Former Crestview mayor Ted Mathis dies

Ted Mathis

Former Crestview Mayor Ted Mathis died early Sept. 19 following an illness.

FILE PHOTO / News Bulletin
Published: Friday, September 20, 2013 at 10:50 AM.

CRESTVIEW — Former Mayor Ted Mathis, who died Thursday of congestive heart failure following a period of illness, served in City Hall from November 1987 until April 1995.

Mathis — who pushed for installing the instrument landing system that increased Bob Sikes Airport’s capabilities — succeeded former Mayor Jerry Milligan and served until George Whitehurst was reelected to the office.

Under Mathis' administration, rail passenger service returned to the Hub City in January 1993 for the first time in more than 20 years, and continued three times weekly until August 2005.

He had passionately worked to dam the Yellow River, a project eventually abandoned but considered, at the time, a solution for the north county’s long-term water needs.

"Ted Mathis was one of the finest men that I've known," Mayor David Cadle said. "He loved Crestview and was a true and dedicated public servant. We'll miss him in the city. He was very gracious. He was a fine gentleman."

Mathis, a former Navy Seabee commander, entered the Navy after high school and rose to E6 from E1 in four years. As a machinist, he worked in the Navy's largest machine shop in Astoria, Ore.

After attending the University of South Carolina, he worked for NASA in Hampton, Va., supporting the Scout missile. While at the space agency, he invented a cooling system for payloads.

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