James Edward Munroe passed away peacefully Thursday, May 27, 2010, on Balboa Island surrounded by his loving family. “Ted,” as he was known by all, was born in Chicago, Ill., Feb. 3, 1923.
He spent his life in California, growing up in Altadena, then raising his own family first in San Marino, and moving in 1965 to the Balboa Island family home he had summered in most of his childhood. He attended high school at Flintridge Prep, graduating with honors, academic and athletic. He attended Stanford University, studied engineering, joined the Chi Psi Fraternity, captained the swim team, and was the Pacific Coast Conference swimming champion in the 220 and 440.
He spent three years as a second lieutenant and platoon leader in the U.S Army in the European theater in World War II, returning to Stanford to complete his master's degree in industrial engineering. He married Shirley Stephens on April 1, 1950. They had four children and a wonderful 17-year marriage. A few years after Shirley’s death, Ted was blessed to marry Dorothy Rempel on Feb. 1, 1969, with whom he was married 41 harmonious years.
Among Ted’s many accomplishments and passionate interests:
He started and was chief sales engineer for Paul-Munroe Hydraulics Inc., a successful hydraulics distribution and manufacturing company where he worked for 50 years.
As a competitive sailor for almost 80 years in Newport Beach and around the world, he raced a Snowbird, Star Boat, P-Cat, Lehman 12, Etchells 22, International 470, and, he raced in his final series in the Harbor 20 “A” Class in May.
Ted served as commodore of the Balboa Island Yacht Club in 1938, and as commodore of the Newport Harbor Yacht Club in 1973, and enjoyed a lifetime involvement in both clubs.
He owned several different power boats with which he provided many adventures for his beloved family and friends including waterski trips, parasailing adventures, cruises to Catalina, the annual Parade of Lights, and many bay cruises.
He took up golf at 67 and played for the rest of his life with enthusiasm.
He adored the annual Fourth of July gathering of families at the Penberthy cabin at Lake Shasta.
He loved competitive sports, was a regular spectator at his grandchildren’s games and performances, and especially enjoyed Stanford and USC college football.
He strongly supported the Newport Harbor Nautical Museum, and put together a museum entry in the Balboa Island Parade every June.
Ted loved progress and technology and was eager to learn and stay current. He used his computer daily, and was always excited to try the latest gadget.
He delighted in his family and friends, never missing an opportunity to create a way to be together, traveling, snowskiing, celebrating occasions or any activity he could dream up to show others a good time.
Ted was devoted to his wife, Dottie, and his family. He was a gentleman, he was a competitor, a leader, an innovator, a teacher and a friend to many. He will always be remembered with love.
Ted is survived by his wife, Dottie, his children, Kathy (John Brittingham), Richard (Karen), Connie (Jack Kraus), Jan (Steve Davis) and Libby (Dan Calegari), 13 grandchildren, John, Bob, Kristi and Mike Brittingham, Lauren, Mallory, Kelsie and Jaime Munroe, Munroe Kraus, Charlie Davis (Sheila), and Stephanie Davis (John Kent), Joe and Ben Calegari, and Ted’s sister, Mora Celaya.
A Memorial Service will be at 10:30 a.m. June 7, 2010 at St. Mark Presbyterian Church, 2200 San Joaquin Hills Road, Newport Beach. A Celebration of Life will follow at noon at Newport Harbor Yacht Club, 720 W. Bay Ave., Newport Beach.