Theodore H (Ted) Church, 1925-2008

Publication Year: 2009.

Theodore H. (Ted) Church 1925-2008 Ted Church, a member of the American Alpine Club since 1963, died of cancer on December 25. A World War II veteran, Ted graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a degree in mechanical engineering. Ted joined the family business in 1947, becoming CEO of Superior Technical Ceramics Corporation in 1964, a position he held until his death. Ted’s Revolutionary War–era home in Georgia, Vermont was furnished with numerous antiques and paintings. His love of fine objects probably exceeded his love of the mountains in his later years.

Ted was an active member of the early Appalachian Mountain Club group of Shawangunk rock climbers, having started climbing there in the late 1940s. Often teamed with Krist Raubenheimer, Ted put up a number of what were then hard routes. Ted’s climbing took him to the Pacific Northwest, the Dolomites, the Swiss Alps, Alaska, the Canadian Rockies, and the Selkirks. I had the pleasure of climbing with him in the Gunks, on Monte Rosa, the Cima Grande, and other European peaks, on Mts. Rainier, Baker, and Shuksan in the U.S., and in areas ranging from the Ramparts to the Bugaboos in Canada. Ted could be counted on to take the hard leads, but also to avoid camp chores like cooking, cleaning up, and packing. Ted made a number of ascents in the Selkirks, including Mt. Sir Sanford with his late wife Earlyn.

Ted was a diehard Mad River skier who would look down a steep track covered with water ice and exposed rocks, exclaim that the skiing was excellent, and off he would go. His ski house was a gathering place that many of us cherished. He stayed active in the AAC almost until his final days, attending without fail the Annual Black Tie Dinner of the New York Section. His many friends in the climbing world will miss him.

Bob Jones