Edward Albert Ether Rich (Ted), 100, passed away August 21, 2016 in Provo, Utah. He was born March 30, 1916 in Salt Lake City to Edward Stokes and Eleanor Jane Atkinson Rich, the fifth of ten children. He attended East High School where he met “that beautiful girl in the blue dress” who everyone called “Pete” while they both worked on the yearbook committee. He attended the University of Utah and in May of 1937, graduated in electrical engineering with high honors. He was also very active in the ROTC program throughout all his years at East High and the U of U, eventually being appointed Student Commander of the Field Artillery Unit. A month after graduation, he married Florence Ellen Van Dorn (Pete), “that girl in the blue dress,” on June 28, 1937 in Salt Lake City. Their marriage was later solemnized in the Mount Timpanogos Temple.
Immediately after their marriage, they loaded all their possessions into their 1928 Chevy Coupe and drove to Schenectady, New York where Ted had obtained a job working for General Electric. He started work there on July 26, 1937 initially in Large Motor and Engine Design, then Industrial Engineering in mining, and eventually transferring to Cement and Glass Applications. He led GE in applying Automatic Process Control to Cement and Glass Industries obtaining many awards and honors along the way. However, his work also resulted in much travel throughout the states and all over the world. He once estimated he traveled over 1000 times for GE, sometimes being away for three to four weeks.
Ted was also very active in the electrical engineering professional association called the AIEE/IEEE Industry Applications Society. After retirement from GE in March, 1982, he became editor of the IEEE/IAS Transactions bimonthly journal, reviewing and editing all research papers submitted before publishing. He served in that capacity until 1996 when at age 80 he once again retired.
During the years in New York, Ted was also very active in the LDS Church. He served in the District Presidency for 16 years and was District President for eight of those years. Ted witnessed much growth and development as Church membership increased on the East coast. He helped build several chapels in the area as well as building their family home in Schenectady. In January of 1952 he had completed enough of the house so the family could move in. Ted and Pete raised four children in their home, had various pets and special dinners, housed missionaries occasionally, and had many visitors and guests. After 53 years in Schenectady, they downsized, sold their home, and moved to American Fork, UT. Ted and Pete continued to be involved in a bowling league, church activities, and many family gatherings and events.
He is survived by his children: Ed (Morrissa) Rich, Katherine (James) Rosenvall, David Rich, Lorraine Davis, 24 grandchildren and 68 great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife of 77 years in May of 2014, daughter-in-law Lynn Brereton Rich, and great-granddaughters Kate and Lily Rosenvall.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, August 27, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. in the American Fork 30th Ward chapel, 270 N. 900 E. American Fork. A viewing will be held Friday from 6-8 p.m. at Anderson & Sons Mortuary, 49 East 100 North, American Fork and Saturday from 9:45-10:45 a.m. at the American Fork 30th Ward. Burial will be in the Salt Lake City Cemetery. Please share a memory below.
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American Fork Chapel
49 East 100 North
American Fork, UT 84003
Lone Peak Chapel
6141 West 11000 North
Highland, UT 84003