Rear Admiral Theodore Charles Lockhart, USN (Ret.)
Theodore (Ted) C. Lockhart, 75, passed away unexpectedly at New London Hospital on July 24, 2013 after two years of dealing with the challenges of ALS-related motor neuron disease.
Born in Fall River, MA in 1937, the son of Howard A. and Elisabeth M. Lockhart, he grew up in Haverhill, MA. After graduating from Haverhill High School and Huntington School in Boston, he attended Colby College in Waterville, ME, graduating in 1961. Later in his career he earned a master’s degree in International Relations. Upon completion of Officer Candidate School in Newport, RI, he was commissioned in 1962. After 32 years of service, he retired from the U. S. Navy in 1993.
Admiral Lockhart’s sea duty assignments included service aboard destroyers USS John W.Weeks, USS John Paul Jones, and USS Corry. He was the Executive Officer of the guided missile cruiser USS Sterrett, and Commanding Officer of ocean minesweeper USS Observer, the destroyer USS Paul F. Foster, and the commissioning Commanding Officer of the Aegis guided missile cruiser USS Valley Forge, which held special significance for him. As a boy, he had attended the Boy Scout National Jamboree at Valley Forge in 1950, which left a lasting impression on him.
In 1982, he reported to the Aegis Shipbuilding Program in Washington, DC. He became Combat Systems Engineer, and later, the Director of the Fleet Introduction Division, and had the special experience of watching as his future ship went from the drawing board and through construction in Pascagoula, MS.
In January of 1986, he took command of the Valley Forge at commissioning and sailed her through the Panama Canal to her permanent homeport in San Diego. During his tour, the ship deployed to the Indian Ocean as part of Battle Group Delta and was involved with reflagged tanker escort operations in the Gulf of Oman, Strait of Hormuz and North Arabian Sea.
His following assignment was commander of the Surface Warfare Officers School Command in Newport, RI and Coronado, CA. Other assignments included Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; U. S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD; U. S. Naval War College, Newport, RI, and Sixth Fleet Staff in Gaeta, Italy.
His final assignment was Commander South Atlantic Force, headquartered in Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico. During his tenure as commander, he served as the U. S. Navy’s link to the navies of South America and West Africa. His area of responsibility encompassed the coastal waters of South America where he controlled naval operations of assigned forces in the South Atlantic and Pacific between the Tropic of Cancer and the Antarctic Circle. He also directed the the annual UNITAS fleet exercises which brought ships, aircraft and ground forces of the U. S. Atlantic Fleet, together with South American counterparts, for a series of combined naval warfare exercises. In addition to the UNITAS deployments, he was also responsible for the annual West African Training Cruise exercises involving West African nations from Mauritania to Namibia.
Ted loved going to sea, but it was his experience during the Cuban Missile Crisis that was the turning point in his decision to make the seagoing life his career and the world “home” for the Lockhart family. The result was enough adventure to fill many lifetimes. He was a strong proponent of peace through strength, but with all the awards and accolades that came his way, he often said that his greatest professional achievement was that he never had to fire a shot in anger.
Immediately after retiring from the Navy, Ted worked for the Old Ironsides Bicentennial Foundation and then established Lockhart International Associates Management Consultants, and was a defense analyst for American Systems Corp., Anteon Corp. and General Dynamics. As a member of the Navy League council, he became the Chairman of the Commissioning Committee for USS Ramage (DDG 61) in 1995 in Boston. He transitioned full-time to New London, NH in 2005, continued consulting, and was finally able became to become more involved in his community and church, both of which meant a great deal to him.
Ted was an honest and humble man of deep faith who loved his family and country. Music was his constant companion, and from his years at Colby to the present, he enjoyed his association with the Colby Eight, the opportunity to sing, and the bond of lifelong friendships. His keen mind, sharp wit and sense of humor were well known and never left him, even at the very end of his life.
Ted was a longtime Rotarian and could always be seen working the grill of the Rotary Lunch Tent during Hospital Days, or loading equipment into his truck on Sunday morning. Locally, he served as a board member of the NH chapter of the National Military Officers Association, and was a member of the New London Squires, King Solomon’s Lodge, and American Legion Post 39 in Warner, NH.
He is survived by his wife of 51 years, the former Carolyn Anne Webster of Rockville Centre, New York. Also surviving are his son Jeffery T. Lockhart of San Carlos, CA, his wife, Becky and their sons Austin and Garrett; daughter Anne Beck, her husband Tyler, their son Colby and daughter Grayson of New London, NH, and his sister, Marion Rice, of Newport, NH, as well as nieces and nephews. He was pre-deceased by his parents and his sister, Helen Lockhart.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, August 2, 2013, at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, 52 Gould Road, New London, NH. In lieu of flowers, on-line contributions in Ted’s memory may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, or the organization of your choice.