NO. 17579 • 13 August 1928 - 29 March 1978
Died in San Francisco, CA.
Interred in Golden Gate National Cemetery, San Bruno, CA.
Ted Seely, the son of Ted Sr. and Eugenia Bentley, was born at Tripler Army Hospital in the Territory of Hawaii. Ted's father, a Regular Army officer, received his commission from the University of California. An "Army Brat," Ted Jr. spent his early years living in such exotic places as the Philippines, Japan, China, Georgia, Minn esota, South Carolina, and Louisiana. When Dad went to war, the family moved to California, where they lived with grandparents in Los Altos.
Ted really found a home there. He attended Mountain View Union High School and did well in his studies. He lettered in track, made many friends, and developed a love of music --- especially swing and jazz. Graduating in 1945, he attended Sullivan Prep School in Washington, DC, and earned a Presidential appointment to West Point, joining the Class of '50 in July 1946.
From all reports, Ted survived Beast Barracks in reasonably good style and made his home in Company F-2. Bill Pogue, Ted's roommate for 3 years, had this to say: "Ted, John O'Brien and I became roommates in F-2 our yearling year. Ted brought to us a certain sophistication and worldly knowledge that an 'Army Brat' brings to cadets from New Hampshire and Alabama. Barracks life came easily to Ted. 'Spoon' was natural for him, and he taught John and me a lot about spit and polish. He was the organizer of our room routine. So barracks life flowed easily for us."
"Academics flowed easily for Ted, too. Although he studied and made good grades, the records don’t reflect his real intellect."
"Music was one of his driving interests. He provided our room with a combination radio/phonograph, including all the latest records. He always knew what was popular and had it.
"Late one afternoon in May 1950, Ted and I walked from the lost ‘50s to one of the iron benches along the edge of the Plain near the Supe's quarters. The Superintendent, MG Bryant E. Moore, was walking home and stopped to chat, 'Thinking it over, are you?’ he asked. We explained that we were roommates, and our cadet days were almost over. He said. 'Savor the moment. There will not be another like it.'
Ted was commissioned into the Infantry and went to jump school at Ft. Benning before reporting to the 82d Airborne Division at Ft. Bragg. A rumor circulated that, while on graduation leave, be visited his family in Japan and, when the Korean War broke out in late June, he went over and became one of the first KIA. It was another LT Seely, but when Ted reported to Ft. Benning, several classmates thought they were seeing a ghost!
After serving in the 325th AIR and the 508th AIR at Ft. Bragg and Ft. Benning, Ted went to Korea in 1952 with the 223d Infantry of the 40th Infantry Division as a commo officer and company commander.
Returning to Ft. Bragg, he was a company commander in the 325th AIR and on the division staff as G-3 Air. He attended the Advanced Course in the Infantry School and stayed on as a tactics instructor.
ln 1959, he began an attachment with the Spanish language and all things Latin. After a course in the "mother tongue" at Monterey, he went to Madrid, Spain, to attend the Spanish equivalent of the Command and General Staff College, followed by a tour in Honduras as advisor to the Honduran Military Academy. He returned to his second home, Ft. Bragg -- this time with the Special Warfare Center --- and then back to Latin America, as a member of the U S Military Group in Costa Rica.
By 1967, Vietnam was beckoning, and he served an extended tour there as G-2 of the Big Red One and with the Support Command in Qui Nhon. Again, be went back to Central America on the staff of the School of the Americas in Panama and as an OAS observer in the hinterlands of El Salvador and Honduras in the aftermath of the 1969 Soccer War between the two countries. After yet another tour at Ft. Bragg with the Special Warfare Center, he retired in 1971.
Ted went on a tour of the Pacific and the Far East from October 1971 until May 1972, traveling by freighter and other small ships, visiting such ports as Majuro, Ponape, Truk, Saipan, Koror, Guam, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Penang, Singapore, Port Kelang, Brisbane, Sydney, Port Kembla, Melbourne, Hobart, Adelaide, Freemantle, Perth, Papeete, and Honolulu. He settled in the San Francisco area, remaining there, except for a few trips, until his death.
From 1972 on, Ted led a quiet life with a close circle of friends, including old high school buddies from Mountain View and Los Altos and several USMA classmates. Working for a while as the vice president of a trash compactor distributing company, he was making plans to go to graduate school at San Francisco State. He had a serious heart attack in January 1978 and spent two months recuperating at Letterman Army Hospital. Out of the hospital a week, he appeared to be on the mend, when he had a relapse and died in his sleep at home. Buried at Golden Gate Cemetery, he was joined a few years later by his mom and dad.
Although Ted never married, he was loved by many --- his family and friends. He had a remarkable personality that allowed him to connect with people everywhere. His sense of humor and positive outlook on life were features that everyone always remembered about him.
Ted was dedicated to the Army and to all it stood for, from the day of his birth until he died. He is sorely missed.
- His brother, William B. Seely