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Timothy H. Ling, 46; Unocal Exec Was on Philharmonic Board

Times Staff Writer

Timothy Hugh Ling, president and chief operating officer of Unocal Corp. and an active member of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Assn. board, died Wednesday after an ice hockey workout in El Segundo. He was 46.

The cause of death was not immediately known, and an autopsy will be performed.

Ling spent six years at the El Segundo-based oil company, initially as its chief financial officer, then as executive vice president of Unocal’s North American operations, and finally as the No. 2 executive and a member of the board of directors.

The pianist, singer and cellist loved music so much that he knew the performers and would leave concerts “absolutely glowing,” according to Deborah Borda, president of the L.A. Philharmonic Assn. As a member of the group’s executive committee, “he was a gifted strategic thinker and had a real impact,” she said.

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A native of Philadelphia, Ling won a hockey scholarship to fund his high school education at the Haverford School. In 1982, he earned a degree in geology from Cornell University.

While working as a geologist for the U.S. Geological Survey, he met Kimberly De Mello, whom he married in 1987.

Ling earned an MBA from Stanford University in 1989, and hoped to create a small oil company with friends. Instead, he spent seven years as a consultant at McKinsey & Co. in Los Angeles, becoming a partner and co-writing a management book called “Real Change Leaders” before leaving for Unocal in 1997.

Despite frequent travel, Ling was a mentor to children from the urban core, helped with Boy Scouts, coached his eldest son’s ice hockey team and was active in the Young Presidents’ Organization.

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In addition, Ling was a director of Maxis Communications, a Malaysian wireless service provider; a director of the American Petroleum Institute and the Domestic Petroleum Council; and a member of an advisory board for the Department of Energy. He was also on the management board for the Stanford University Graduate School of Business and a member of the Haverford Leadership Council.

“He was just a huge bundle of energy,” said friend Jamie Montgomery of the investment banking firm Montgomery & Co. “He helped everyone, everywhere along the way.”

In addition to his wife, Ling is survived by their three children, Hudson, 7, Tommy, 4, and Peter, 2, all of Pacific Palisades; his parents, Gilbert and Shirley Ling of Marion, Pa.; his sister, Eva Monahan of Wynnewood, Pa.; and his brother, Dr. Mark Ling of Atlanta.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that any donations be made to the Tim Ling Memorial Fund, St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Pacific Palisades, or to the Tim Ling Scholarship Fund, in care of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Assn.


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