The Rev. Theodore “Ted” A. Webb died on October 6, 2014, at the age of 96.
Ted was born on August 23, 1918, to Harold Webb and Annie Cushman Webb. He graduated from the University of Maine with a Bachelor of Arts in 1948, and from Bangor Theological Seminary with a Bachelor of Divinity in 1956.
Rev. Webb was ordained by the First Universalist Church of Stafford, CT, in 1946. He served as minister to the First Universalist Church of Stafford, CT, from 1944 to 1947; First Universalist Church of Canton, NY (now the Unitarian Universalist Church of Canton, NY), from 1951 to 1956; and Universalist Unitarian Church of Haverhill, MA, from 1957 to 1962. He then served as the first Executive Director of the Massachusetts Bay District of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) from 1962 to 1970. He went on to serve as minister to the UU Society of Sacramento, CA, from 1971 to 1983, and was voted Minister Emeritus in 1985. From 1985 to 1990, Rev. Webb served interim ministries in Iowa City, IA; Baltimore, MD; Minneapolis, MN; and Atlanta, GA.
Rev. Webb was committed to the denomination at large. He served many years on the UUA Program Committee, and served as President and Board Member of the Pacific Central District of the UUA. He founded the Board of Trustees of Renaissance West in The Pacific Central District of the UUA, and founded and edited the Connecticut Universalist. While serving UU Sacramento, he spearheaded a program of lectures by local intellectuals, government officials and religious leaders, called the Forum.
Rev. Webb promoted peace, justice and compassion. In the 1950s, he provided sanctuary in his home to demonstrators opposing U.S. nuclear arms in the Cold War with the Soviet Union, and in 1965, he traveled to Selma, Alabama, for a weeklong peace vigil following the death of James Reeb. Later in life, Rev. Webb served as president and board member of the Sacramento chapter of United Nations Association, and in 1988, he received a distinguished life achievement award from California State University, Sacramento.
Ted spent much of his free time researching the lives of the Washburn family. The Washburns were a politically involved group in the 19th century, and among the first Universalists. After retiring, Ted Webb wrote two books about the family, Seven Sons: Millionaires and Vagabonds (Trafford Publishing, 1999) and Impassioned Brothers: Ministers Resident to France and Paraguay (University Press of America, 2002).
Ted was a worldwide traveler, and shared the interest with his daughter, Christine. He was also an avid reader, and a great communicator. He enjoyed conversing about politics and current events, and he hosted a series of such conversations in his living room. Because of the group’s increasing size, it was relocated to UU Sacramento, and much to Ted’s embarrassment, was lovingly dubbed “Ted’s Web.”
Of her father, daughter Christine Webb-Curtis remembers, “He walked the talk. But he rarely expressed his own personal convictions from the pulpit. He never wanted to impose himself on others in terms of their spiritual beliefs.”
Ted is survived by his daughters, Bobbie Webb (Dave Sledge) and Christine Webb-Curtis (Phillip Webb-Curtis); sons, Theodore Ford Webb (Jeannie Ford Webb) and Noel Webb (Sharon Webb); grandchildren, Rob Gilbert, Renee Cahill, Randy Gilbert, Seth Forester, Patrick Curtis, Sam Curtis, Justin Codinha, Tucker Ford Webb, Parker Ford Webb, Jessica Webb, Alexandra Webb; six great grandchildren; and one great-great grandchild, Penelope, born on Ted’s 96th birthday.
A memorial service will be held on December 13, 2014, at the Unitarian Universalist Society of Sacramento’s temporary location for services, Sierra Arden United Church of Christ, 890 Morse Ave., Sacramento, CA 95864.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Unitarian Universalist Society of Sacramento, 2425 Sierra Blvd, Sacramento, CA 95825.
Notes of condolences may be sent to The Family of Ted Webb, 1137 Amberwood Road, Sacramento, CA 95864.