(November 10, 1927 - November 16, 2016)
Theodore Shapin Jr., known as Ted, recalled that as a child his father encouraged his interest in things mechanical and electrical, and helped him build a crystal radio set. He was an avid folk dancer and enjoyed playing folk songs on his banjo and guitar. Ted received a scholarship to the University of Illinois and graduated with a Master's degree in Electrical Engineering. Thereafter, the university received a government grant to build two machines which were later named the Ordvac and the Illiac. Ted helped to build these first computers and was proud to be a computer pioneer. Later he worked at Beckman Instruments in Fullerton as an electrical engineer and computer programmer. He and his wife Ruth resided in Orange County and were active in a number of organizations, including the Unitarian Universalist Church in Anaheim, which promote peace and justice. Ted was also a long time member of OLLI, (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) at California State University, Fullerton. He helped to manage the computer lab and taught computer skills to the elderly students. He was also a member of the Poetry for Pleasure class, and helped with the publication of several class anthologies which contained some of his poems. Ted suffered a stroke in 2014. He died peacefully on November 16, 2016, of pneumonia. He is survived by his wife Ruth, son Dan, daughter Karen, brother Stan, grandsons, David and Stephen, and son-in-law Bob. He was much loved and will be greatly missed. A celebration of his life will be held at a later date.
Published in the Los Angeles Times on Nov. 22, 2016