his local
homeowners association, he was constantly seen aiding neighbors as the
association’s volunteer handyman. In the early 70’s, Ted's father
connected him to his distant Polish cousins in Gdansk Poland and Ted provided
his relatives a great variety of personal care packages as they struggled with
their lives while in the communist Soviet block and long after.
In 2011 Ted and his wife Dorothy moved to Boise Idaho
to be closer to family.
They enjoyed the
sunshine and the opportunity to visit with family regularly instead of the occasional
visits of the past.
Ted will be
remembered for his affection for his wife and family, constantly trying to help
others, his quick wit and always being kind.
The family would like to thank the many caregivers who
cared for their father: Dr. Ricky Axtell,
Hospice, Idaho Home Health, Valley View Assisted Living and Life Care Center of
He loved to participate in
all the activities available and made friends quickly with the staff.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests making a
Wounded Warrior Project, St. Jude’s,
Veteran’s of Foreign Wars, or American Cancer Society.