William “Ted” Read, 76, of Bryan, passed away Monday, February 1, 2010, at his residence in Bryan. A memorial service is set for 4 p.m., Saturday, February 6, 2010, at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in College Station.
Ted was born September 21, 1933, in Kilgore, Texas. His parents were William Philander Read and Pastoria Grant Read. Ted spent his childhood years in rural Southern Arkansas, El Dorado, AR, and Ft. Wayne, IN.
After graduating from El Dorado High School in 1951, he attended the University of Texas at Austin on a Navy R.O.T.C. scholarship. He graduated in 1955 and launched his decorated, 23 year military service to the country. On July 29, he married his college sweetheart, Norma Jean Brock of Houston and thus began their loving, 54-year life together.
After receiving his degree, Ted attended USMC Basic School for officers in 1955-56, and then was selected for US Naval Flight School in 1956-57. In 1957, he was designated a Naval Aviator. Ted then attended US Naval Helicopter training and was designated a helicopter pilot in 1959. In 1965, he attended USMC Amphibious Warfare School and then later, US Naval Postgraduate School in 1969, where he was awarded a Master of Science in Management degree.
His 23 years of Marine Corps service included three one-year tours in the Western Pacific as a helicopter pilot, including one combat tour in Vietnam, plus three years as a pilot in HMX-1, the helicopter squadron supporting the president of the United States. He finished his military career as Deputy Project Manager for the development of the Marine Corps’ CH-53E heavy helicopter. In 1978, he retired from the USMC as a Lt. Colonel.
Ted received two Distinguished Flying Cross awards, an Air Medal (24 awards for 492 combat missions), Presidential Service Badge, Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, Presidential Unit Citation, plus numerous campaign and service awards. He belonged to the Marine Corps Aviation Association, the Marine Combat Helicopter Association, and the Military Officers Association of America.
After his retirement from the USMC, Ted served as Vice-President and Senior Vice-President of two aerospace consulting firms in Arlington, VA between 1978 and 1984. He and Norma then returned to Texas where they operated a cattle ranch in Robertson County, Texas. He also served as Robertson County Republican Party Chairman from 1986 to 1991. In 1998, he was elected to the Board of Directors of the Robertson County Water Supply Corporation. In 2002, the members of the board elected him to serve as the water company’s Vice President, a position he continued to hold until his health forced him to resign and fully retire in 2003.
He was preceded in death by his parents and four brothers, J.P. Read, J.C. Read, C.D. Read, and R.M. Read.
Survivors include his wife, Norma Jean Read, of Bryan; son and daughter-in-law, Steve and Phyllis Read, of Richmond, Texas; son, Michael Read, of Weed, CA; Daughter, Terri Horton, of Bryan, Texas; grandchildren, Callen Horton and Judd Horton, both of Bryan, Texas; and sister, June Cox, of Arlington, Texas.
In lieu of flowers the family has requested memorials be sent to Hospice Brazos Valley at 502 W. 26th St., Bryan, TX 77803 or a charity of your choice.