Theodore P. Ayre was born into eternity on Sunday, March 18, 2018 at the age of 96. He died peacefully at home under the care of hospice and family members, eager to meet his Savior. He leaves behind an extended family grateful for his life, influence and faithfulness. Falls Church family members include his beloved wife of 68 years, Phyllis; his son and daughter-in-law, Dan and Amy; and grandchildren, Anna, Micah, Rebekah and Naomi. His daughter-in-law, Sharon; granddaughter, Christie; grandson and granddaughter-in-law, Stephen and Katie; and great-grandchildren, Riley and Sophie, all from Colorado, will also greatly miss him. Ted’s family rejoices that he is now reunited with his sons, John and Tim, who preceded him to be with their Lord.
Ted was born to Paul Lake and Anna Louise McElvain Ayre on November 13, 1921 in Billings, Montana. He grew up and graduated high school in Seattle, Washington. His early career was spent as a Flight Test Technician, B-29 School Instructor, and radar systems technical trainer at Boeing Airplane Company. He served briefly with the US Navy during World War II. After the war, he was a flight and ground instructor, and president of the Skyblazer Flying Club. After meeting and marrying Phyllis in 1949, his career in electrical engineering took him to Sacramento, Denver, Syracuse, and Houston with Western Electric and General Electric. His last assignment with GE was as a Senior Engineer and Unit Manager on the Apollo moon landing project. When Apollo concluded, Ted worked as a homebuilder and entrepreneur with a number of businesses.
As a young man, Ted did not have the means to pursue higher education. This did not prevent him from becoming a registered professional electrical engineer, from succeeding in a highly technical and intellectually rigorous career field, nor from a lifetime of scholarly pursuit. A constant student and teacher of the Bible, he taught himself Hebrew and Greek to aid his studies. Late in his career, he made up for his lack of formal credentials by obtaining a bachelors degree from the University of Alabama and an MBA from the University of Houston.
Ted was devoted to his calling of teaching the Bible. Over thirty years, he taught in homes, churches, missions and a junior college. He pursued serious individual biblical scholarship, including short-term research at Cambridge, Oxford and Harvard Universities. He was invited to serve as a Visiting Professor at a seminary in Nigeria, which awarded him an honorary Th.D. In 2000, he published his book, “Win Your Race, Gain the Prize: Rewards and Inheritance After Jesus Returns.”
Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, Ted developed a love of outdoor pursuits such as hunting, fishing, camping, shooting, flying, and photography. These he maintained throughout his life, as time and treasure allowed.
But his greatest interest, from early in his life when he received the gift of salvation, was to serve his Savior. He wanted others to understand the grandeur of God’s great and loving plan for mankind, as communicated in the Holy Scriptures He has provided for our enlightenment. Ted would delight in no legacy so much as knowing that his life and example might nudge someone else to meet his Lord.
A service of thanksgiving for Ted’s life will be held at 3 pm on March 26, 2018 at The Falls Church Anglican, 6565 Arlington Blvd, Falls Church. Interment will be at Oakwood Cemetery, Falls Church. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Mission Aviation Fellowship, P.O. Box 47, Nampa, Idaho 83653 (www.maf.org).