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Obituary (CA): William Theodore Gurnee '61

Posted on 03/12/2018

William Theodore Gurnee  (February 27, 1940 - February 28, 2018)

Ted was born on February 27th, 1940 in New York City and died peacefully at his home in La Jolla surrounded by his loving wife and family. Ted had a long and illustrious career, starting with his graduation from the Naval Academy in 1961. Ted was among the first seeking a specialty at USNA. He also was first in another area, in that he issued class crests to more girls at the same time, than any other midshipman. In between his studies and handing out the class crests, he also played squash for the Naval Academy from 1958 through 1961. He not only excelled in squash, but many other team sports while at the Academy. Following service at sea, aboard destroyers, Ted was assigned to the Webb Postgraduate program, receiving his MSC of Naval Architecture and Bachelor of Science in Marine Engineering from Webb in 1968. His entrepreneurial spirit led him to establish many successful businesses that related to his naval and scientific background. He was unique in that he started the only company to own, operate, manufacture and maintain hyperbaric chambers in the United States, as well as throughout the world, for over 40 years. The fruits of his labor allowed Ted to generously donate to UCSD for Hyperbaric research the Naval Academy for both squash courts and a golf performance center, and Access Youth Academy. Ted married Michelle, the love of his life in 1995. Together they enjoyed many happy years traveling to exotic locations, golfing, going to sporting events with friends, and dancing at the Jewel Ball. Ted could dance circles around anyone. Ted will be greatly missed by all who knew him, but his memory will live on through his charitable works and donations. His motto was, "Where there's a will, there's a Gurnee." Ted leaves behind his wife Michelle and his three children, Scott, Michelle and Danielle. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to

Published in The San Diego Union Tribune on Mar. 11, 2018