Ted Allan Rathbun

Obituary
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Ted Allen Rathbun COLUMBIA - Ted Allan Rathbun passed away quietly November 14, 2012, after a short illness. He was born April 11, 1942, in Ellsworth, Kansas, the son of Merle and Wilma Rathbun. He received bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Kansas at Lawrence. From 1966 to 1968, he was a Peace Corps volunteer in Iran. He returned to the University of Kansas, where he earned his doctorate in anthropology in 1971. Dr. Rathbun taught for 30 years at the University of South Carolina, where he was a distinguished professor emeritus. He was listed in Outstanding Men and Women in Science (1973), Outstanding Educators of America (1974), International Who's Who in Asian Studies, American Men (1978), and in Men and Women of Science, 14th Edition. At USC, he was named a Scudder Professor for excellence in teaching, mentoring & advising, and contributions beyond the University. He was a Diplomate of the American Board of Forensic Anthropology, and, in 2005, he received the prized T. Dale Stewart Award for outstanding service and contributions to the field. He was part of the Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Teams efforts after 9/ll. He assisted coroners in several South Carolina counties in identifying unknown skeletal remains. At the time of his death, Dr. Rathbun was a consultant for the Joint Prisoners of War, Missing in Action Accounting Command (JPAC), which recovers and identifies remains of military service people lost in battle. Through JPAC, he helped bring closure to many families. He taught hundreds of students at USC, where he was regarded as an outstanding educator. Many students traveled with him to excavation sites throughout the state; and, in 1997, he led a group of students to a dig in Egypt. He was interested in gardening and was determined to grow tomatoes like the ones he used to eat in Kansas. He loved to dance and was smooth and graceful on the dance floor. He was a loving husband to his wife, Babette, and loving father to his son, Joel, both of Columbia. His family and friends will remember him for his wit, sense of humor, and kindness. He loved people, and people loved him. Dr. Rathbun wished for his body to be donated to the Forensic Anthropology Center at the University of Tennessee -- later to the Smithsonian Institution -- so that he may continue to teach others. Memorials may be made to Forensic Sciences Foundation, 410 N. 21st St., Colorado Springs, CO 80904.

Published in The State on Nov. 17, 2012
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