Mendham & Peapack
Obituary of Theodore Charles Rich
Theodore Charles Rich (1935–2023)
Ted was a loving husband, father, and grandfather, brilliant scientist and businessman, and kind-hearted lover of helping others, classical music, dogs, and a good (or bad) joke. Ted, 87, of Sewickley PA, passed away peacefully on October 19, 2023, at Allegheny Hospital. Ted, sometimes known by his nickname “Charlie”, was born in New Brunswick, NJ, the ninth in a family of ten, to Ernest and Katherine Rich.
He came from nothing, and his childhood memories included well known neighborhood games like stickball or kick the can, and other games that this future scientist helped create, like “exploding bolts”, that drew kids from neighborhoods far and wide to participate. After high school, he put himself through both undergraduate school and then graduate school. He graduated Magna Cum Laude at the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, then received a Masters Degree in Applied Physics at the Stevens Institute of Technology, with a 4.0 GPA. He was also awarded a Doctoral Support Program at Bell Labs in 1971, but declined the offer. Ted leaves behind his wife, Eleanor M. Rich (married nearly 25 years), three children, seven grandchildren, three great grandchildren, and four siblings. Ted worked for Gulf Industries and AT&T / Bell Labs, before starting his own fiber optics business in 1977. He was passionate about new ways that fiber could be used, including in medical procedures, while being a kind and generous CEO, and creating hundreds of jobs until selling Fiberguide in 2020. While still in New Jersey, Ted was active in the “Men Mentoring Men” or “M3” group, where he participated in fellowship but also passed along his guidance and experience to others. Once he moved to Sewickley, he participated in a similar group, the Mens Group of Sewickley. Outside of these passions, Ted enjoyed spending time with loved ones, playing piano, solving puzzles like Sudoku, and painting.
Ted will forever be remembered for his kind heart and generosity, his humbleness, and his infinite love. We will all miss him dearly and his memory will live on in the hearts of all who loved him.
A viewing will be held at Bailey Funeral Home, 176 Main Street, Peapack on Wednesday, October 25 from 4:00-8:00 PM. Funeral Mass will be held on Thursday, October 26 at 11:00 AM at St. Brigid Church, 129 Main Street in Peapack followed by interment at Holy Cross Cemetery, Mt. Airy Road, Basking Ridge.
8 Hilltop Road
Mendham, NJ 07945
176 Main Street
Peapack NJ 07977
For GPS Purposes use Gladstone, NJ 07934