Teddie Lee Lightle
October 16, 1931 – September 5, 2019
COLUMBIA, SC - Ted Lee Lightle, 87, husband of Bernice K. Lightle, passed away on September 5, 2019. Mr. Lightle lived a fulfilled and blessed life, walking humbly with His Lord, whom he looked forward to joining. His kind and loving spirit will be greatly missed by all who knew him. Mr. Lightle was born in Webb City, Missouri, on October 16, 1931, to the late Dorothy Culton Lightle and Theodore Roosevelt Culton. He was the stepson of the late Leo B. Lightle. He was reared from an early age in Charleston, S.C. He and his beloved twin brother, Jack, pursued dual life careers, working for the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Washington, D.C., as fingerprint clerks after graduation from North Charleston High School in 1950. They served in the United States Navy aboard the USS Sperry AS-12, submarine tender, in San Diego, California. In the fall of 1954, they attended the Annual Twins Convention in Huntington Beach, California, and were selected the most twin like male twins, which was quite an honor to their beloved mother. They returned to Charleston in February 1955 and attended The Citadel, from which they graduated with honors in 1958 with degrees in electrical engineering. They both then pursued engineering careers with the Bell Telephone Systems in North Carolina, attending Wake Forest University and Duke University in connection with the Bell Labs Communications Development Training Program. They graduated in 1964 with Masters degrees in electrical engineering from Duke University. After graduation from Duke, the brothers took different career routes in the telecommunications field.
Mr. Lightle held Bell Labs positions in North Carolina and New Jersey, arriving in Columbia, South Carolina, in 1965 with Southern Bell Telephone Company, where he served in various engineering and marketing positions for 16 years. He was Southern Bell account manager for the South Carolina Educational Television Network in the late 1960s, coordinating expansion of the ETV network statewide, with the ETV Commission and the telephone industry in South Carolina. He served as District Engineer for Southern Bell in Greenville, South Carolina, from 1970-1974, when he returned to Columbia to assume the position of General Sales and Marketing Manager for Southern Bell Business Marketing in South Carolina, until his early retirement in December 1981.
Of his many Bell System assignments, guiding the Bell System marketing program in South Carolina, in preparation for the imminent divestiture of the AT&T company, was one of the most rewarding, particularly development of and relationships with his staff, large business and government customers in South Carolina. During his marketing career, Mr. Lightle attended the Advanced Marketing program at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, as AT&T became a more marketing-focused organization.
In January 1982, Mr. Lightle began his second exciting professional career in communications and computer management as Assistant Director of the S.C. State Government Division of General Services, a division of the then-S.C. Budget and Control Board. In 1983, he was appointed director of the new Division of Information Resources Management, which was created to improve the coordination, planning, acquisition, use and management of information technical resources in S.C. state government.
The decades of the 1980s and 1990s were the most exciting of times with the introduction, use and management of 21st century technologies, such as office automation, word processing, personal computers, voicemail, email, local area networks, the internet, and high-speed voice, video and data networks. It was an exciting and most rewarding time for technology professionals and state government workers.
During his two life careers, Mr. Lightle participated in many community organizations, including the Telephone Pioneers, ACS, Lions Club, Sertoma, United Way, and the Armed Forces Electronics Association. He was also a life member of two engineering societies: The Sigma Xa at Duke and Tau Beta Pi at The Citadel. Upon his retirement in 2000, he was made a life member of two national state government technology directors associations.
Mr. Lightle was also honored by then-Governor Carroll Campbell, who presented him with The Order of The Palmetto. Former Governor James Hodges presented Mr. Lightle with the Order of the Silver Crescent upon his retirement in 2000.
A celebration of life service for Mr. Lightle will be held at Caughman-Harman Funeral Home, Lexington Chapel, in Lexington, South Carolina, on Tuesday, September 10, 2019, at 2:00 p.m. The family will receive friends following the service. A private interment will be held at a later date. Mr. Lightle was a member of Saxe Gotha Presbyterian Church and a founding member of the Caring Connections Brotherhood. At his request and in lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Caring Connections Brotherhood or the Memory Café at Saxe Gotha Presbyterian Church, 5503 Sunset Boulevard, Lexington, South Carolina 29072, or a charity of one’s choice.
In addition to his spouse, Mr. Lightle is survived by: son, Theodore L. Lightle (Gail) of Cocoa, Florida; daughter, Megan B. Lightle, of Cayce; stepdaughter, Wendy Watson of Lexington; stepson, Barry Jenkins (Susan), of Lexington; stepdaughter, Teresa Tarrant (Guy), of Charleston; numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren; nephews, Brian Lightle (Debbie) and Craig Lightle (Chris). Mr. Lightle was predeceased by his parents; twin brother, Jack T. Lightle; grandson, Travis Rea and son-in-law, Daniel Strickland.
The family extends its heartfelt appreciation and gratitude to all of Mr. Lightle’s special caregivers for the loving and devoted acts of kindness they shared during his illness.
Caring Connections Brotherhood or the Memory Café at Saxe Gotha Presbyterian Church
5503 Sunset Boulevard, Lexington, South Carolina 29072
- Celebration of Life Tuesday, September 10, 2019
- Visitation to follow service Tuesday, September 10, 2019
Teddie Lee Lightle
September 9, 2019
Megan, I am so sorry about your dad. It is never easy to lose a parent and it seems like nothing is ever the same (family gatherings, etc.).
I am thinking and praying for you. Take care and God bless you.
September 9, 2019
As head of South Carolina ‘s cutting edge technology office, Ted built, literally, South Carolina’s technology inventory, including the state wide phone system, mainframe and computer processing networks, ETV broadcast towers, statewide public safety 800 megahertz mobile radio system and all the various functionalities for these structural components. This included design, procurement, and transactional activities over well more than a decade and hundreds of millions of dollars. I was privileged to be involved as counsel for many of these undertakings. He was the best: thoughtful, cool headed and goal oriented. But one time together needs particular mention. Ted had coaxed a conference of state government technology officers from around the country to convene on the SC coast. It occurred at the same time as his and Desree’s anniversary. She was his wife and a former Mrs. America. At the formal dinner for this gathering of hundreds, he had arranged for a contingency of the Citadel’s Summerall Guards to first present colors and then retrieve Desree from her seat (I sat next to her) and escort her to Ted at the dais of the banquet hall, presenting her with an array of roses, and then someone sang her the Citadel alma mater. The room was open to an ocean breeze, the cadets were in full dress and the honoree was awestruck. So too the entire gathering. Every husband in the room was in trouble. A life well lived as a scientist, colleague, family man and friend. And a great client.