In memoriam – Dr. Ted Mihran

We are saddened to report the death of Ted Mihran, who retired from the Schenectady Symphony Orchestra in 2010 following a 60-year career.

Reprinted from the Daily Gazette, Schenectady:

At the age of 92, after a living a life enriched with family, science, music, tennis, and poetry, Theodore (Ted) Mihran “passed on to the next phase in a man’s evolution” on October 9, 2016 in Fort Collins, CO. He had spent the past year living close to family and was in the process of finalizing his move to Colorado after residing over 65 years in Niskayuna, NY. Ted was born in Detroit, MI to Zarhoohi and Miro Mihran. At the age of eight his father’s assignments as physician for the Indian Health Service took the family to reservations across New Mexico, Arizona, and eventually South Dakota, where Ted graduated from Rapid City High School. Ted’s travels continued as he earned his undergraduate Engineering degree in 1944 at Stanford University. Ted served in the U. S. Naval Reserve as Electronic Technician Mate, 2nd Class from 1944–46 and was on his way to Japan when World War II ended. He served as Port Director in Okinawa and Nagoya before returning to Stanford to earn his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering in 1950. Ted accepted an engineering position with General Electric Research Lab in Niskayuna, NY. During his 43 year career, Ted’s research contributions focused on high power microwave tubes (Klystrons) and mathematical modeling of multi-mode behavior of microwave ovens, transistors, and integrated circuits. Ted was granted 10 patents and generated over 100 publications and conference presentations. He was inducted as an IEEE Fellow in 1964.
In 1950, Ted began playing violin for the Schenectady Symphony, performing in his final concert 60 years later. He was recognized onstage for his service as violinist as well as past President, Treasurer, and Business Manager for the Symphony. He continued to play with the Union College Orchestra, in quartets, and as strolling violinist at fund-raisers and private events.
Ted was an avid Amateur Radio Operator and enjoyed playing tennis and ping-pong through his 90th year. Ted married Hermine Misirian of Troy, NY in 1953, moving into a Niskayuna home he designed where they raised their three children and were active in the community. After 27 years of marriage, Hermine died unexpectedly in 1980. Ted then met Jean Wilson and they were married for 30 years, spending time at their camp in Vermont on Lake Champlain. Jean died in 2011.
Twice widowed, Ted enjoyed researching scientific topics, philosophical conversation, and attending musical performances. He entertained guests at his 90th birthday party with a presentation of his mathematical model for the location of the planets. Ted is survived by his sister, Alice of Carmichael, CA; three children, Gregory (Bonnie) of Palo Alto, CA, Joyce (Richard) of Fort Collins, CO, and Richard (Robin) of Boulder, CO; two step-children, Mark (Kathy) of Nashua, NH and Susan (Michael) of Ballston Spa, NY; as well as 11 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Ted’s final gift to his family and friends is in the form of an essay entitled: “My Philosophy of Life at Age 92: ‘Can Ideas Create Reality?'” He presented his paper to the Philosophy Group of the Unitarian Church less than two months before his death:
…I visualize that the death of a mature human could be much like that of the birth of a baby. As humans our soul is confined to our physical body. Wherever we go, it must go. At death, however, our soul is freed from the confines of our physical body and can now travel freely and disperse itself much as a baby when freed of womb-confinement can travel through physical space freely. So in my view, death is a release of the ‘soulstuff’ from the physical confines of the body, an opportunity to traverse to a higher realm…
A memorial gathering will be held at Niskayuna Reformed Church on December 10, 2016. Donations may be made in Ted’s name to the Schenectady Symphony (432 State St., Schenectady, NY 12305), or to the Music program at Niskayuna Reformed Church where Ted often played violin and sang with the choir (3041 Troy-Schenectady Rd., Niskayuna, NY 12309).
Published in The Daily Gazette Co. on Oct. 30, 2016


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